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USGBC Awards LEED Gold Certification to Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel in Needham

9 May 2014, 5:02 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Less than one year after construction was completed at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Needham, just 17 miles from Boston, the project’s developers announced the hotel was awarded LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Needham Residence Inn by Marriott

Needham Residence Inn by Marriott

Owned by XSS Hotels and managed by Colwen Management of Portsmouth, NH, the 90,000-square-foot facility is located at 80 B Street in the New England Business Center office park. As previously reported by the New England Real Estate Journal, the $13.5 million hotel was built by locally based Waterford Development Corporation and is part of a complex redevelopment plan advanced by Normandy Real Estate Partners that calls for new office buildings, the Residence Inn hotel and two parking facilities to be built over the next few years.

The 128-key Residence Inn by Marriott was designed by PROCON, an architecture firm of Manchester, NH, that also served as construction manager for this hospitality project. In order to achieve LEED Gold Certification, the development team incorporated regional and recycled construction materials, as well as environmentally friendly design elements such as oversized windows, a white roof, low-flow and water-efficient plumbing fixtures, and LED lighting throughout the structure.

Designed for extended-stay visitors and business travelers, the Needham Residence Inn by Marriott hotel includes 116 urban studios, eight one-bedroom suites and four two-bedroom suites. Each suite offers separate working, lounging and sleeping areas, and a fully equipped kitchen. The five-story hotel also features a bar and lounge area, indoor pool and fitness room, as well as two meeting rooms located on the first floor and totaling 1,330 square feet of space.

“We designed and constructed the Needham Residence Inn with a strong focus on sustainability and incorporated environmentally friendly features into the operation of the hotel,” said Leo Xarras of XSS Hotels. “We are very proud that the Needham Residence Inn attained LEED Gold Certification and know that our guests appreciate staying in an environmentally responsible hotel.”


Rendering via Marriott

HYM to Co-Develop New Balance’s $500 Million Boston Landing Mixed-Use Project

2 May 2014, 2:42 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., one of the largest sports footwear manufacturers in the world, recently announced it has selected a co-developer for the new headquarters building that is currently under construction between the Allston/Brighton interchange.

According to an official statement by NB Development Group—New Balance’s real estate investment and development arm—Boston-based real estate company HYM Investment Group, LLC will co-develop the massive Boston Landing (formerly marketed as New Brighton Landing) mixed-use project that was approved by the BRA in mid-2012 and broke ground in September 2013.

Boston Landing - development map

Boston Landing – development map

“We welcome HYM as our Co-Development Manager for Boston Landing as we move forward with the next phases of redevelopment on this expansive site on the western gateway to Boston,” said in a press release James Halliday, managing director of NB Development Group, LLC. “NB Development Group brought on HYM because of its direct experience with phased mixed-use sites across the region.”

The $500 million Boston Landing is being constructed on a 14-acre industrial property located at 38-100 Guest Street and 77 Guest Street that was once part of the Brighton Stockyards, the largest stockyard in the region. Designed by Elkus-Manfredi Architects of Boston, the mega-development will encompass 1.45 million square feet and will be completed in six phases over the next four years. Apart from New Balance’s 250,000-square-foot world headquarters building that is expected to be completed by 2015, the project also calls for three additional Class A, LEED-certified office buildings totaling 650,000 square feet; 65,000 square feet of ground floor retail and restaurant space and approximately 1.4 acres of public open space.

Conceptual plans also include a 140,000-square-foot boutique hotel with 175 guest rooms, dedicated parking, ground floor lobby and restaurant space that will help maximize the pedestrian experience along Guest Street. The hotel will be constructed near a state-of-the-art, 325,000-square-foot sports complex planned for 77 Guest Street that will feature a hydraulic-banked track, a professional-regulation ice hockey rink, two basketball courts and a MAC court, as well as a fitness center and spa.

“We are thrilled to be working with NB Development Group to help develop this area into a vibrant city neighborhood and 21st century destination for area residents and visitors,” said Thomas N. O’Brien, managing director of the HYM Investment Group, LLC.

Boston Landing Development map credits to Elkus-Manfredi Architects

$70 Million Makeover Announced for Boston’s TD Garden

18 Apr 2014, 2:36 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Now that the Boston Celtics wrapped the 2013-2014 season with a 118-102 loss to the Washington Wizards at TD Garden and the Boston Bruins have only a few more games to play before concluding their 90thseason for the National Hockey League, their home TD Garden is set to undergo a comprehensive, fan experience-oriented facelift over the next two years.

TD Garden - rendering of renovated ProShop area

TD Garden – rendering of renovated ProShop area

Delaware North Companies, which owns and operates the multi-purpose arena, announced that the $70 million privately financed renovation will begin this summer.

“The Jacobs family is committed to providing the people of Boston with an arena that sets the industry standard,” Charlie Jacobs, principal Delaware North Companies and Boston Bruins, said in a press statement. “With the TD Garden being nearly 20 years old, we recognize that these renovations are necessary and we are confident that they will transform the fan experience from the moment a patron enters the building.”

The multimillion makeover calls for redesigned loge and concourses and renovated gathering areas, a new ProShop, a completely renovated Legends Club restaurant, as well as upgraded technology infrastructure. According to TD Garden’s owner, the loge concourse is slated for this June, while construction at the balcony concourse is set to begin next summer.

The ProShop, TD Garden’s store that sells Celtics and Bruins memorabilia, will be relocated from the North Station concourse to the building’s second floor turnstile area so that fans will have easier access from the arena’s new entryway before, during and after games. According to the Boston Globe, the redesigned ProShop will more than double its size reaching well over 6,000 square feet and will operate in a “Powered by Reebok/Adidas” three-year partnership with the Bruins and Celtics.

Legends Club, the largest private hospitality space at TD Garden, will undergo a complex renovation as well, but further details will be revealed in the following months.

Designed by Ellerbe Becket Architecture of Kansas City to replace the outdated Boston Garden, the 755,000-square-foot arena sits at 100 Legends Way. During the planning and construction phases the venue was known as the Shawmut Center, but eventually it was named after its sponsor, TD Bank, a subsidiary of the Canada-based Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Rendering of the renovated TD Garden ProShop area courtesy of Delaware North Companies

Colliers Retained as Exclusive Leasing Agent for 156,000 Sq.Ft. Office Building in Quincy

14 Apr 2014, 3:18 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Marina Bay Management Services, LLC has retained Colliers International to serve as the exclusive leasing agent for a premier office property in suburban Boston.

500 Victory Road Quincy, MA

500 Victory Road Quincy, MA

The four-story building is located at 500 Victory Road in Marina Bay in North Quincy, less than 10 miles south of Boston. The 156,000-square-foot property, which was built in 1987 according to data from PropertyShark.com, offers the combined benefits of a live-work-play environment and spectacular views thanks to its attractive setting in a growing neighborhood and its proximity to New England’s premier marina facility.

“Over the past several years, Marina Bay has developed and transformed into a first-class destination,” said Tom O’Connell of Marina Bay Management Services. “It offers city proximity, skyline views, and a lively atmosphere, all with value and conveniences of a suburban setting.”

For more than six years, 500 Victory Road has been occupied by media and information giant Thompson Reuters. Starting January 1, 2015, when the company’s lease agreement is set to expire, the building will offer 69,000 square feet of office space along with other amenities such a full-service cafeteria, fitness center, day care center and hair salon.

Over the past decades Quincy has become one of Boston’s top performing office submarkets. As previously reported in a Boston Business Journal special outlook, this was possible thanks to a wave of financial service and insurance companies that chose to relocate back-office functions to the suburbs. Colliers points out that the Quincy office market, which comprises 5.4 million square feet of office space, posts a vacancy rate of 13.5%, compared to the overall Route 128 South office submarket that reaches 18.4%.

The Colliers team representing Marina Bay Management Services includes Colliers Vice President David Goodhue, Executive Vice President James Elcock, Vice President Caleb Hudak, Assistant Vice President Timothy Lahey and Associate PJ Foster.

Image via Colliers International

Developers Break Ground on $185 Million Residential and Retail Project in Boston’s South End

8 Apr 2014, 2:12 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A joint venture between Morristown, NJ-based Normandy Real Estate Partners and Gerding Edlen of Portland, OR, officially broke ground on the newest residential community in Boston’s booming South End neighborhood.

Troy Boston

Troy Boston

Troy Boston is better known as 275 Albany Street, a project that suffered several changes since the initial proposal. According to Curbed Boston’s archives from 2012, the original 275 Albany Street plans called for a two-building hotel with 408 guest rooms on the 10-block lot on the northeastern corner of South End, but the joint venture was forced to redesign everything because of National Development’s highly anticipated Ink Block building that was underway at the corner of Herald Street and Harrison Avenue. Consequently, the revised project included an apartment building with 220 units and a standalone hotel facility with 325 rooms.

Troy Boston is the final version of the Normandy/Gerding partnership and is estimated to cost $185 million. Described as a sustainable “smart growth development” and expected to obtain a LEED Gold certification, this state-of-the-art mixed-use development will revitalize a key corridor in South End and reconnect the neighborhood with Chinatown, the Theater District and South Boston. As unveiled in an official statement from the developers, the mixed-use project will be built on a 1.27-acre site between Traveler and Berkeley Streets that used to be part of the original rail system from the Boston and Albany Railroad.

The plans designed by ADD Inc. architects include two residential towers totaling a mix of 340 market rate apartments and 38 affordable units, while the 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space will accommodate restaurants, cafes and boutique stores that are expected to create a new vibrant community for residents and visitors alike. The new development will also feature a surface parking garage for 180 cars and premier amenities including a fitness center, pool deck, and common space lounges. According to the developers, construction at Troy Boston is slated for completion in early 2015.

Renderings courtesy of Gerding Edlen & Normandy Partners

DoReMi Karaoke Studio in Allston to be Replaced by Apartments

31 Mar 2014, 7:06 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate editor

The owners of the popular DoReMi Karaoke Studio located at 442 Cambridge Street in Allston plan to tear down the longstanding venue to make room for a small mixed-use building.

450 Cambridge Street - Allston

450 Cambridge Street – Allston

According to plans recently filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), The Arcand Family/Allston LLC wants to replace the 17-year-old karaoke studio and an adjacent small house currently serving as an office with a 50,000-square-foot building that would reconfigure the existing lot lines of 442 Cambridge Street, 450 Cambridge Street and the abutting 7-9 Craftsman Street. The developer will keep the two-story mixed-use building with four residential units at 7-9 Craftsman and an existing surface parking lot at 450 Cambridge that provides parking for 17 cars.

If approved by the BRA, 450 Cambridge Street will offer 40 rental apartments (including five affordable units and two handicapped accessible units), a fitness center, a small management office and 1630 square feet of ground floor retail space. The plans also call for an underground parking garage with access off Cambridge Street big enough for 40 vehicles and 40 bike racks to accommodate the parking demand generated by the new residential units. In addition, the space between the proposed residential development and the existing two-story building will be filled with a new green space with bench seating for the residents.

The development team behind the $7 million project consists of Neshamkin French Architects, Howard/Stein-Hudson Associates, Inc. as traffic consultants and T.F. Moran, Inc. Structural Engineers.

Rendering credits: Neshamkin French Architects via BRA

Boston Selected to Receive Support for New Protected Bike Lanes

16 Mar 2014, 4:40 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

One of the largest non-profits that supports and encourages bicycling in the country announced it has chosen Boston and five other major cities to enter a two-year program to build protected bike lanes in city streets.

Rendering of a potential two-way bike lane in Boston

Rendering of a potential two-way bike lane in Boston

After several appearances as one of the worst cities for cycling in the country, Boston worked its way up to an honorable 26th place in America’s Most Bicycle-Friendly Cities list that was published last month by Bicycling Magazine. With former Olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman running the “Boston Bikes” initiative since 2007, the city has its own bike sharing program that now provides more than 1,100 bikes at 130 stations throughout Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Sommerville. The program is called Hubway and was launched in July 2011 with 600 bicycles and 60 stations in Boston.

According to an official statement issued by the Mayor’s Office, Boston—along with Atlanta, Denver, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Seattle—was picked from a list of more than 100 U.S. cities that applied for this year’s Green Lane Project. An initiative run by The PeopleForBikes non-profit organization, the six-city collaboration project is now entering its third year with 142 bike lanes nationwide, almost double the number of cycle tracks it started with back in 2012.

“Boston has ambitious goals and a strong vision supported by the elected officials and the community. They are poised to get projects on the ground quickly and will serve as an excellent example for other interested cities,” said Martha Roskowski, PeopleForBikes Vice President of Local Innovation.

Under the Green Lane Project, Boston will receive financial, strategic and technical assistance to create new separate cycle tracks, which will protect cyclists from vehicles and make bicycling an appealing option for more people. The city’s new bike lanes will be separated from traffic by curbs, planters, parked cars or posts in order to reduce pedestrian, bike and auto injuries.

The six-city collaboration Green Lane Project will kick off with a press conference in Indianapolis in late April.


Image via the Boston Cyclists Union

Boston Medical Center to Break Ground on $270 Million Redesign Project

10 Mar 2014, 3:58 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Boston Medical Center (BMC), the largest safety-net hospital in New England, is moving forward with a multi-million-dollar plan to consolidate and renovate its two hospitals in the South End campus over the next three years.

Boston Medical Center

The Boston Globe reports that the envisaged medical facilities—Boston City Hospital and University Hospital which merged 18 years ago to become Boston Medical Center—will be transformed into a “patient-centered clinical campus” that will yield an annual benefit of at least $25 million through energy savings and the elimination of redundant ambulance trips between the medical buildings.

Estimated for completion by the end of 2017, the $270 million campus redesign project will be financed through a combination of private donations, bond financing and proceeds from the sale of the two adjoining buildings that form the Newton Pavilion on the former University Hospital campus. BMC’s overall footprint will shrink by nearly 330,000 square feet under the renovation plan, reaching 2.1 million square feet in 2017, the Globe notes.

The plan, which was approved last year by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, also includes new construction and renovations at the Menino, Yawkey and Moakley pavilions, while the Dowling Amphitheater will be demolished. A new bridge, that will facilitate the patient’s transport from the helipad to the medical center, will replace the yellow utility tube crossing Albany Street.

Under BMC’s redesign plan, the Emergency Department will expand by 30 percent to include new Urgent Care units and a separate behavioral health area, while the Intensive Care Units will be consolidated to one location on campus. Since the cafeterias at Newton and Menino pavilions will be closed, a new one will be created on the mezzanine level of the Yawkey building.


Image of Boston Medical Center via Facebook

Construction Is Underway at Northeastern’s $225 Million Academic Complex

3 Mar 2014, 4:13 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor


Northeastern University – Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex

Nearly four months after receiving BRA’s unanimous approval for a $1.6 billion master plan for development, Northeastern University officially broke ground last week on its much-anticipated Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) at 795 Columbus Avenue in Roxbury.

This state-of-the-art structure is Northeastern’s first major academic development project in a decade. Designed by Boston-based architecture firm Payette Associates to achieve LEED Gold certification and developed by Suffolk Construction, the $225 million academic facility will replace a 3.5-acre surface parking lot near Melnea Cass Boulevard and the Ruggles MBTA subway station, the Boston Business Journal reports.

Northeastern University - Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex - interior

Northeastern University – Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex – interior

Northeastern’s new development project is expected to create more than 600 jobs during the construction phase and another 700 jobs after the complex opens in 2016, according to the university’s announcement.

The boomerang-shaped facility will provide nearly 220,000 square feet of research and educational space for four academic colleges: College of Science, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, College of Engineering, and College of Computer and Information Science. The new building will raise six stories above grade and it will also have a basement and a mechanical penthouse. The conceptual design also includes a suspended footbridge over the MBTA Orange Line, commuter rail and Amtrak tracks. The bridge, called “The Arc”, will serve as a link between two distinct sections of Northeastern’s campus and is expected to consolidate the university’s presence in Roxbury while providing further pedestrian access to Fenway.


Renderings courtesy of Northeastern University

Waypoint Companies Set to Build 80-Unit Multifamily Building in Allston

17 Feb 2014, 5:38 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor


61-83 Braintree Street

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) recently approved a new residential project that will transform a 30,550-square-foot industrial site along the Massachusetts Turnpike in Boston’s Allston-Brighton neighborhood into a residential property with retail and office space for start ups.

According to the Project Notification Form (PNF) that was submitted for review in November 2013, developer The Waypoint Companies plans to demolish the two dilapidated warehouses at 61-83 Braintree Street that have been operated by plumbing supplier Thompson Durkee Co. for over 100 years and then proceed with an environmental clean up to clear the site for construction, which is set to begin in mid-2014 and be completed after one year.

Designed by Neshamkin French Architects of Charlestown, the 93,000-square-foot residential building will seek LEED Certification for incorporating environmentally sensitive and sustainable design elements. The $17 million building will feature 80 rentals (mostly studios targeting young professionals and couples), including 11 affordable units, and an underground garage with 67 parking spaces.

The project’s commercial component consists of 562 square feet of ground floor retail space, three community rooms, a roof deck, two truck deck parking spaces and 1,715 square feet of commercial space that will be used as short term incubator space for start ups. As detailed in the PNF, the developer will invest $30,000 towards improvements to Penniman Park and another $10,000 to conduct a local bicycle route study.


Rendering courtesy of The Waypoint Companies via BRA



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