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Northland Closes on $98 Million Financing for Transit-Oriented Complex in Waltham

31 May 2014, 1:02 am

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A new transit-oriented complex is underway at the intersection of Main and Moody Streets in Waltham, a thriving suburb located only 14 miles west of Boston.

Moody and Main project rendering - Waltham MA

Moody and Main project rendering – Waltham MA

Northland Investment Corp., a real estate investment company based in Newton, has closed on a $98 million construction financing package from PCCP, LLC and is now ready to kick-start a massive redevelopment project in the heart of the city, one block from the Waltham MBTA commuter rail station.

Moody and Main On The Common will be constructed in phases on a 4.5-acre site encompassing four buildings—located at 702 and 716 on Main Street and 1 and 55 on Moody Street, respectively—that the developer has owned since 2005. Wicked Local Waltham reported that 55 Moody Street and 702 Main Street have already been razed and the developer has filed for demolition permits for the remaining buildings as well. ADD Inc. of Boston is the project’s architect of record, while Erland Construction serves as the general contractor.

Spanning 340,000 square feet, Moody and Main On The Common is set for completion in the summer of 2016, with the first phase ready in mid-2015. According to the developer, the project calls for three new, five-story buildings totaling 269 luxury rental apartments—16 studios, 142 one-bedrooms, 102 two-bedrooms and 9 three-bedrooms—with 27 affordable housing units. The residences will boast sustainable, high-end amenities such as walk-in closets, Energy Star appliances, low-flow fixtures, white roofs, European-style cabinetry and solid stone countertops.

The commercial component at Moody and Main includes 27,975 square feet of ground floor retail space, a below-grade parking garage for 300 cars and 92 surface parking spaces.

John Randall, senior vice president with PCCP, told Commercial Property Executive  in a recent interview that Northland’s transit-oriented complex in Waltham will target renters by choice who are on the lookout for brand-new, high-quality rentals with access to regional access but who also enjoy the walkability of the location.

Rendering courtesy of Northland Investment Corp.

Conroy to Transform Parcel K into Residential and Commercial Complex

23 May 2014, 4:35 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Parcel K redevelopment project - Boston Innovation District

Parcel K redevelopment project – Boston Innovation District

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) recently approved Conroy Development’s proposal to transform a 2.4-acre parking lot in the South Boston Waterfront into a vibrant residential and commercial complex.

Known as Parcel K, the development site is one of the many parcels that comprise the 30-acre Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) Commonwealth Flats Development Area (CFDA), according to the Project Notification Form that was submitted by the developer in 2013. Parcel K is located at the corner of Northern Avenue and Congress Street in an area that has emerged as the city’s Innovation District thanks to the large number of tech companies and start-ups that have offices here.

According to information from the BRA, Conroy Development will invest $230 million to complete the project that will encompass over 480,000 square feet at full build-out. The conceptual design created by Arrowstreet Architecture features an 11-story residential and commercial building and an adjacent 10-story boutique hotel that will support the businesses located in the nearby Boston Marine Industrial Park, the emerging businesses of the Innovation District as well as the World Trade Center and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center—both of which are located within walking distance of the Parcel K development project.

Parcel K redevelopment project - Boston Innovation District

Parcel K redevelopment project – Boston Innovation District

At 300,000 square feet, the residential building will become the visual focal point at the end of Congress Street. It will be constructed on the western side of the parcel and will have 304 rental apartments (including micro-housing) ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, with 40 units designed as affordable housing. The eastern portion of the parking lot will be replaced by the 247-room hotel whose operator hasn’t been announced yet. Together, the two buildings will include around 25,000 square feet of retail space and 16,500 square feet of “innovation” flex office space located around the southern edge of the site, between the residential building and the hotel and immediately adjacent to the MBTA Silver Line Way station.

The redevelopment effort at Parcel K also includes the construction of a multi-level underground parking garage with a total of 640 spaces. Additionally, Conroy Development has committed $200,000 for community-oriented purposes that will be supported by the BRA.

Expected to become a key component of the growing Innovation District, the Parcel K Project will seek LEED Silver certification by incorporating several sustainable design and construction strategies. Furthermore, the development is projected to create around 700 new construction and permanent jobs. Conroy Development is expected to begin construction by fall and complete the project within two years.

Renderings credits Arrowstreet Architecture

Flats@44, Flats@22 Add to Chelsea’s Wave of Mixed-Income Rental Projects

16 May 2014, 9:30 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Flats@44 - Chelsea, MA

Flats@44 – Chelsea, MA

As rents continue to soar in Boston’s top-rated neighborhoods, a wave of residential developments in the suburb of Chelsea promises a more diversified apartment market for those looking for mixed- to low-income housing options.

Flats@44 is the newest residential community that was completed in the so-called Box District in downtown Chelsea, a once blighted neighborhood that was named after the box manufacturing companies that operated in the area until the 1960s. The building’s completion was celebrated on May 14 by local authorities, state leaders and representatives of the development company during an official event.

Developed by the Mitchell Properties LLC of Boston, The Neighborhood Developers and the Traggorth Companies in coordination with the City, Flats@44 is the first project completed under the Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP), a federal program designed to encourage residential growth by offering developers in 24 “Gateway Cities” $5 million in annual tax credits.

Flats@44 is located at 44 Gerrish Avenue, just a block from the Chelsea City Hall and was designed by The Architectural Team and DMS Design LLC. The project kicked off in mid-2013 and called for the rehabilitation of the old Standard Box warehouse building and the development of new modular construction, according to city officials. Currently 80 percent leased, Flats@44 includes 41 market apartments and five affordable rental units in a combination of studios, one- and two-bedroom units with monthly rents ranging from $1,315 to $1,950. The loft-style list of amenities at Flats@44 includes a roof deck, a fitness center, stainless steel appliances, in-home washer/dryer, walk in closets with lighting and shelving, energy efficient heating and cooling, free Wi-Fi in common areas, as well as extra storage spaces and covered and off-street parking spaces.

The inaugural ceremony at 44 Gerrish Avenue also marked the official groundbreaking of Flats@22, another mixed-income residential project that will be constructed at 22 Gerrish Avenue by the same development team. Flats@22 will include 50 rental apartments, 21 of which will be affordable.


Renderings via Flats@44 

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

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