Home » MHN City Pages  »  Boston  

WP HTTP Error: A valid URL was not provided.

“Voke Lofts” Adaptive Reuse Project Brings 84 Mixed-Income Units to Worcester

7 Jul 2014, 7:16 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Voke Lofts - Worcester MA

Voke Lofts – Worcester MA

An official ceremony held recently in Worcester marked the completion of the Voke Lofts, a new adaptive reuse project led by WinnDevelopment, a division of WinnCompanies.

Rising on the site of the former city’s Vocational Technical School that was closed in 2006, Voke Lofts is the sole residential component of the City of Worcester’s Gateway Park Master Plan—a partnership between the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC) and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to redevelop 55 acres of brownfield located downtown. As previously reported by Multi-Housing News Online, work on the $33 million mixed-income residential project started in spring 2013, several months after WinnDevelopment entered an agreement with WBDC to purchase the vacant school site at 34 Grove Street for $1.7 million.

The completion of Voke Lofts marks Winn’s 18th adaptive reuse project in Worcester. “The school is an important part of Worcester’s past and we’re honored to preserve the character of the building in its latest incarnation, which brings much needed, quality housing to the city,” said Gilbert Winn, managing principal of WinnCompanies, during the grand opening event .

Worcester Vocational Technical School (pre-development)

Worcester Vocational Technical School (pre-development)

The 116,306-square-foot apartment building that replaced the former vocational school (pictured left) was designed by Chelsea-based The Architectural Team (TAT) and A.T. Leonard & Associates Landscape Architecture, with Dellbrook Construction of Quincy serving as the project’s general contractor. Voke Lofts consists of a combination of 50 one-bedroom units, 31 two-bedroom units and 3 three-bedroom units. Half of the rental apartments were set aside for individuals and families with incomes between 30 and 60 percent of the area’s median income, while the other half will be market rate. According to information on Dellbrook Construction’s website, 70 percent of the units at Voke Lofts are already leased and rent prices are determined depending on the unit. For example, a one-bedroom apartment at market rate is leased at roughly $1,200 per month, while a unit with a den would fetch $1,600. All loft-style apartments have light industrial look elements such as exposed brick and ceiling beams and piping.

The redesigned multifamily building incorporates an on-site management office, a residents’ lounge with a kitchen, a computer learning center, a play area for children, as well as a fitness center and bike storage space. The LEED certifiable residential building also includes an art gallery where students enrolled at the current Worcester Technical High School located at 1 Skyline Drive can exhibit their work, and on-site classroom space where residents will have access to classes offered by Becker College.

Images courtesy of A.T. Leonard & Associates Landscape Architecture

Developer Unveils $1 Billion, Two-Tower Redevelopment Project for Boston Harbor Garage

28 Jun 2014, 2:09 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Harbor Garage Project

Harbor Garage Project

Don Chiofaro, a real estate developer whose firm The Chiofaro Company serves the New England area, is moving forward with plans to redevelop one of the largest, privately held parking facilities in Boston.

The Boston Harbor Garage sitting on a 1.3-acre parcel at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Milk Street, close to the New England Aquarium, is an eight-story concrete parking garage that has was acquired by The Chiofaro Company in 2007 for $153 million, according to information from PropertyShark. After several redesign attempts that got rejected during the Menino administration, the developer has come up with a final project that will transform the plain-looking, box-shaped building into a residential and office complex totaling 1.3 billion square feet.

Ideally located at 70 East India Row along the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, the Boston Harbor Garage has 401,310 square feet of space that is used strictly for parking. Developer Don Chiofaro’s $1 billion proposal tentatively dubbed Harbor Garage Project calls for a 600-foot residential tower with 120 condos and a 300-room hotel, and a 500-foot office tower encompassing 700,000 square feet of space. As reported by the Boston Business Journal, Harbor Garage will also include 35,000 square feet of retail

Harbor Garage Project  - Harbor Square

Harbor Garage Project – Harbor Square

space on the first three floors of each tower, more than 27,000 square feet of open space, as well as a 70-foot, open space called Harbor Square featuring a retractable roof and lush landscaping, allowing the square to be used for open air festivals in summer and as an ice skating rink in winter. As for the existing 1,400-car garage, the developer plans to raze it and reconstruct it below grade. However, as the garage is estimated to cost around $180 million to sink, the developer needs to achieve a certain density in order to make the project financially viable.

Designed by New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, the Harbor Garage Project falls under Chapter 91—the Massachusetts state law that governs any development projects of the waterfront—and it will first need to receive approval for zoning changes from the state and the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) since it is taller than the accepted 400-foot height restrictions. Additionally, 50 percent of the project’s footprint will have to be designated as “public space,” Boston Herald reports.

If the project gets the green light for construction from the state and BRA, it will take around three years to complete.

Rendering courtesy of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Boston Residential Development Plans 44-Unit Luxury Building Across from the Greenway

21 Jun 2014, 4:11 am

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The small parking lot on India Street facing the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in Downtown Boston could be replaced by a 12-story residential structure by Boston Residential Development, which recently filed a Project Notification Form with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA).

55 India Street - project rendering

55 India Street – project rendering

Surrounded by high-rise commercial and residential buildings and structured parking garages, the 7,100-square-foot site at 55 India Street has been a paved parking lot since the 1950s and consists of three small parcels. As described in the Project Notification Form, the proposed project would add much-needed housing in this part of the downtown area while filling a gap along the Greenway and enhancing the pedestrian experience. The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway was officially opened in 2008 as a 15-acre linear urban park built on land created after the Big Dig—a megaproject that rerouted the elevated John F. Fitzgerald Expressway that ran through the heart of the city into a 3.5-mile tunnel.

55 India Street will encompass 67,000 square feet of mixed-use space. Designed by Hacin + Associates, the glass and brick building will include 44 luxury condominiums offered in a combination of one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 600 to 1,750 square feet, and around 4,000 square feet of restaurant/retail space on the ground floor and mezzanine level.

Because the site is located less than a mile from several MBTA stations (for example the MBTA Aquarium and State Street Stations which provide access to both the Orange Line and the Blue Line are located within a quarter-mile of 55 India Street), the project will not include a parking garage of its own; instead, the developer plans to secure rental parking in the nearby garages. However, the conceptual plans include bicycle storage within the building, but the space will be limited to one per residential unit.

If approved by the BRA, the developer could begin construction at 55 India Street in the first quarter of 2015 and deliver the residences in approximately 16 months.

Rendering courtesy of Boston Residential Development via BRA

Cabot, Cabot and Forbes and Boston Andes Capital Pay $10.3 Million for South Quincy Site

13 Jun 2014, 8:03 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Zero Penn Street - Quincy MA

Zero Penn Street – Quincy MA

Boston-based real estate developer Cabot, Cabot and Forbes (CC&F) and its capital partner, Boston Andes Capital, recently paid $10.3 million for a 2.3-acre development site in South Quincy. The transaction was coordinated by Chris Sower, Jason Weissman, Andrew Herald and Jennifer Price of BRA’s Capital Markets Team.

Located across from the Quincy Adams MBTA Station on Penn Street, the site was previously owned by Sobin Park LLC and Jenelle Realty LLC, which acquired the vacant lot back in 2009 for $2 million, the Boston Business Journal reports. Last year the city council permitted the site for a six-story rental apartment community. And although CC&F is still in the process of accepting bids from contractors and hasn’t decided on a construction date, the project is expected to welcome its first residents by spring 2016.

Zero Penn Street - development site via Google Maps

Zero Penn Street – development site via Google Maps

The 253,000-square-foot residential project is tentatively called Zero Penn Street and will cost around $36 million to build. When completed, it will include 19 studio units, 111 one-bedroom units and 50 two-bedroom units.

The complex will also feature a parking garage with 180 spaces, a pool and a landscaped courtyard. Michael Boujoulian, senior vice president of CC&F, told The Patriot Ledger that rents at Zero Penn Street will start at $1,600 per month for a studio apartment.

CC&F agreed to invest $100,000 to help revitalize the intersection of Burgin Parkway and Centre Street in order to close the gap between the residential area and the MBTA station and make the area more pedestrian friendly.


Project rendering via CC&F

YOTEL Plans to Open First Micro-Hotel Location in Boston

6 Jun 2014, 3:07 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

YOTEL NY - facade

YOTEL NY – facade

It’s been almost three years since the Menino administration began encouraging developers to create housing units as small as 375 square feet in the growing Innovation District, similar to New York City’s famously tiny apartments. Designed for an urban lifestyle, these “innovation and workforce” apartments cater to ultra-active, young professionals who use them mainly for sleeping, while recreational activities take place in shared spaces within the building or in the nearby restaurants and bars.

Following the success of micro housing, a UK-based hospitality chain called YOTEL—a subsidiary of YO! Company—wants to bring a similar concept to the same area of the South Boston Waterfront. According to The Boston Globe, the micro-hotel project could be constructed by Boston Global Investors (BGI) as part of the company’s Seaport Square, a new live-play neighborhood that includes more than 300 small-sized apartment units along with flexible office space for startups and the 12,000-square-foot District Hall/Boston Innovation Center that was officially opened in fall 2013.

YOTEL NY - cabin

YOTEL NY – cabin

Created less than ten years ago by YO! Company founder Simon Woodroffe OBE and YOTEL CEO Gerard Greene, the micro-hotel concept is similar to the Japanese capsule-like hotels designed for very short stays at airports. Currently there are two micro-hotels operating at Gatwick Airport and Heathrow Airport in London, one at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, and the 669-cabin YOTEL New York at Times Square West located at 570 Tenth Avenue that opened in June 2011.

Reportedly, Boston’s new YOTEL will be built along Seaport Boulevard and across from the John Joseph Moakley US Courthouse. The 11-story structure designed by Boston architecture firm ADD Inc. will have 307 micro-rooms ranging from 160 to 200 square feet; the affordable luxury hotel will also include a rooftop bar and seating area. Tariffs for the prospective South Boston YOTEL have not been determined yet, but most probably they will be significantly less expensive than traditional hotel rooms.

Images via YOTEL NY Facebook Page

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

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



Vertex Pharmaceutical Opens New Headquarters at 11 Fan Pier Boulevard

7 Feb 2014, 3:34 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A ribbon-cutting ceremony recently marked the formal opening of Vertex Pharmaceutical’s global headquarters building in South Boston’s growing Innovation District. Located at 11 Fan Pier Boulevard in Fort Point, the $800 million complex that broke ground in June 2011 consists of two, 16-story interconnected buildings designed to stimulate collaboration and attract new talented scientists to the 25-year-old biotech company.

Vertex Pharmaceutical HQ

The LEED-certified towers encompass 1.1 million square feet of commercial and retail space and were built by the Fallon Company, the commercial real estate developer behind the 21-acre mixed-use Fan Pier office complex, with Turner Construction as the general contractor of the project. The first building—50 Northern Avenue or Vertex Building A—was designed by the architectural firm Tsoi/Kobus & Associates of Cambridge, while design plans for Eleven Fan Pier Boulevard (Vertex Building B) were created by a team of architects from Elkus Manfredi. The two glass-faced towers which are connected by a walkway on the sixth floor include over 75 small informal collaboration spaces, a 500-seat cafeteria, 3,000 square feet of classroom and lab space for use by the Boston Public Schools (including Vertex’s partner schools Excel High School and Boston Green Academy), and ground floor retail space.

According to Boston.com, in May 2011 Vertex signed a lease agreement for the two buildings for a period of 15 years and will be paying the largest commercial rent in Boston (nearly $1.1 billion for the entire period or $72.5 million a year). Vertex hopes to bring all 1,300 of its Massachusetts employees together under the same roof by mid-2014.

“The opening of Vertex’s corporate headquarters in our Innovation District is an exciting day for Boston, for the Commonwealth, and for the millions of people around the world who stand to benefit from Vertex’s amazing work,” said Governor Patrick who attended the event along with Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

Founded in 1989 in Cambridge, Vertex has been one of the fastest growing companies focused on research and development of new medicines, creating more than 800 new jobs in Massachusetts alone over the past decade.

Rendering courtesy of Fan Pier Development

BRA Approves160-Unit Rental Building at 600 Harrison Avenue

24 Jan 2014, 7:01 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A development proposal to build an apartment building at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Malden Street in Boston’s South End District has been green lighted by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

600 Harrison Avenue, South End

Dubbed 600 Harrison Avenue, the 193,264-square foot project will be constructed by New Atlantic Development Corporation of Boston to address the city’s need for quality, rental housing. According to the Project Notification form that was submitted for review and approval in November 2013, the building will be located on a 25,496-square-foot parcel that is currently occupied by a surface parking lot owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

The $62 million residential building will contain 160 rental apartments ranging from 600 square feet for a studio to 1,600 square feet for a three-bedroom penthouse—with 21 units set aside for low-income families and individuals in compliance with the Mayor’s Inclusionary Development Policy—and around 3,600 square feet of ground floor retail space designed to activate the corner of Harrison Avenue. The six-story building also includes a three-level underground garage with 236 parking spots to be used by the building’s residents and the businesses in the area. The project will accommodate 32 covered bike rack spaces at several points around the building and a covered storage facility for 120 bicycles, all of these meant to encourage the use of bicycles as primary transportation.

Designed by a team of architects from Utile, Inc., 600 Harrison Avenue will feature a range of sustainable amenities that will make the completed project LEED Silver certifiable: proximity to public transit and bicycle storage, recycling collection spots placed in a central closet on each residential floor, high-performance insulation systems meant to control heating and cooling, energy recovery ventilation systems that will improve indoor air quality, low-emitting  paints and floors, as well as rooftop terraces with extensive planted areas.

According to the Project Notification Form, 600 Harrison Avenue is scheduled to start in August and reach completion by spring 2016.

Rendering courtesy of Utile, Inc. Architecture + Planning

Leave a Reply