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Enhancing Reading Center

Enhancing Reading Center
Oaktree Development principal Gwen Noyes and partner Urban Spaces president Paul Ognibene
Minutes down Route 128 in Reading today, Oaktree Development principal Gwen Noyes and partner Urban Spaces president Paul Ognibene are joining state and local officials to cut the ribbon on 30 Haven St, a green, modular multifamily and retail project. Located near the commuter rail stop linked to North Station, the state department of Housing and Economic Development’s Jessica Casey says it’s a model the state wants to promote through its smart growth program. The downtown, TOD site includes 11 affordable apartments and appeals to the middle-income individuals and families Massachusetts wants to retain. More than talk, the state awarded the town $500k to encourage 30 Haven St.
30 Haven St, Reading
The $18M project includes 53 rental apartments, 22k SF of retail, and underground parking for 78 cars. Built to the Energy Star standard, the developer promises a lower than usual cost for utilities, which are controlled individually by each household, Gwen tells us. And that's not all for the firm. Next week, Oaktree, in partnership with Federal Realty, will break ground on another modular 53-unit multifamily building, this time in Chelsea (near Federal’s 222k SF Chelsea Commons shopping center). Is 2013's buzzword going to be modular?
Oaktree Development founder Arthur Klipfel
30 Haven uses a patented, green- building system called GreenStaxx that was created by Oaktree Development founder Arthur Klipfel. Modular components are built in a factory, sheltered from harsh New England weather conditions that can lead to warped flooring or bowed studs. Mistakes during assembly can be detected and corrected on the factory floor before shipping, so builders don’t have to improvise on-site. (Duct tape manufacturers, take notice.) Development cost is lower—as much as 15% less than stick-built—because factory labor is less costly than on-site construction crews. Construction time is also faster: 13 months versus 17 months.