Oaktree Development Sweethearts
Oaktree Development’s Gwen Noyes spotted partner Art Klipfel during her graduation from Vassar in the ‘60s. He was a friend of her classmate. Both attended architecture school--she at U of P; he at Yale. Their paths crossed again in Cambridge where in ’73 she joined his company, Unihab, to develop environmentally sound residential communities. In ’81, they became a couple and seven years later, they married; the second time for each and it proved to be a charm. Gwen says he’s brilliant, philosophical, trustworthy and likes to bike, hike and sail. He says they share values and politics; respects her sustainability work; admires her cooking and gregariousness.
Next week, they hope to break ground on Brookside Square, a $33M, 74-unit apartment building with 36k SF of office/commercial space in West Concord. A two-bedroom, two-bath apartment will rent for about $2,500/month but the project is being developed to a condo standard, Gwen says. Using Art's Greenstaxx design/build system, it’s in the Smart Growth tradition that “we love,” Art tells us. It’s downtown, with solar panels, charging stations for electric cars and underground parking. For the public, there will be a market space and access to the brook and bike trail that bounds the property. The concept isn't new for Oaktree. Years ago, this team developed one of the first apartment buildings at the Alewife T-stop when the now burgeoning location seemed improbable.