The Deal Sheet
The City’s new proposal to spend $20M to upgrade 40 acres along the waterfront from the North End to Fort Point with open space, cultural attractions, and entertainment (fingers crossed for Ferris wheel) will elevate the rapidly changing district, BRA deputy director for waterfront planning Richard McGuiness tells Bisnow. The aim: upgrade the border of “our greatest natural resource: Boston Harbor.”
Any who doubt that municipal planning can change the face of Boston have only to consider the Seaport District where years of planning and promotion have transformed a dying commercial port into a top-tier target global investment market. The new waterfront plan calls on private developers to bear much of the cost for installing a more user-friendly Harborwalk, more parks, public art, and water attractions offering year-round activities. It also calls for installing barriers to protect downtown from a storm surge caused by global warming and rising sea levels.
The plan focuses on three parts of the waterfront: Long/Central wharves, Rowes Wharf/India Row, and Northern Avenue, which connects downtown to the Seaport District. Long and Central wharves would get a wider pedestrian path between the Greenway and the Aquarium with new art installations and restaurants. The historic Northern Avenue Bridge would reopen to vehicle traffic and be raised for boat passage. Developers seeking city approvals for waterfront projects, like The Chiofaro Co, are eagerly jumping on-board with the plan that still requires state approval and several years to complete.
Construction & Development
The Massachusetts Army National Guard broke ground on a $20M, 69k SF LEED Silver training and maintenance facility at Camp Edwards. Shovel brigade includes: The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice and Nauset Construction prez Anthony Papantonis with members of the Guard. Designed by Leidos, Nauset will take charge of construction.
Cape Cod Community College in W. Barnstable is planning an $800k renovation and upgrade of the ‘70s-era labs it uses to teach life sciences and its STEM program. Half of the financing came as a recent grant from the Mass Life Sciences Center and private sources will supply the rest.
The Clarke Art Institute in Williamstown, a must-see stop for art loving visitors to Western Mass, got a boost to its expansion plan with a $250k grant from MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The museum and research center will use the funds for various projects including: the renovation of its existing space and addition of 2,200 SF of new gallery space; it will upgrade safety, lighting, and HVAC systems for the building. This follows a $30M bond MassDevelopment issued in ’11 for construction of a new 43k SF visitor center slated to open July 4.
New England Public Radio, WFCR and WNNZ, two public radio stations now based at UMass Amherst will rebuild a 15k SF space at 1525 Main Street in Springfield for i ts new HQ planning for July occupancy. The project is being financed, in part, by a $113,432 Cultural Facilities Fund grant from MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. NPR will install four radio production suites, a technical operations center, and office space for programming, operations, engineering, and development and administration staff.
The Mount Vernon Co paid $17.2M for 40 Berkeley St near the intersection of Berkeley and Tremont streets in the South End. The 80k SF, seven-story building that’s now a hotel, has a full kitchen, ample common areas, and a 4,200 SF outdoor green space. Boston Realty Advisors’s Christopher Sower repped Mt Vernon. Cornerstone Realty Capital arranged acquisition and construction financing through a local bank
A JV of Water Street Investments/PhilMor Real Estate Investments and Taurus Investments paid John M. Corcoran & Co $20M for The Meadows, a 180-apartment multifamily project in Chelmsford, near I-495. ARA New England-based brokers Terence Scott, Richard Robinson, Philip Lamere, and Jennifer Athas repped the seller and found the buyer.
313 Speen LLC paid $8.6M to Gerrity Family Associates for 313 Speen Street in Natick, a 60k SF brick and ribbon window office building that’s 70% leased. CBRE/New England’s Chris Angelone, Steve Murphy, Bruce Lusa and John Meador repped the seller and found the buyer for the property across Rte 9 from the Natick Mall.
A division of Winstanley Enterprises paid $7.5M to a subsidiary of Coolidge Properties for a 73k SF shopping center at 638-686 Washington St. (Rte 138) in Stoughton. CBRE’s Nat Heald repped the seller and found the buyer.
Concentric Energy Advisors renewed its lease for 15k SF at 293 Boston Post Road West in Marlborough from RFP Lincoln 293. Avison Young ‘s Kevin Malloy repped the tenant and Lincoln Property’s Tim Latham repped the landlord.
Cloud database technology startup NuoDB is leasing 4,000 SF at 215 First St in Cambridge from Alexandria Real Estate Equities to double its office to 8,000 SF. The expansion follows NuoDB’s $14.2M round of fundraising from investors including Dassault Systemes, Longworth Venture Partners, and Morgenthaler Ventures.
Ready for Scrub the Hub? Mayor Walsh wants you to help beautify Boston April 25, 26 in West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Allston and Brighton; May 2, 3 in Hyde Park, Roslindale, Dorchester and Mattapan and for the grand finale May 9, 10 in Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Mission Hill, Fenway, South End, Bay Village, North End, West End, Downtown, Charlestown, Chinatown, East Boston and South Boston. The City will provide brooms, shovels, and other tools at one of the hundreds of sites identified for cleaning.