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Former Navy Yard Chain-Making Factory Coming Back to Life as 230-Key Hotel

20 Mar 2015, 8:39 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Kavanagh Advisory Group, a real estate developer based in Danvers, is set to breathe new life into a former chain-making factory in one of Boston’s historic neighborhoods.

Rendering of the new Chain Forge Hotel in the Charlestown Navy Yard - Boston

Rendering of the new Chain Forge Hotel in the Charlestown Navy Yard – Boston

Three months after the developer filed plans to reconvert the blighted Chain Forge Building situated at 105 1st Ave. in the Historic Monument Area of the Charlestown Navy Yard, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) voted in favor of the project and construction is now imminent at the site.

According to the Project Notification Form that was submitted for approval in December last year, Kavanagh will transform the 110-year-old industrial facility—which was listed in 1966 on the National Register of Historic Places—into a 230-key limited service and extended stay hotel that will also include approximately 6,000 square feet of restaurant space.

Designed by Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype, Inc. (BH+A) of Boston, the 180,000-square-foot hotel project will take shape within the existing building, which for nearly seven decades provided massive anchor chains to the U.S. Navy. The project is estimated to cost $85 million, according to the proposal filed with the BRA. The new hotel will take 24 months to build, with construction scheduled to start this summer and wrap up by October 2017. Once open, the new Chain Forge Hotel will feature a lobby area, conference rooms, a swimming pool and fitness center, as well as historical exhibit space showcasing the site’s prior industrial uses. This area will be located within the lobby atrium and will allow hotel guests and visitors to view 38 pieces of historical machinery used in the chain-making process and retained onsite as an interpretive exhibition.

According to The Boston Globe, the BRA took over the Chain Forge Building—or Building 105, as it was known by Navy personnel—in 1978, after the Navy vacated the site. The authority will sign a long-term lease with the developer prior to start of construction.

Elsewhere in the Charlestown Navy Yard, Kavanagh Advisory Group has recently completed a 54-unit residential project at the corner of 1st Ave. and 9th St. Called Starboard Place, the luxury complex was also designed by a team of BH+A architects to replace the former J.J. Daly Co.’s 120,000-square-foot warehouse which was left vacant in 2008, when the company was shut down.

Rendering courtesy of Kavanagh Advisory Group

Charlestown Gatehouse 75 Sold for $54.5 Million

6 Mar 2015, 7:45 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Gatehouse 75 - Charlestown, Boston

Gatehouse 75 – Charlestown, Boston

A luxury rental community in the heart of Boston’s historic Charlestown neighborhood near the Gilmore Bridge was recently sold to an affiliate of the Berkshire Group.

Real estate investment trust Berkshire Income Realty, Inc. reported it has purchased Gatehouse 75, a 99-unit upscale apartment community that was completed in late 2013. According to Commercial Real Estate Direct, Berkshire paid $54.45 million, or $550,000 per unit, for the asset. Berkshire Communities, Berkshire Group’ property management arm, will manage the apartment community.

Developed by Metric Construction Corp., Gatehouse 75 is located at 75 West School St. within walking distance of the MBTA’s Bunker Hill Orange Line station, and close to I-93 and Logan International Airport. The community sits on a 1.4-acre parcel that used to be the former site of the Charlestown Knights of Columbus Hall, which was demolished to make room for the new residential development. The five-story building, which was designed by Neshamkin French Architects, is inspired by Charlestown’s red-brick residencies and factories and also includes a residents lounge and kitchen, a 2,000-square-foot roof deck, a fitness center and underground parking.

Gatehouse 75 offers 99 rentals in a mix of one- and two-bedroom units with an average unit size of 968 square feet. According to rent.com, monthly rents at the boutique community start at $2,950 for a one-bedroom and $3,575 for a two-bedroom unit.

Image via  Gatehouse 75

Rebranded Battery Wharf Hotel Changes Ownership, Joins LHW Party

2 Mar 2015, 8:42 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

One of Boston’s luxury hotels situated directly on the North End waterfront has been sold and is now operating under a new brand.

Battery Wharf Hotel Boston

Battery Wharf Hotel Boston

A joint venture between Westmont Hospitality Group and Thomas Tan, a member of the Bestford Hospitality Group, acquired the upscale property which was first developed in 2008. According to NorthEndWaterfront.com, the asset was purchased from PNC Realty Investors and AFL-CIO, its associated pension fund investor. The transaction closed in October 2014 and included the 150-room hotel, a 13,000-square-foot fitness center and spa, 6,000 square feet of meeting space, a pocket Maritime Museum, a 24-hour observation deck and more than 15,000 square feet of vacant restaurant and retail space.

Located at 3 Battery Wharf, the hotel is part of a luxury mixed-use development. It was rebranded into Battery Wharf Hotel, Boston Waterfront and the new ownership has immediate plans to fill in the empty commercial space. “Our vision for the future of Battery Wharf includes new hotel facilities and service upgrades, new restaurants and retail tenants, and an ongoing commitment to create exciting reasons for Boston residents and visitors alike to enjoy direct access to the Harbor and some of the best views of the city,” said Greg Bingaman, director asset management, Westmont Hospitality Group in a prepared press statement.

Under the new management, Battery Wharf Hotel, Boston Waterfront recently joined the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World (LHW)—a hospitality consortium based in New York City which accepts only the world’s most exclusive hotels. LHW is owned by Hotel Representative, A.G. and has more than 430 hotels and resorts in over 80 countries.


Image via Battery Wharf Hotel, Boston’s website

Revisited Plans for Multifamily Tower in Fenway OK’ed for Development

2 Mar 2015, 6:22 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Developer Samuels & Associates got the green light to begin a complex transformation project of the gritty corner of Brookline Avenue, Boylston Street and Park Drive in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood.

The Point - Fenway, Boston

The Point – Fenway, Boston

Currently occupied by a derelict, single-story retail building, the 0.6-acre triangular parcel is located at 1383-1395 Boylston St. and serves as a gateway to Fenway, one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Boston. According to public documents, the original plans—which were submitted for review and then approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) two years ago—called for a 320-apartment glass tower rising 22 stories above ground. However, Samuels & Associates re-evaluated the project and submitted a Notice of Project Change that added more housing in the mix and increased the tower’s height to 30 stories.

Dubbed The Point, the final version of the $290 million project was green lighted by the BRA in February this year and is ready to break ground by summer. Miami-based architecture firm Arquitectonica designed the 390,460-square-foot tower which will feature 240 rental apartments and 109 condos. According to The Boston Globe, who quoted sources from Samuels & Associates, the 109 condos were added to the project to reflect a shift in the housing market, with homeownership becoming an asset that’s both financeable and available.

Apart from adding much-needed housing in a dense urban setting, The Point is also expected to improve the pedestrian and retail experience of the Fenway area. Construction plans include a two-story retail base of approximately 20,000 square feet, and The Point Plaza—an urban public open space at the junction of Boylston Street, Brookline Avenue and Park Drive . The project is scheduled for completion in 2016.

Rendering courtesy of Samuels & Associates

Wood Partners’ Mixed-Income Apartment Asset Under Way in Andover

15 Feb 2015, 8:01 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Construction is well under way at a new mixed-income apartment community in the city of Andover, roughly 24 miles from Boston.

Rolling Green Rental Community - Andover MA

Rolling Green Rental Community – Andover MA

Developed by Atlanta-based Wood Partners with WP East Builders serving as general contractor, the 224-unit multifamily asset is being built on a 20.2-acre lot located at 311 Lowell Street on the site of the old Rolling Green Golf Course. The Eagle-Tribune previously reported that the golf course, which opened in 1968, was purchased by Wood Partners for more than $12 million in June 2014. The land seller was Ivan Cormier, who also deeded an adjacent 26.6-acre lot to the Town of Andover to be used as open space.

The Rolling Green community was designed by The Architectural Team of Chelsea and will include two four-story wood-frame podium buildings above a parking garage. The buildings will include 134 one-bedroom units, 70 two-bedroom units and 20 three-bedroom units—56 of which will be offered as affordable housing units for residents or households earning less than 80 percent of the area median income. The development will also feature a multi-use recreational field, a half basketball court, outdoor play equipment for children, a dog park, two fitness centers and a heated saltwater pool next to a freestanding clubhouse.

Construction at Rolling Green is scheduled for completion in July 2016, with leasing activities expected to begin in April 2016. The community will be managed by Wood Residential Services, Wood Partners’ property management division, and the units will be marketed at monthly rents starting at $1,300.

According to Wood Partners, Rolling Green is located less than three miles from downtown Andover and less than 45 minutes by train from Boston. Nearby major employers include the Internal Revenue Service, Raytheon, Gillette, Verizon and Pfizer. As such, the community is expected to target young professionals who commute to work.

Once completed, the apartments at Rolling Green are estimated to generate $17.7 million in local income, nearly $2 million in taxes, and 273 local jobs.

Project rendering via Wood Partners

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