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Gutierrez Breaks Ground on $35 Million Spec Office Building in Burlington

12 Sep 2014, 9:13 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Construction began at a new Class A speculative office building in suburban Boston.

Burlington Woods 4 - Burlington, Ma.

Burlington Woods 4 – Burlington, Ma.

As reported in the Boston Business Journal, the Gutierrez Company recently broke ground on a 100,000-square-foot LEED certified building designed for end-user flexibility. Dubbed Burlington Woods 4, this four-story structure will add to Gutierrez’s six-building office park that occupies a 15.6-acre property off of Route 128 in Burlington, Ma., and roughly 16 miles northwest of Boston.

The $35 million spec office building, which is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2015, was designed by CUBE 3 Studio of Lawrence, Ma. Located on around five acres of landscaped mall and within walking distance from the Boston Marriott Burlington and the Burlington Mall and Wayside Commons, the building will feature a two-story lobby, interconnecting stairways, floor-to-ceiling windows along the main façade, and energy efficient systems. The new development also includes 350 parking spaces with direct access to the highway.

According to the Journal, in January this year Gutierrez paid approximately $4 million for the 4.6-acre construction site which was previously owned by Finard Properties, a commercial real estate investment and development company based in Boston.

Gutierrez has retained JLL as the exclusive leasing agent for the project. “Given the flexibility and uniqueness of the project, we are seeing users of all types and sizes show interest in becoming the first tenant,” said JLL Senior Vice President Chris Decembrele in a press statement. “In the Burlington market, where large blocks of vacant space are getting scarce, this will be a great option for growing tech companies,” he added.


Rendering courtesy of the Gutierrez Company

BRA Approves 32-Unit Condo Building in South Boston

8 Sep 2014, 1:55 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Last month the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) board green-lighted a new residential project at 30 B Street in the South Boston neighborhood.

30 B Street - South Boston

30 B Street – South Boston

Proposed by GFC Development, the $13 million project will be built on a 13,600-square-foot parcel that is currently occupied by three dilapidated buildings. According to the Project Notification Form (PNF) that was filed with the BRA this spring, GFC Development plans to tear down the existing structures and replace them with a five-story apartment community that is expected to enhance the residential nature of the surrounding neighborhood.

Conceptual plans for the 30 B Street building were created by Embarc Studio Architecture + Design of Boston to complement the neighborhood’s unique character and architectural elements. Designed as a gateway between an existing residential and commercial urban stretch, 30 B Street is located within walking distance of the Broadway Station on the MBTA Red Line and several bus stations with access to Cambridge, downtown Boston and various points in South Boston.

At roughly 40,000 square feet, 30 B Street will have 32 condominiums, four of which will be affordable units, and 33 on-site and off-street parking spaces, enclosed bicycle parking and open spaces available for residents. According to the BRA, GFC Development has agreed to contribute $40,000 to the Inclusionary Development Fund—a City policy that requires developers of new housing projects with 10 or more apartments to set aside 15 percent of the apartments as below-market affordable housing units as a condition of receiving relief from the Boston Zoning Code.

According to the PNF, the developer plans to start construction at the site this fall, with an estimated completion date set for late 2015.


Rendering courtesy of Embarc Studio Architecture + Design

GE Healthcare to Join Biotech Cluster in Marlborough, Add Hundreds of Jobs in the Area

4 Sep 2014, 1:17 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

In a few years Massachusetts could become the next Silicon Valley of biotechnology and bio-pharmaceutics, judging by the growing number of businesses that choose to relocate or consolidate their presence here.

Forest Park Marlborough

Forest Park Marlborough

Piscataway, NJ-based GE Healthcare Life Sciences, a division of GE Healthcare—one of the largest players in the industry, with more than 11,500 employees in over 100 countries—has selected Forest Park in Marlborough (pictured) as the new headquarters for its US operations. Though the company said in an official news release that it hasn’t determined an exact address for its future home in the city, the Worcester Business Journal reports that the GE Healthcare division will move into a large office building located at 200 Forest Street, just south of Route 20 and west of I-495. The 530,000-square-foot office/R&D facility is part of the 109-acre former HP campus that was acquired by Atlantic Management in 2011.

According to the Boston Business Journal, GE Healthcare Life Sciences will occupy 160,000 square feet of space at 200 Forest Street and will share the building with another biotech company, Quest Diagnostics, which signed a lease for 200,000 square feet with Atlantic Management two years ago.

GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ new headquarters will accommodate over 500 employees, with around 220 new positions expected to be created once the facility becomes fully operational in spring 2015. The company will invest $21 million to transform the currently vacant space into research laboratories, customer application facilities and office space that will complement GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ existing manufacturing capability in Westborough, Mass. The company has already started recruiting employees to the site and expects to hire around 220 people

“Our new facility in Massachusetts will position us for continued innovation and competition in such a fast-paced, innovative industry,” said Kieran Murphy, president and CEO of GE Healthcare Life Sciences. “We will be close to industry-leading talent, customers, and world-class academic and medical institutions across all the industry sectors we serve, from biotech and pharma, to diagnostics and medical devices,” he added.

Meanwhile, CSM Lodging of Minnesota recently paid almost $2 million for a piece of land within Marlborough’s thriving office park and plans to build a new Hilton Garden Inn. Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2016, the hotel will have 160 rooms, a business center, a restaurant, a fitness center and a pool and is expected to meet the demand for hotel space in the area.

“Only 45 minutes from downtown Boston, the Forest Park development area is a center of activity and economic growth,” said Bob Micklash, president of CSM Lodging, in a press statement. “As major corporations continue to move into Marlborough, we recognized a need for a new, updated hotel to accommodate the area’s growing community. We are excited by the activity within the immediately adjacent office park and could not be more pleased to make this venture a reality.”


Image via Atlantic Management



Beacon Communities, PCA Transform Historic Ames Shovel Works into 113-Unit Rental Complex

10 Aug 2014, 10:34 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Boston-based developer Beacon Communities completed a $46 million revitalization project at the Ames Shovel Works, a 19thcentury industrial complex in North Easton, Ma., that was listed as one of the 11 most endangered historic sites in the U.S.

Ames Shovel Works

Ames Shovel Works

The granite and wood factory complex at 50 Main Street is made up of 15 buildings spanning 8 acres of land. It was constructed in 1852 to 1928 by the Ames Shovel Company and is closely linked to the California Gold Rush, the great expansion of railroads and the American Civil War, when an iron shovel was almost as valuable as a rifle. The Ames Shovel Company ceased production in Easton in early 1950, and the complex was used by a variety of office, warehouse and light industrial businesses until 2009 when it was acquired by Beacon Communities for $6 million from property owners George and Robert Turner—whose previous demolition plans had mobilized city officials and community members to find a redevelopment alternative that would preserve the historical asset.

The Ames Shovel Works redevelopment project is the key component of the North Easton Village Revitalization Plan that also includes a makeover of the business center and a new wastewater treatment facility and sewer collection system that would serve the apartment community and more than 70 businesses in the area.

Designed by Prellwitz Chilinski Associates (PCA) to be a national model for preserving historic resources, the 117,000-square-foot mixed-use complex has 113

Ames Shovel Works

Ames Shovel Works

rental housing units adjacent to a 1.6-acre neighborhood open space that connects Main Street to the Ames site. Furthermore, a historic storage building was repurposed for the property’s maintenance staff, while a single family house was transformed into offices, gallery space and studios for the Easton Chamber of Commerce and the Easton Shovel Town Cultural District Art Co-Op. One of the unique challenges in this project was finding around 700 historically windows that would fit correctly in the window openings throughout the buildings while being energy efficient. Eventually Beacon Communities selected Marlborough-based Universal Window and Door, LLC to provide the windows that were financed through $10.35 million in state and federal historic tax credits.

The adaptive reuse project is expected to receive LEED for Home Gold and Silver certifications from the US Green Building Council, the development team announced recently.


Renderings courtesy of Prellwitz Chilinski Associates 

40,000 Sq. Ft. Skatepark Underneath the Zakim Bridge to Break Ground in Fall

4 Aug 2014, 4:29 am

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

After more than ten years of fundraising, setbacks and design changes, Boston’s long-awaited skatepark is just a few months away from becoming reality with the help of a $1.5 million contribution from Vans, a footwear retail chain based in Cypress, Calif.

Lynch Family Skatepark

Lynch Family Skatepark

“We are really proud to be a part of this historical project and to bring a worldclass skate park to Massachusetts, the original home of our founders, the Van Doren family,” said in a press release Vans President Kevin Bailey. “We look forward to celebrating the park opening alongside the whole community,” he added.

The announcement was made by the Charles River Conservancy, a nonprofit group that works for the renewal of the urban parklands along the Charles River. Van’s donation adds to the $3 million that the nonprofit managed to raise over the past decade from various sources, including the Lynch Foundation for which the park will be named, the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and more than 400 skaters who also offered their support in the design stages. Additionally, Vans will chip in with $25,000 each year to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for ongoing maintenance of the skatepark over the next seven years.

The 40,000-square-foot Lynch Family Skatepark will be created on a former brownfield under the loops of the iconic Leonard P. Zakim Bridge in the North Point Park in East Cambridge. A team of architects from Canada-based Stantec and landscape architecture firm Halvorson Design Partnership designed the skatepark, while ValleyCrest Landscape Development will serve as general contractor for the project and California Skateparks will build the park. The construction crews will break ground on the project sometime during this fall, the Charles River Conservancy announced. The development team has yet to determine a final date of completion. The park will be managed by DCR and will be open for free for skateboarders, BMX freestyle riders, in-line skaters, scooter riders and athletes in wheelchairs. Once open, the venue will also house large-scale professional skating events, two of which will be held each year by Vans.

North Point Park occupies 8.5 acres of land in Cambridge and was opened in 2007 as mitigation for the parkland lost during the Big Dig, the megaproject that rerouted the elevated John F. Fitzgerald Expressway that ran through the heart of the city into a 3.5-mile tunnel.

Rendering credits to Stantec via the Charles River Conservancy

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