Cubellis Chosen as Master Planner for Plymouth, Mass. Community

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorPlymouth, Mass.–Cordage Development LLC has chosen Boston-based Cubellis, an international architecture, interior design and engineering firm, as the master planner of the redevelopment of the historical Cordage Park property, a 2.4 million-sq.-ft. site that will include 675 residential units, as well as retail, office and hotel space, at build-out.The former industrial site of rope warehouses will incorporate the state’s Chapter 40R Smart Growth affordable housing legislation, which “was enacted by the state of Massachusetts to promote affordable housing and Smart Growth design and construction in areas where this is a high density of uses, such as downtown areas within cities and towns,” Doug Harnett, principal of Cubellis’ civil engineering group, tells MHN.Basic requirements of this law include setting aside at least 20 percent of units for affordable housing for high-density sites with 20 multifamily units per acre, Harnett explains. In addition, towns with the Smart Growth certification receive state funds to support the infrastructure. “In this case, [the state] petitioned the town to rezone the site, and in the process of applying for rezoning, there is a basically a master planning process that is conducted by the town, as well as the developer, the town and the stakeholders adjacent to the community. It brings the stakeholders together and everyone understands the needs and desires [of the development], and there is a consensus in terms of the design,” says Harnett.For this project, 25 percent of units in the two apartment buildings will be set aside for affordable housing, in addition to 20 percent of the condominiums.The architecture of the buildings take itscues from the old brick warehouses that are on the site, explains Rohit Anand, managing partner for the residential practice, Cubellis. “They are brick with large arched windows, so it’s somewhat of an industrial look,” he says, adding that although phase one will consist of new construction, phase two will be a combination of new and existing buildings. According to Anand, Cubellis is planning for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification on the apartment buildings.Amenities that will be available to residents include a clubhouse, pool, fitness center, media room and cyber café, as well as a landscaped pond and a promenade. Additionally, the site will include neighborhood, service-oriented retail shops, as well as, potentially, a 250-slip marina. Additionally, a 10-ft. boardwalk will connect the site to adjacent towns and the MBTA rail. Because the Plymouth line ends at the property, the number of trips are expected to increase during peak hours, as many residents will be commuting to work in Boston.The first phase of the project will include two residential buildings, or approximately 150 units, as well as 40,000 sq. ft. of retail. In total, phase one will include four to five buildings, and phase two is slated to include four existing and three new buildings.Anand says that the firm expects to break ground early next year, assuming the developer obtains construction financing for the project.