Wood Partners to Build 2 Washington in Boston Suburb

A 94-unit apartment community named 2 Washington, to be developed by Wood Partners, is planned for Melrose, Mass., a Boston suburb.
2 Washington Rendering thumbnail

Melrose, Mass.—A 94-unit apartment community named 2 Washington, to be developed by Wood Partners LLC, is planned for Melrose, Mass., a Boston suburb. Wood Partners recently acquired a 2.4-acre infill parcel on which to build the 94-unit property, which is slated to be opened for leasing in September 2015.

Situated at 2 Washington Street, the five-story development will include 130,000 square feet and feature 49 one-bedroom and 45 two-bedroom apartments. All apartments will include stainless steel appliances, vinyl plank flooring in kitchens and baths, granite countertops and washers and dryers.

Among the amenities greeting residents will be a clubroom with fireplace and cyber café, fitness center with the latest cardio equipment, roof deck and outdoor lounge area with grilling stations. The property will feature 133 total parking spaces, 38 of which will be covered.

Wood Partners has noted steady demand due to strong job growth in Boston and surrounding towns accessible to downtown via transit. Yet, as people run the numbers on Boston rents, even those serving in high-quality health care, biotech and financial services occupations aren‘t earning enough to enable them to pay $4 per square foot in rent.

“By offering luxury apartments with all the amenities within 20 minutes via the T to downtown Boston at half the price, along with all the outdoor and neighborhood charms of the suburbs, we are able to attract the more value-conscious among the new downtown workers,” Wood Partners’ Boston office director Adelaide M. Grady tells MHN.

Developing in and around Boston, as with any other northeastern city, is not without significant challenges, Grady says. “Typically, these start with town and neighborhood opposition to development in general and apartments in particular,” she adds. “We were fortunate in Melrose to have a visionary Smart Growth zoning overlay district that laid the groundwork for this type of development. The permitting process was a refreshingly constructive one, and I think the result is a project that fits better into the neighborhood and responds more directly to the neighborhood’s needs than we would have been able to create without the public process.”

Grady says Wood Partners is under no illusion the process will be easy once construction starts. Infill sites pose geotechnical and environmental challenges that no amount of predevelopment investigation can fully characterize.

“We manage these risks through contingencies, but these are the inherent risks of redevelopment,” she says.

The area in which 2 Washington is being developed in southeast Melrose captures rents as high as, if not higher than, properties closer to Boston along the same line of the T, Grady reports.

“We think this is because the neighborhood setting with close proximity to outdoor amenities outweighs the additional five minutes on the T,” she says. “For Melrose, 2 Washington is the first smaller-scale apartment development to offer all the luxury amenities of its larger neighbors. We believe this boutique, smaller community will attract renters who are looking for a lifestyle that offers a sense of exclusivity and enables a closer connection with neighbors.”