Nauset completes new mixed-use residential/retail development

January 03, 2020 - Owners Developers & Managers

Cambridge, MA Nauset Construction has completed 1699 Massachusetts Ave., a mixed-use residential/retail development comprised of 16 apartments, 1,600 s/f of first floor retail space and an adjoining five-bedroom, single family home above an underground parking garage. Located  between Harvard Law School and Lesley University, 1699 is the first new multi-unit residential building to be constructed in the one-mile stretch between Harvard Sq. and Porter Sq. in decades.

The development is emblematic of smaller-scale mixed-use multifamily projects being built on underutilized urban infill sites to meet the soaring demand for housing in the city. In September, Nauset delivered Ten Essex, transforming a parking lot in Central Sq. into 46 apartments, 3,000 s/f of retail and below-grade parking; and in July, Nauset completed 253 Walden St., where 27 residential units and 1,650 s/f of street level retail were built above below-grade parking on the former Masse Hardware site. 1699 Mass. Ave. was a former parking lot for the Changsho restaurant, whose owners, Lotus Harvard Enterprises LLC, converted the site to mixed-use residential in response to the housing demand. In the September Real-time Vacancy report, Boston Pads indicated that of the 5,658 apartments in their database, only 40 were currently vacant and available for immediate move-in, a real-time vacancy rate of just .71%

“The 1699 Mass. Ave. development provided an opportunity to transform our property into a vibrant, multi-use community that offers the City of Cambridge and neighborhood a more desirable and efficient use of space,” said Toby Seto, principal of Lotus Harvard Enterprises, LLC. 

Located near the Red Line stations in Harvard and Porter Sqs., 1699 Mass. Ave. was designed by Khalsa Design. 

The apartment building is a four-story, wood-frame structure over a steel podium slab, and consists of two studios, eight one-bedrooms, five two-bedrooms, and one three-bedroom units, with twenty spaces of below grade parking and bicycle storage, as well as a roof deck for residents. 

Two of the units are designated as affordable. The adjoining single-family home, located at 1701 Massachusetts Ave., features five bedrooms and 4.5 baths on the upper floors with an open concept kitchen and dining room on the first floor. The exterior facade is clad with a combination of brick, Arriscraft Smooth Stone with aluminum windows. Deb Cantrell of Compass is the exclusive leasing agent for the apartments and single family home, and Shanna Hall Franckum, also of Compass, represents the retail offerings. 

Nauset has been working extensively on Cambridge mixed-use, multifamily and commercial projects in recent years, and is currently constructing Park 77, which will provide 93 family-oriented units in the Alewife section of the city. Last November, Nauset completed Minco Corporation’s Point 262, a 55-unit luxury condominium project, built on the site of the former home to Lechmere Auto Wash Centers in E. Cambridge. Nauset continues to have a strong on-going presence throughout Cambridge with new developments underway such as 907 Main, a historic 67-key, boutique hotel featuring two new restaurants and a French bakery located in Central Square. 

“Our expertise building in tight urban infill locations in the City of Cambridge served us well on this project, as we are mindful of the residents, businesses and academic institutions in this bustling neighborhood and throughout the City,” said Nauset Construction president, Anthony Papantonis. “Safety is always of paramount concern, but minimizing disruptions to the neighborhood is equally important on projects like these.” 

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