Nauset Construction begins work on mixed-use project in Central Sq.

April 06, 2018 - Owners Developers & Managers

Cambridge, MA Construction is now underway for a mixed-use project that will transform an underutilized parking lot in Central Sq. into a transit-oriented development that will provide 46 apartments. Located at Ten Essex St. (at the corner of Mass. Ave.), the project is being built by Nauset Construction for owner 3MJ Realty. The complex will also include 3,000 s/f of first floor retail space, a welcoming entry plaza, planted green roof areas, outdoor terraces, and below-grade resident parking. The Ten Essex Street development is convenient without a car, earning a walk score of 97 and bike score of 99 as ranked by walkscore.com.  

“From an urban design standpoint, Ten Essex St. will be a key component in continuing the revitalization of Central Sq.,” said Morris Naggar, principal of 3MJ Realty. “It combines easy access to public transportation with green living, and will add much needed housing units to the Cambridge apartment inventory.” 

Located on the Central Sq. Red Line, the project was designed by Golden Architects (project architect), Perkins Eastman and Mark Boyes-Watson Architects, and is being constructed to a LEED Silver standard. The building will be a five-story wood-frame structure over a steel podium slab on deck with below grade parking for 23 vehicles, featuring a natural stone veneer exterior facade. The residential portion will consist of 46 apartments – including 3 studios, 10 one-bedrooms, 19 two-bedrooms, and 14 three-bedrooms, with five of the apartments designated as affordable. Resident amenities will include a common rooftop patio and a second-floor deck, bike storage, a green roof terrace and balconies in several of the units. Café Nero and H Mart, an Asian-inspired supermarket company, will anchor the ground floor of the overall block. 

Construction in a tight urban infill site is not without its challenges, as the new building is being constructed just inches from the rear of the occupied five-story retail/office building located at 579-605 Mass. Ave. The existing building was reinforced with needle shoring while crews excavated the foundation for the new building, which was five feet deeper than the adjacent building. The project has also involved extensive coordination with the city. 

“Our vast experience building on tight urban infill sites is serving us well on this project,” said Nauset Construction president Anthony Papantonis, whose firm previously converted the Holmes Building in Central Sq. from offices to apartments in 2013 and is working on multiple mixed-use and multifamily projects in the city. “Another challenge for this project is working in a highly trafficked area. As with all of our projects, safety is paramount, but we also had the additional concern of ensuring that our demo and construction efforts were not disruptive to the retailers, their customers and neighbors.”

Construction is anticipated to be completed in January of 2019.

3MJ Realty and the Naggar family have been developing real estate for 50 years. They are experienced owners and operators of real estate properties in the Boston and Cambridge market, managing a portfolio containing 250,000 s/f. With particular expertise in the retail and residential market and a specific focus on strong retail locations, the properties occupy primary positioning within neighborhood marketplaces. The Naggar family invests substantially in each of their properties to make them best-in-class in their immediate neighborhood and to position the properties for long-term success via strong tenancy. 

Golden Architects represents the emerging paradigm in architecture: Flexible, versatile, experienced, responsive, proactive, and productive. Their projects range from $250,000 to $50 million in construction cost, and their practice includes new construction, renovation, commercial, tenant fit-out, academic, laboratory, hospitality and multi-family residential.

Nauset Construction is a construction management and design-build firm run by industry veterans with a shared goal of providing an unparalleled positive client experience. Nauset excels at complex projects on challenging sites with aggressive time and budget requirements - often in sensitive, occupied and operational environments. Proactive decisions are made based on years of proven experience while orchestrating project-team cooperation and collaboration to inherent unforeseen challenges. Taking a collaborative approach throughout the project cycle, Nauset provides creative ideas and alternative methods that reduce cost and increase value to its clients, while creating lasting relationships. 

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