Westwood, MA Lee Kennedy Co. has completed construction for the new 40,000 s/f headquarters of the Meketa Investment Group, a global investment, consulting and advisory firm with $1.4 trillion in assets under advisement. Located at 80 University Ave. at the entrance to University Station in Westwood, the two-story office space was fit out in a new core and shell base building constructed by National Development.
“The new office better reflects Meketa’s innovative, modern and collaborative culture, while offering our employees convenient access to public transportation and other amenities. It was particularly gratifying to use an all-union workforce for the buildout,” said Kellie Kane, managing principal and COO of Meketa.
Designed by Fusion Design Consultants, the new global headquarters features a waterfall staircase that connects the reception area in the front lobby to the distinctive café/coffee bar on the second floor. The main café also serves as an informal meeting space for employees to collaborate or socialize, and includes an outdoor patio. The office layout consists of private offices and workstations, but also includes conference and huddle rooms and open space designed to encourage impromptu exchanges of ideas. The private offices incorporate sliding glass doors to maximize space while allowing for more natural light to permeate the office area. Given the confidential nature of Meketa’s business, much attention was paid to acoustic privacy through design and construction, which incorporated double glazed glass for additional privacy in conference rooms and other key locations.
Owner’s project manager JLL brought the team on early during the base building construction process to help advise the builders of their fit-out plans as a way to reduce overall costs, such as leaving the stairwell area unfinished and the slab on grade open to accommodate underground electrical and plumbing. Due to the impact COVID-19 has had on the corporate office market, Meketa opted to set aside 5,000 s/f of the 40,000 s/f building to offer as temporary sublease space.
The team was able to quickly accommodate the change, giving Meketa flexibility while still hitting the targeted move-in date.
Although the pandemic delayed the start of the project due to the state-wide ban on construction, Lee Kennedy was able to hit the ground running on May 26th, the day Governor Baker lifted the ban. During the shutdown, Lee Kennedy developed extensive COVID-19 safety protocols, and recorded zero cases during the course of the buildout, allowing the project to proceed as scheduled.
Lee Kennedy Co. has worked extensively in the suburban Route 128 corridor in recent years, including Analog Devices’ global headquarters expansion in Wilmington; construction of the new NBCUniversal regional headquarters in Needham that brings four local television stations – NBC 10 Boston, NBC Sports Boston, Telemundo Boston and New England Cable News – under one roof; and the gut renovation and fit-out of the Shark Ninja headquarters in Needham.
“While Lee Kennedy is often thought of as a ‘Boston builder’, we’ve significantly increased our presence in the suburban market with high profile clients on projects of all types and sizes.,” said Lee Michael Kennedy, President & CEO of Lee Kennedy Co. “As traffic congestion and now COVID has firms considering suburban locations or satellite offices, we hope to continue to expand our scope along Route 128 and beyond.”