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Nauset Underway Transforming Central Square With Mixed-Use Development

March 13, 2018 - By The Real Reporter
Ten Essex Street, Cambridge MA

Cambridge – Construction is now underway for a mixed-use project that will transform an underutilized parking lot in the heart of Central Square into a transit-oriented development that will provide 46 apartments to supply-constrained Cambridge. Located at Ten Essex St. (at the corner of Mass. Ave.), the project is being built by Needham-based Nauset Construction for owner 3MJ Realty. The complex will also include 3,000 SF 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 incredibly 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 Street will be a key component in continuing the revitalization of Central Square,” said Morris M. 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.” Naggar describes Ten Essex as living at the intersection of work and play™.

Located directly on the Central Square Red Line, the project was designed by Golden Architects of Quincy (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 Massachusetts 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 of Cambridge.

“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 Square from offices to apartments in 2013 and is working on multiple mixed-use and multifamily projects in Cambridge. “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.