National Development » 2019

Yearly Archives: 2019

National Development combines with Charles River upon close of $400M funding round

Charles River Realty Investors announced that it has closed its $400 million Fund 4.  In conjunction with the closing of the fund, the firm announced that it was combining with National Development to form a seamless, vertically-integrated real estate investment, development, construction and operating company.

Since Charles River’s formation in 2006 as the investment management platform of National Development, the firms have committed over $4 billion in real estate investments, with a primary focus on creating value through urban and mixed-use development, redevelopment and renovation/repositioning, and produced top-tier returns for its investors.

The combined firm will be known as National Development, with Brian Kavoogian becoming a Managing Partner and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.  He will continue to have a primary focus on the firm’s new investment activity.  Going forward, National Development plans no changes in its approach and strategy, with a focus on creating great places and providing its investors with attractive risk adjusted returns.

“Combining the firms is a natural extension of our long-term relationship and synergies,” said Kavoogian.  “This will strengthen our platform and will be seamless for our investors and partners.”

BBJ calls out Ink Block as “shining example” of placemaking and live-work-play mixed-use development

Developers see a ‘perfect opportunity’ in Boston’s South End 

By Catherine Carlock
– Real Estate Editor, Boston Business Journal

Sep 27, 2019, 5:00am EDT

There’s no local development more often cited as an example of the real estate concept of “placemaking” than Ink Block in Boston’s South End. The six-building complex that opened about five years ago and was built by National Development, features residences, an AC Hotel by Marriott, a Whole Foods grocery store, among other things, and is often held up as a shining example of the “live-work-play” mixed-use development archetype around which developers — and development financing — are clamoring.

Ink Block stands a stone’s throw from Boston’s I-90/I-93 interchange, a site long been considered difficult, if not impossible, to develop. In many ways, Ink Block is considered a catalyst for new development in a rapidly changing, and gentrifying, neighborhood — one that’s seen an infusion of luxury housing and is set to see even more in the coming years. Projects including 345 Harrison — a 585-unit residential project spanning full city block complete with rooftop pool — have recently wrapped up, while more than 700 are currently under construction.

Much of the construction was prompted by a 2012 study published by city planning staffers, called the Harrison-Albany Corridor Strategic Plan, said David Chattman, vice president with Related Beal in Boston. The plan — and its subsequent rezoning — prompted a wave of investment and development, Chattman said.

“We really see it as kind of the perfect opportunity, and I think we’re not alone in that,” Chattman said. “You get the authenticity and the cultural diversity of the South End, but kind of in this corridor, that sits at the nexus of so much.”

National Development closes on 156-unit Marlborough apartment complex

On August 22nd, National Development closed on the purchase of Avalon Orchards in Marlborough, MA.  Built in 2002, the 156-unit apartment complex, which will be renamed Orchard Apartments, is located on nearly 23-acres on Boston Post Road.

Orchard Apartments consists of twelve, two- and three-story residential buildings, four detached garage structures containing 22 garage bays and a separate, recently renovated, New England-style amenity and leasing clubhouse with fitness center and pool.  All apartments are direct entry homes, and second floor homes offer vaulted ceilings and an additional loft space. There are 69 one-bedroom units and 87 two-bedroom units.

National Development will begin updates to the property, beginning with phased unit renovations and select improvements to landscaping and amenity areas.

Underground at Ink Block Murals Featured in Boston Globe Cover Story on Public Art

by Murray Whyte, Boston Globe, July 27, 2019

“Underground at Ink Block,” in the South End, may not make any grand political statement — it’s a growing collection of street art under I-93 — but just by being here, in an uncared-for slice of the city, it does. It shows the power of site-specific sensitivity, an old problem exploded with new thinking. The site was leased by National Development Group from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to use as a parking lot.

Victor and Liza Quinonez’s idea for the Underground Ink Block was “a street museum that we can curate over the years, and give people here an opportunity to shine,” Victor Quinonez said.
Victor and Liza Quinonez

National rebuilt the dead space into a network of parks and trees, but it still felt barren. Then in 2017, National invited Victor and Liza Quinonez, who run the creative agency Street Theory, to enliven it. Their idea, “a street museum that we can curate over the years, and give people here an opportunity to shine,” said Victor, took off. Now it’s a showcase for street art that puts Boston’s best alongside the best in the world.

Judging by the thousands who turned out one weekend last month for the annual street festival there, it’s working. On a hot Saturday, they saw artists, including Quinonez, who went to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and goes by Marka27, make a towering portrait of a young woman in fuschia and turquoise, running the full height of a double-decker support column….” to read full article, click here


ND plans ‘transformative’ mixed-use development on 10 acres in South Boston


by Catherine Carlock

Lower Newton Falls-based real-estate firm National Development is in the early stages of planning a large-scale mixed-use project on at least 10 acres in South Boston located between the Broadway and Andrew MBTA stations.

That area, primarily a stretch between Dorchester Avenue and Old Colony Avenue, is currently home to low-rise industrial and retail buildings and is a sector that the city has identified as able to handle much denser development.

National Development has spent more than $25 million since August to acquire several parcels just south of the Old Colony/Dot Ave. split, including spending $12.8 million this week to acquire 285 Dorchester Ave., according to Suffolk County deeds. While there are no formal, concrete development plans yet, the team has visited both the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) and neighborhood groups including the West Broadway Neighborhood Association for preliminary talks. The project could take up to 15 years, if not longer, to build out.

“We look forward to working closely with the community and the City to create a vision for a dynamic transit-oriented neighborhood that aligns with the needs and growth of South Boston and beyond,” Edward Marsteiner II, partner and director of acquisitions at National Development, said in a statement.

The stretch of Dorchester Avenue between the Broadway and Andrew MBTA stations has been an area of heightened focus for potential real-estate development since 2015, when the city’s development agency launched its PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Ave. process. The area, given its proximity to the Red Line, “presented a unique opportunity to craft a framework for an area that is evolving with short and long term investments that support open space, affordable housing, commercial and retail activity, and public realm investments,” the BPDA said in a statement.

The BPDA published PLAN: South Boston Dorchester Ave., often called “PLAN: Dot Ave.,” in late 2016. The planning document creates “predictable conditions for future mixed-use development with many of the benefits and amenities that the community identified during the public process,” the BPDA says.

Should National Development adhere to guidelines laid out in PLAN: Dot Ave., its project has the potential to be “transformative,” said Derek Pajaczkowski, co-chair of the West Broadway Neighborhood Association.

“It’s at the neighborhood scale,” Pajaczkowski said. “Ink Block would be a block in this particular project.”

Ink Block is National Development’s nearby multi-building retail and residential mixed-use project, which houses condominiums, apartments, restaurants, a Whole Foods grocery store and an AC Hotel by Marriott, with a co-living building forthcoming.

The firm is known for large-scale mixed-use projects, having also developed the 2.1 million-square-foot University Station in Westwood and the 1.3 million-square-foot The District in Burlington, among others.

Without any specific development plan yet in place, National Development says it’s difficult to determine how much new development its 10-acre South Boston site could hold. However, the site’s total size is roughly double that of Washington Village, a $400 million mixed-use project on five acres on Damrell Street, Old Colony Avenue and Dorchester Street closer to the Andrew MBTA station. Core Investments and Samuels & Associates are developing Washington Village, which will feature eight buildings ranging in height from three to 21 stories, with 656 housing units and 100,000 square feet of retail.

Across the street from Washington Village at 267 Old Colony Ave., a developer has proposed a 64-unit residential complex. And Dorchester developer Douglas George has proposed building 120 housing units and 5,000 square feet of commercial space at 10 Damrell St.

The Dot Ave. plan outlines height zones that range from 70 feet for buildings closer to residential homes, up to 200 feet and 200+ feet as development moves closer to a nearby train tracks. The plan lays out a conceptual buildout for the entire study area, which says there’s a potential for between 12 million and 16 million square feet of residential, commercial and retail/cultural use, as well as between eight and 12 acres of open space and 30-50 acres of roads and sidewalks by 2030.