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Development

Avenu, a new Active Adult Community, featured in MetroWest Daily News

By Henry Schwan
hschwan@wickedlocal.com
Updated May 20, 2018 at 10:01 AM

Avenu at Natick is coming to the bustling Golden Triangle.

NATICK – It’s hard not to notice it when driving on Speen Street across from the Natick
Collection Mall. A new building is slowly making its way skyward in the spot where Sam’s Club once stood.
Avenu at Natick is coming, and when it’s done, it will include an apartment building for
residents 62 and older, and a hotel.  Newton-based National Development is developing the 9-acre parcel.
The potential for increased traffic is tied to the project. It will also have an impact on Natick’s
supply of affordable housing. “It’s a nice, little oasis,” Ted Tye said.
Tye is a managing partner at National Development. He said the 164-unit apartment building
should be finished next summer, and a 135-room Marriott Residence Inn a few months later.
A project of this scope is nothing new for National Development. It recently opened a similar
one in Chestnut Hill that replaced the Circle Cinemas.

Avenu at Natick joins an already bustling commercial, retail and residential scene known as the
“Golden Triangle.”
That’s a popular term for the busy district in Natick and Framingham that falls between Rte. 9,
Rte. 30, Speen Street and the Mass. Turnpike.
Besides Natick Collection, other properties within a stone’s throw of Avenu at Natick include
the Avalon apartment towers, Cloverleaf Apartments, Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn,
Cloverleaf Mall and the MathWorks expansion. Joshua Katzen, owner of Cloverleaf
Apartments, needs permits from the Natick Zoning Board of Appeals before he can build a
second apartment tower next to Cloverleaf.
Tye said his company met with the Natick Planning Board before getting permits to build
Avenu at Natick, and he didn’t hear a lot of concern about traffic.
″(Avenu at Natick) represents relatively low traffic use compared to what was there before,”
Tye said. “In peak hours, (Avenu at Natick) will not contribute a lot (of traffic).”
Of the 164 apartment units at Avenu at Natick, 10 percent, or 17 units, will be affordable,
according to Tye. Those who meet income-eligibility requirements can fill out an application,
and will be chosen by lottery. Tye said there is no local preference for Natick residents, but he
expects a significant number to apply for the 17 units, especially those downsizing from singlefamily
homes.

Roads around Avenu at Natick are a mix of town- and the state-owned. According to the state
Department of Transportation, the main entrance to Avenu at Natick on Superior Drive is
owned by the town. The state owns Rte. 9, its access ramps and parts of Speen Street. A DOT
spokeswoman said the state owns Speen Street between Natick Mall Road and Hartford
Avenue.
Jamie Errickson, Natick’s director of Economic and Community Development, said there’s not
much the town can do about state roads.
In an email to the Daily News, a state transportation official said Superior Drive will be paved
and pedestrian crosswalk flashers will be installed. The new sidewalk will become a multi-use
path for walking and biking. The path will connect the area near Natick Collection with the
Cochituate Rail Trail.
Tye said his company contributed 10 percent of the $60,000 cost to design a path along
Superior Drive to the MathWorks expansion. It was a condition for getting the permits to
build Avenu at Natick.
Traffic around Avenu at Natick can be a challenge, Errickson said, but Natick and Framingham
are working together to figure out ways to improve traffic flow from the Speen Street-Rte. 30
intersection to Exit 13 on the Mass. Pike. He called the area a bottleneck.
One Natick resident believes the town must be careful about how it manages traffic in the
Golden Triangle.
″(Traffic) is a multi-dimensional challenge,” Alan Grady said.
Grady is a founder of the West Natick Neighborhood Association. He lumped traffic in the
Golden Triangle into several categories – pedestrian, commuter, residential, retail and
business.
Understanding each category, and how they fit together, must be understood, Grady said,
before Natick allows more development in the busy Golden Triangle.

Avenu at Natick’s 17 affordable units are available to those making up to 80 percent of the area
median income (AMI). According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development, the 2016 area median income in Middlesex County was $98,100.
State law says all Massachusetts communities must have 10 percent of their housing stock
classified as affordable. If not, a developer could bypass certain local zoning regulations and
build a project larger than a community wants.
Natick’s affordable housing stock stands at 10.4 percent, Errickson said, but the town runs the
risk of not reaching the 10 percent threshold when the next U.S. Census is taken in 2020.
Errickson believes Natick faces a problem shared by many local communities. Families making
over 80 percent of the AMI, but less than 120 percent to 140 percent, have a hard time finding
affordable housing when it’s time to downsize from a single-family home.
As long as the economy is strong and property values continue to rise, Errickson said the
shortage of affordable housing for this middle-income bracket will continue.
Errickson said projects like Avenu at Natick, Avalon and Cloverleaf Apartments don’t solve
Natick’s affordable housing problem.

Tye said Avenu at Natick fills a housing need for those not only looking to downsize from
their single-family homes, but also desire a stimulating environment.
“A lot of (Natick) people fit into this demographic range,” Tye said. “They love the site. It’s
located near retail, and it’s a walkable area.”
Tye said there’s a lot of local enthusiasm for Avenu at Natick.
The 62+ apartments include 12,000 square feet of amenities. There’s a 16,000-square-foot,
landscaped courtyard. Other features include a pool, cabana, lounge and recreation area. A
private dining room, theater, spa, fitness center and yoga rooms round out the amenities.
The 9-acre grounds will include green space, a walking path around the perimeter, and
gardening area.
“It’s nice to go into town and see enthusiasm (for Avenu at Natick),” Tye said. “There’s no
opposition. (Avenu at Natick) will provide a good service to the community.”
Follow Henry Schwan on Twitter @henrymetrowest. He can be reached at hschwan@wickedlocal.com or
(508) 626-3964.

National Development breaks ground on Emery Flats in Woburn

National Development, in conjunction with its investment management affiliate Charles River Realty Investors, has broken ground on Emery Flats, a new 200-unit residential community at 200 Presidential Way in Woburn, MA. The multi-family development will consist of studios, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments in two buildings.

Amenities include a fitness center, roof top lounge, game space, co-working area, clubroom with full kitchen, and pool with a deck, outdoor grilling stations and a fire pit. The pet-friendly apartments will come with washer/dryers and individual heating/cooling controls. The site includes covered and surface parking spaces. Robust resident programming will reinforce the strong sense of community engagement prevalent in all National Development Communities.

Conveniently located with easy access to I-93 and MBTA Commuter Rail, and in the heart of a significant employment base, Emery Flats will bring long-awaited new apartment units to the MetroNorth area. Designed by Cube3 Studio and built by general contractor Cranshaw Construction, the project opening is planned for February 2019. The architecture will be clean and contemporary, with many units having balconies and wooded views.

National Development worked in close cooperation with the City of Woburn on the permitting and creative vision for Emery Flats, which completes a mixed-use master plan for the MetroNorth development including office, retail, hotel and residential space.

 

National Development Announces Plans for Boston’s First Co-living Community at Ink Block

National Development announced on November 17th, 2018, the seventh and final building at Ink Block in Boston’s South End. A letter of intent for the project has been filed with the Boston Planning and Development Authority. The proposed building, to be known as 7INK by Ollie, will be a 14 story iconic tower on Ink Block’s final building site at the corner of Herald and Albany Streets.

National Development has enlisted Ollie, the country’s leading co-living and micro-housing specialist, to assist in the development and operation of 7INK by Ollie’s 245 shared suites and micro-studios. Elkus Manfredi is the project architect.

7INK by Ollie is Boston’s first major co-living development. Blending modern day principles of communal living with micro-housing, co-living is an emerging trend that enriches the living experience through community engagement, allowing residents to cultivate meaningful relationships and experiences with neighbors and roommates. Hailed as an innovative market response to the high cost of living and the rise of non-traditional family households, co-living communities are experiencing rapid growth across the country.

“7INK by Ollie and the co-living program is the logical evolution of our innovative Ink Block brand,” stated Ted Tye, Managing Partner of National Development. “The built-in infrastructure of Whole Foods Market, our restaurant and fitness retailers, the soon to open AC Hotel by Marriott, and our new Underground at Ink Block art park make this a perfect location for co-living.”

Ollie Co-founder and CEO, Chris Bledsoe, commented, “We couldn’t be more excited to introduce co-living to Boston in partnership with National Development, one of Boston’s most innovative and progressive real estate companies. Ink Block has led the transformation of the South End into a premier live, work, play area.” We have been looking for the right location to bring co-living to Boston and Ink Block is it.” Ollie currently operates in New York and Pittsburgh, has several projects under development and is opening what will be the largest co-living community in the US in Long Island City in 2018.

Ink Block has been hailed as a “game changer” in Boston real estate. Once the location of the Boston Herald newspaper, the six-acre Ink Block site is now home to apartments, condominiums, a hotel, one of the country’s highest volume Whole Foods Markets, acclaimed restaurants, retailers and fitness studios. It has been the stimulus for other major developments in the now thriving former industrial area of the city known as the New York Streets.

National Development anticipates starting the project in late 2018. Planners have long envisioned a major building at the prominent corner location. “7INK by Ollie will complete the block design and make Ink Block more livable and walkable,” said Tye. “We envision this site as having very little dependence on cars and encouraging public transit and alternate transit modes.”

A phonetic wordplay on “all inclusive,” Ollie eliminates wasted space through its disruptive design philosophies, densifying units and providing residents with a curated living experience anchored by a core set of values: Inclusion, Discovery, Wellness and Sustainability, including a full range of services, unique community engagements and extraordinary shared amenity spaces. All units are furnished with transforming furniture and receive complimentary weekly cleaning with fresh linens and towels and a replenishment of bath amenities. The all-inclusive experience also provides residents with Wi-Fi, cable TV, a regular calendar of curated social activities, and access to all Ollie locations nationwide.

About Ollie Ollie is the leading micro-housing and coliving platform. In partnership with institutional real estate investors and developers, Ollie revolutionizes the living experience for urban renters through “all-inclusive coliving” that combines thoughtfully appointed furnished micro-studios and shared suites with extraordinary lifestyle-relevant services, abundant amenities, and unique community engagement activities. For more information, visit www.ollie.co.

About National Development

For over 30 years, National Development has been one of the most active real estate development firms in Massachusetts. Specializing in multi-family, commercial office, mixed-use, retail, industrial, hotel and senior housing projects, National Development and its affiliates have developed over 28 million square feet of space. National Development is also one of the region’s largest property management companies and currently manages over 9 million square feet of commercial space and 2,400 residential units. For more information, visit www.natdev.com or follow @nationaldevelop.

 

 

Contacts:          Kathy McMahon, National Development, kmcmahon@natdev.com, 617-559-5086                        Meghan Davey, Ollie, meghan@ollie.co, 646-518-2433

 

Constitution Center rebrands, repositions and lands major tenant

National Development is pleased to announce that the former Constitution Center will undergo a $20 million renovation to create a best-in-class creative workplace in a unique waterfront environment. The project, which has been renamed Constitution Wharf, is an 8-acre office property located in Charlestown directly on the Boston Harbor and situated across the North Washington Bridge from North Station.

Constitution Wharf will completely reimagine the waterfront office environment to highlight the building’s location on a pier directly next to the birth of the USS Constitution. The property enjoys excellent connectivity to downtown and the surrounding area via a 10 minute walk to North Station and easy vehicle access to I-93, I-90 and Route 1. National Development will begin construction in May 2017 on a new double height lobby, entryway, lounge, café and fitness area dedicated to the building. Landscape improvements will create an outdoor harbor side “living room” complete with a fire pit and media screen, and ample event space available for tenants to share and comingle. The repositioning will also include workspace improvements, covered bike storage, new signage and a public art component. Constitution Wharf will offer a rare opportunity for companies to have a high performance work environment in an urban waterfront setting with spectacular views of the Boston skyline and Boston Harbor.

In a testament to this new vision, shoes.com (formerly ShoeBuy), a leading e-commerce company recently acquired by Jet.com, has signed a long-term lease for 31,300 square feet with National Development at Constitution Wharf. The company’s headquarters will relocate to this new cutting edge location from Boston’s Financial District. Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) Executive Managing Director David Townsend and Senior Managing Director Tim Bianchi advised National Development in the transaction. John Butterworth and Nick Amarante of CBRE/New England represented shoes.com in the lease negotiations. Perkins & Will is providing the architectural services for the renovation.

“It’s a privilege to work with National Development on Constitution Wharf, and we credit the team for their hard work and vision for this project which attracted an exciting company like shoes.com,” said Townsend. “The property’s fantastic location along with its modern amenities will make Constitution Wharf a great place to build culture and to recruit the best talent.”

Constitution Wharf is a 180,000-square-foot office complex located on the waterfront adjacent to Constitution Marina. The project is within walking distance to several public transportation options, as well as a myriad of restaurants, coffee shops and nightlife. Constitution Wharf has ample on-site parking and also offers a dedicated shuttle service, on-site zip cars and a nearby Hubway station to further enhance commuter’s options.

Shoes.com is relocating its headquarters from 101 Arch Street in Boston’s Financial District to the second floor of One Constitution Wharf due to the company’s rapid growth and desire for unique workspace. National Development will be renovating the space to provide a customized open workspace designed to meet shoes.com needs. Shoes.com will take occupancy of its new headquarters in late summer 2017.

“We’re incredibly excited about the opportunity to grow our business and to foster an energetic company culture for shoes.com at Constitution Wharf,” said John Foristall, EVP & CFO of shoes.com. “The property’s redevelopment was very attractive to us and met our strict criteria to move our growing headquarters to a premiere and unique location. The custom open workspace on the waterfront will allow us to continue to modernize and transform how people shop for shoes and to attract top talent.”

Ink Block makes mark at former Herald HQ

February 17, 2015, Boston Herald — The Ink Block is the transformation of the 24-acre former Boston Herald building in the South End into a destination residential area, and now the first two apartment buildings in the complex have opened.

They join a 50,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market that had its debut last month, in a four-building complex that will have 315 apartments, 83 condos, cafes and restaurants. A second phase will include an adjacent boutique AC Hotel by Marriott as well as a sixth building with more residential units.

“We’re trying to create a community here that fits in with the rest of the South End, but has a design edge that reflects the area’s history, food, art and music,” said Ted Tye, managing partner of Newton’s Nation­al Development.

Each of the three Ink Block apartment buildings is designed to appeal to different renter demographics. The Euro-styled 1 Ink features a glass exterior with bump-outs and floor-to-ceiling windows, and its apartments have a sleek and sophisticated vibe. The metal and precast stone-clad 2 Ink has hip, more industrial-looking interiors geared toward millennial renters. 3 Ink, which opens next month, goes with a more traditional Boston look, with its brick exterior and warmer interiors with wood cabinets.

Rents in the three buildings range from $2,529 to $2,804 for studios, $3,234 to $4,304 for one bedrooms, $4,104 to $4,704 for two bedrooms and $5,404-$5,804 for three bedrooms. Garage parking costs $325 a month.

The connected 1 Ink and 2 Ink share a lobby with a 24/7 concierge, as well as lounge areas with Wi-Fi, a projection TV and workspace. The funky decor is inspired by the site’s news printing history, with wall coverings fashioned from thin strips of newspaper, pixelated wall displays and Ben-Day dot stenciling. Herald publisher Patrick J. Purcell has a minority interest in the Ink Block project.

We took a look at 1 Ink model Unit 411, a 753-square-foot one bedroom that’s renting for $3,800 a month. The stylish kitchen features white quartz countertops and white Thermofoil finished cabinets, along with stainless-steel GE appliances and a quartz-topped island that seats three.

The open dining/living area has a built-in desk and floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic city views, as does the carpeted bedroom. The bathroom has porcelain tile floors and a white-tiled shower and there’s a closet that holds a stacked Bosch washer and dryer.

Stenciled door numbers, jelly-jar lights and pop art in the hallways give 2 Ink a funky vibe. Unit 432, a 591-square-foot studio at 2 Ink, rents for $2,529 and has a divider between the living room and bedroom. The kitchen has black granite counters and mostly black cabinets with white subway tile backsplash. This unit also has a tile bath and washer/dryer, plus a large bedroom closet and additional storage space.

Property manager Jessica Ryan says lot of young professionals are renting the 315 Ink Block apartments, which are 25 percent leased. The complex is offering one month of free rent and a “look and lease” promotion that gives an additional $1,500 off if a lease is signed within 24 hours of touring an apartment.

“People renting Ink Block are looking for a lifestyle, not just a well-designed apartment,” Ryan said. “It’s literally one-stop shopping here.”

Dana-Farber moves into 155,000 sf at Longwood Center

January 22, 2015 – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is expanding its research footprint, occupying portions of five floors at Longwood Center, 360 Longwood Avenue, beginning later this month.

The new facility will be home to Dana-Farber’s chemical biology, structural biology and proteomics programs, as well as the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science. A significant portion of Dana-Farber’s basic discovery research will be conducted there, as will a large component of the Experimental Therapeutics program with a focus on translational research in lung cancer.

The laboratories in Longwood Center were specifically designed with open spaces and are organized by neighborhoods to foster collaboration, creativity and productivity while optimizing natural light and views and operational efficiency.

“Longwood Center provides Dana-Farber with an unprecedented opportunity to reorganize our campus to accelerate the application of basic discovery and translational science into treatments that can improve the lives of cancer patients and families,” said Barrett Rollins, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer at Dana-Farber. “We will use this space to expand our chemical biology programs, which are the cornerstone of our new cancer therapeutics initiatives.”

Dana-Farber is the major tenant in Longwood Center, occupying 155,000 square feet with a 15-year lease including an option to renew. The building is owned jointly by Clarion, Alexandria and National Development.

National Development purchases The Green District

Allston sale highlights hot city housing market
By Casey Ross
Globe Staff September 17, 2014

The Mount Vernon Co., which developed the Green District over the past three years, will retain five of the buildings.

In the latest measure of Boston’s white hot real estate market, a cluster of apartment buildings in Allston is being sold for one of the highest prices ever for a multifamily property in the city.

Three buildings in the Green District off Commonwealth Avenue are being purchased by National Development of Newton for nearly $150 million. The seller is The Mount Vernon Co., a Boston developer that built the complex over the last several years.

The deal, which has not yet closed, underscores surging demand for large apartment buildings in Boston, where a combination of rapid population growth and low vacancy is driving rents to record highs.

“We’re seeing a high level of demand for most of the assets on the market right now,” said Chris Sower, managing director of Boston Realty Advisors, which marketed the Green District buildings. He said more than 175 parties expressed interest in the property, including pension funds, national real estate firms, and international investors.

The Green District, so-named for its energy-saving design features, includes eight buildings near the border of Allston and Brookline. National Development is buying three buildings containing 283 apartments and 275 parking spaces. The sale price works out to about $520,000 per unit, among the highest amounts ever paid for an apartment complex in Boston.

The record price was set in 2010 by the sale of Garrison Square, a 160-unit complex in the Back Bay that sold for $612,500 a unit.

Real estate specialists said apartment properties are fetching high prices because they are seen as offering stronger returns than stocks and other investments. The rising demand is also fueling rapid development activity, with large rental complexes under construction in neighborhoods across the city.

“There is an overwhelming amount of capital looking at multifamily assets, especially in Boston,” said Travis D’Amato, a senior vice president for the real estate firm JLL. “We’re one of the top three markets in the country right now.”

National Development has been among the most active developers of apartments in recent years. The firm previously developed the Station Landing complex in Medford and is building the Ink Block residential and retail complex on the former Boston Herald property in the South End.

Tom Alperin, president of National Development, said the company sees a big opportunity in the Green District, situated along a transit line in a neighborhood that is benefiting from an influx of new stores, restaurants, and other attractions.

“We think this part of the city has a lot of potential,” Alperin said. “It’s going to be difficult for anyone to replicate this kind of product, with plus or minus 300 units, in this environment.”

The Mount Vernon Co., which developed the Green District over the past three years, will retain five of the buildings. The company’s founder, Bruce A. Percelay, said the complex helped to transform a corner of Allston that has not seen significant real estate investment in decades.

“We are especially proud of being able to make a lasting contribution to a part of the city that has not seen a new large-scale apartment project in over 50 years,” Percelay said.

One-bedroom apartments in the complex rent for about $2,100 a month, a significant discount from downtown Boston, where many newly built units are offered for twice that amount.

Alperin said National Development is buying the complex with an institutional investment partner whom he declined to identify. While the new owners see the potential for rent growth, he said, they do not expect to dramatically raise rents in the near term.

“This is not the kind of thing where we’re buying an older project and we’re going significantly raise the rents,” he said. “This is a long-term investment for us.”
Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.

A Lost Neighborhood Rises Once Again

The Ink Block mixed-use project will bring condos, apartments, and a new Whole Foods to the New York Streets area.

The developer of the Sepia condominium building celebrated its groundbreaking earlier today. The Sepia is part of the Ink Block mixed-use project currently under construction between Chinatown and the South End.

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