“Creating A Vibrant Mixed-Use Development In Quincy” – Jonathan Miller’s Article in Banker & Tradesman

Jonathan Miller

JONATHAN MILLER’S ARTICLE IN BANKER & TRADESMAN

With the acceptance of Quincy’s Urban Revitalization and Development Plan (URDP) and changes to the city’s zoning laws, transforming the city’s downtown into a place where people want to live, work, eat and shop is a top priority for city officials.

Considered among the largest urban revitalization efforts in Massachusetts, the city is eyeing more than 50 acres of mixed-use development in the heart of one of America’s most historic cities.

LBC Partners of Boston has been investing in Quincy since 2014, with a focus on developing parcels along Hancock Street, Cottage Avenue and Parking Way. As the city’s designated redeveloper for the contiguous properties on Hancock Street, LBC Boston is working within the URDP, which establishes design guidelines for new development and emphasizes the creation of a vibrant downtown.

Earlier this year, LBC Boston began work at 1500 Hancock St. on a new mixed-use development called Nova Residences, a cornerstone project that wraps around the intersection of Hancock Street and Cottage Avenue. The 153,000-square-foot development provides continuity to this commercial corridor, as well as connectivity to other development parcels and a municipal parking garage planned for the lot behind the building.

The project includes 15,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space supporting 171 apartments above. A large glass atrium will connect the apartment building, Hancock Street and the parking garage. The atrium will provide an all-weather space with seating, art and 24-hour access to parking and other developments. An al fresco patio for the restaurant, as well as extended sidewalks and seating areas, will enhance the streetscape.

Building Materials Blend Old And New

Preserving the city’s heritage while adding modern upgrades is a critical focus for the URDP. The project architect, SN Consulting Group, is incorporating a mix of traditional and contemporary design features to blend old with new. Precast concrete and brick materials resembling Quincy’s existing historic exteriors will be used for the commercial space. Floor-to-ceiling glass used for storefronts and the atrium modernize the retail and public spaces.

LBC Boston’s collaboration with city officials on the public atrium exemplifies how the URDP is advancing Quincy’s downtown revitalization efforts. In addition to providing a unique amenity for the building, the atrium will provide easier access to parking and the nearby Red Line station. In exchange for a 10,196-square-foot portion of the parking lot behind the building, LBC Boston has given the city two pieces of land on the property totaling 5,657 square feet which will allow for the construction of the Atrium, relocation of an old existing drainage channel and wider sidewalks per the URDP. Additionally, LBC Boston is paying for the design of the new atrium, which the city will own.

LBC Boston has demolished the entire 1500 block and is working closely with its general contractor D.F. Pray to tackle major infrastructure work relocating and reconstructing a portion of the old Quincy Town Brook that sits directly below where the new Atrium will be located. Moving the drainage channel is expected to take five to six months to complete, leaving only 19 months to finish the project by the expected completion date of spring 2019. Additional challenges include installing structural footings along the culvert line and working within a tight footprint on a busy street. The project team is working closely with the department of public works and transportation engineers to minimize traffic impacts and develop a construction management plan that makes use of surrounding access ways and the existing parking lot for deliveries and staging.

As the demand for urban living continues to grow, the URDP has given Quincy the power to design its future. With the right redevelopment framework, public officials and private entities can set a strategic vision, maximize collaboration and use innovative approaches to turn urban renewal projects into reality.

Jonathan Miller is vice president of development and acquisitions at LBC Boston.

 

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PDF: LBC_Article in BankerAndTradesman.com