Construction has now passed 50% completion.
Exterior work on the Western Avenue mid-rises is nearly finished, and construction activity is shifting towards building out the interior of the mid-rises in time for winter. Framing of the C-block townhomes is nearly complete. A-block townhome framing continues apace, and the E2 mid-rise is rising along Telford Street. Window installation, mechanical-electrical-plumbing work, spray-foam, and roofing are also proceeding on the townhomes, beginning with C block. New roads inside the site are paved. Work on the land that will be a park along Justinian Way has begun. Standing in the middle of the site, Charlesview is beginning to really look like an extension of the older Brighton neighborhood to the south and west.
Thanks to the incredible work by JM-A and their subcontractors, with a little assist from a mild winter in 2012, this milestone is being reached well in advance of initial projections. As we turn towards another winter, we are fortunate that so much exterior work has already been completed on the site. We are also focused on beginning the move-in process, working with residents of the existing Charlesview site in Barry’s Corner to be ready to move by late Spring / early Summer. Potential retail tenants are beginning to look at the spaces along Western Avenue. The community center space is taking shape as well with plans for a computer center, classrooms, and community meeting space proceeding. The next half of construction will be very exciting as this new community solidifies.
Sandy tore off some newly installed shingles from the roofs of townhomes C1 and C2
Hurricane Sandy brought massive destruction to Haiti and the Caribbean and unprecedented damage to New York, New Jersey, and much of the rest of the east coast. But closer to home, we were also worried how the Charlesview construction site could weather the storm.
The quality work and preparation by our contractors, along with some good luck, helped Charlesview through with just some minor setbacks.
Sandy only set the construction schedule back by about 2 days as masons, carpenters, roofers, and other trades were unable to work on account of the storm. The damage Sandy dealt to New York may cause further delays as a window delivery was expected from a manufacturer in Flushing, Queens.
Damage to the site was limited to:
- 2 pieces of decking torn from stair tower on E2
- Minor water damage to D1 mid-rise
- Flooding in garage because storm drains have yet to be tied into city system
- Some newly installed shingles on C1 and C2 roofs lost and damaged
TCB Construction Manager Doug Tierney inspecting pooled water on site
Since this storm hit before the site’s storm water management system was tied into the city system and complete and before the buildings have been sealed from the elements, we got very lucky that damage at Charlesview was limited. We can worry instead about Haiti, New York, New Jersey and others that took a direct hit from Sandy.
MassHousing – our lender – featured Charlesview with a short video on its blog. The video features an update on construction, chats with JM-A Construction Manager John Viola and other construction workers, and a brief financial overview. It’s worth a watch for the virtual tour of the job site alone.
Some progress images from around the site on a rainy October Wednesday:
When seen from above, every building foundation (22) is complete, with vertical construction underway on eight buildings that contain well over half of the development’s apartments. Townhouse framing progresses rapidly, with two buildings already under roof.
A midrise at Western Ave & Litchfield St is furthest along, with exterior windows, brick and stone in place. Future retail bays can be seen at street level.
Inside the buildings, drywall and insulation now clearly show the ample light and living areas in the apartment units.
Students from HBS gathered across from the construction site
Yesterday, Harvard Business School students visited the new Charlesview construction site as part of their Real Property course taught by Housing expert Arthur Segel. The students enjoyed a tour of the construction site, learned about the site plan and urban planning principles shaping the development, heard the story of how the deal came about, and walked through the basics of the development’s finances.
The mixed-finance, mixed-income, mixed-use development taking shape at Charlesview is in many ways more complex than a typical real estate development. It provided a fantastic opportunity for bright young leaders at the global institution to engage with and learn from this exciting development taking place right in their own neighborhood.
We hope to have next year’s class back to see a finished rental development and a new phase of townhomes under construction.
Coming down Western Ave, the finished appearance of the Western Ave face of the new Charlesview is taking shape. On D1, masonry and many of the windows are in place. On the larger E1 building, sheathing and waterproofing is on, showing the building’s pattern of windows and bays. The team is focusing on the uses and occupants of the retail and community spaces on the ground floor. Click any image to enlarge.
Completed brick portion of the D1 building, with metal panel and glazing to come
Looking south from Western down the future Antwerp St
Close view of D1 elevations
D1 building from down Western Ave
Behind the building facades, the interiors of the two midrise buildings are rapidly progressing. Unit framing, drywall, tubs and mechanical/electrical/plumbing systems are all in progress.
Each day, over 150 laborers, carpenters, electricians, sheet metal workers, masons, roofers, pipefitters and other tradespeople go to work building the new Charlesview and transforming Western Ave into the new vibrant, mixed use heart of North Brighton. On behalf of the The Community Builders, Inc., Charlesview, Inc. and our redevelopment partners, we wish them – and you - and happy, safe and restful Labor Day weekend.