Mayor Charles C. Kokoros is pleased to share with the community that the Town of Braintree is partnering with WinnDevelopment and Arch Communities to redevelop the former Braintree Electric Light Department (BELD) site at 44 Allen Street into a residential community with public access to the waterfront property including the proposed extension to the Monatiquot Riverwalk.
The proposed development would create housing by preserving and renovating the former BELD site and constructing a new building on the site. It also would restore a wetland habitat along the eastern portion of the site; open up more public access to the waterfront along Allen Street by creating 54,000 square feet of open space on the property. In addition, the project would facilitate the Town’s plans to extend the Monatiquot Riverwalk by building a 20-foot-wide wood walkway to link Allen Street on the east to the Starling Boat Company on the west.
“The redevelopment of this property has been in the works for years and has been vacant since November of 1996,” said Mayor Kokoros. I am happy WinnDevelopment and Arch Communities have come up with a proposal to reimagine this property and provide a benefit for our town and our small business community in The Landing.”
Homes will be located in the renovated Switch House and there will be residential units located inside the newly constructed building. Parking for the residential units will be located below the buildings. Residential units will be distributed in a manner designed to preserve views for the Allen Street homes.
Efforts will be made to preserve the facade elements of the Administration Building and materials from the Pipe Shop, which will be removed due to its location in the flood plain. The Screen Shop will be converted to a small-scale commercial structure to serve as an anchor for the Riverwalk.
Total construction costs for the project are estimated to be $15.4 million. The developers anticipate closing financing for the project by the end of 2022, with construction starting construction in early 2023. The project is expected to generate approximately 152 jobs and $12 million of economic activity.
WinnDevelopment of Boston and Arch Communities of Needham will serve as co-developers. Gamble Associates of Cambridge, which collaborated with the Town of Braintree's Department of Community Development on an impact study and community visioning effort for the site, will serve as architect.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to celebrate Braintree's industrial and shipbuilding history and look forward to working with the community to create a publicly accessible waterfront and transform existing historic buildings into new housing with significant new open space,” said WinnDevelopment President and Managing Partner Larry Curtis. “We respect and appreciate the extensive community planning process that has led to this point. Those principles will guide us as we finalize the development plan for this historic property.”
WinnDevelopment, the development arm of Boston-based WinnCompanies, has completed more than three dozen historic adaptive reuse projects in five states and the District of Columbia. The company has won more awards for transforming vacant schools, mills and other historic buildings into residential communities than any other developer in the United States.
“We’re thrilled to be working with the Mayor Kokoros and Town of Braintree to transform the underutilized Allen Street property into a vibrant, mixed-income community,” said Arch Communities Principal Richard Relich. “The preservation and the adaptive reuse of the Switch House, coupled with creative new construction housing, follows the vision set forth by the Town after years of thoughtful planning.”