Mayor, Developers Unveil Three Major Downtown Developments

Quincy developer Peter O’Connell, who has developed landmark local projects such as Marina Bay and Quarry Hills, has proposed to build a 122-unit, 15-story luxury high rise in the Hancock Parking Lot. Rendering courtesy Ross Design Construction/John R. Perry Architects

Quincy developer Peter O’Connell, who has developed landmark local projects such as Marina Bay and Quarry Hills, has proposed to build a 122-unit, 15-story luxury high rise in the Hancock Parking Lot. Rendering courtesy Ross Design Construction/John R. Perry Architects

Three developers (from left) Alex Matov, Peter O'Connell and Sean Galvin joined Mayor Thomas Koch Tuesday in unveiling plans for three major developments in Quincy Center. The trio projects that have a combined dollar figure of $100 call for a 15-story residential tower, a hotel, and a luxury condominium building. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Three developers (from left) Alex Matov, Peter O’Connell and Sean Galvin joined Mayor Thomas Koch Tuesday in unveiling plans for three major developments in Quincy Center. The trio of projects that have a combined dollar figure of $100 million in private investment call for a 15-story residential tower, a hotel, and a luxury condominium building. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth

Mayor Thomas Koch joined with three developers Tuesday to unveil  a proposed 15-story residential tower, a hotel, and a luxury condominium building that proponents said would anchor the next step of Quincy Center redevelopment.

Developers Peter O’Connell of Quincy, Alex Matov of LBC Boston and Quincy native Sean Galvin of Galvcon Development detailed their mixed-use projects at a news conference today in the Mayor’s office. Combined, the projects will total in the range of $100 million in private investment.

“This is a tremendously important step forward for the future of Quincy Center,” said Mayor Koch “We have been working for some time on creating the opportunity to bring this kind of private investment to the heart of Quincy Center, and it’s going to happen. The time is now, and I’m thrilled that these developers have shown such great commitment to our future.”

  • O’Connell, who has developed landmark local projects such as Marina Bay and Quarry Hills, will build a 122-unit, 15-story luxury high rise in the Hancock Parking Lot;
  • LBC Boston, which has spent more than $23 million acquiring property around Quincy Center over the last year, will build a 116-room hotel at 1500 Hancock Street, the block beginning at the corner of Cottage Avenue.
  • Galvcon Development, a long-time Quincy developer of high-end residential properties, will build 48 luxury condominium units on the site once home to Woolworth’s at the intersection of Hancock Street and Cliveden Street.

The Mayor also announced that this phase of development will include the construction of a parking garage in the Hancock Lot. The design and total number of spaces is being engineered now. Based on the design of the garage, remaining property in the Hancock Lot will be offered to additional developers in the form of a Request For Proposals.

He said the City’s overall strategy for the downtown has remained unchanged, asserting that any infrastructure investment will be directly tied to new revenue generated by the private development.

“We’ve said from Day One, we’ve held to it, and we’re going to continue to hold to it – the downtown will pay for itself,” he said.

The O’Connell development will also require a land agreement with O’Connell, which will include an extensive public approval process when presented to the City Council.  That agreement is slated to take shape in coming months.

The proposals comes as construction for the first step of downtown redevelopment, Quincy Mutual’s West of Chestnut development, is getting underway. That plan, being developed by Gate Residential, calls for a $100 million investment and 200 units of luxury housing split into two phases.

This is a developing story. More coverage in The Quincy Sun’s April 9th edition out on Wednesday.

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Sheriff Launches Program To Curb Drug Abuse

Norfolk County Sheriff Michael G. Bellotti has begun a new program to help inmates stay clean and sober after their release from jail.

The program involves the inmates being injected with the pharmaceutical drug, Vivitrol, which blocks the brain’s receptors to opiate drugs and alcohol, preventing an abuser from feeling their effects.

“During their incarceration, drug abusers go through detox. Many are clean and sober for the first time in many years. They feel healthy again while they are with us,” Sheriff Bellotti said. “The object of this program is to keep them from backsliding when they wrap up their sentences and are released back into the community. That is when they are most vulnerable. That is when the temptation is greatest.”

If an inmate agrees to participate in the program, he receives a Vivitrol injection shortly before his release back into the community. Vivitrol blocks the intoxicating effects of opiate drugs such as heroin and Oxycontin. The inmate must also agree to attend counseling sessions to support the treatment.

The injection last for four weeks, after which he can receive another dose of Vivitrol.

“We understand this is not going to end the scourge of drug addiction, but other agencies have had success with this program, and we believe it can be positive force,” Sheriff Bellotti said. “If it works as we hope, it will keep many inmates from reoffending and therefore, stop the revolving door cycle of crime. The whole point of this is to make our communities safer.”

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‘Help For Energy Hogs’ Launches In Quincy

The city of Quincy, in collaboration with National Grid and the award-winning nonprofit HEET, has launched the Help for Energy Hogs program to assist nonprofit organizations –such as preschools and community centers– lower their energy bills and fossil fuel use through upgrading outdated building equipment such as boilers.

“Many of our local nonprofits struggle with aging, inefficient energy systems and high energy bills and Help for Hogs can make a big difference in helping these organizations modernize their energy systems and save money through addressing big ticket items like outdated heating and cooling equipment,” Mayor Thomas Koch said.

The partnership will offer local organizations a unique opportunity to get major energy efficiency work completed at no up-front costs.  The work will be financed through an energy efficiency developer that recoups their investment through the energy-bill savings.  After the investment is paid off, the nonprofit can enjoy the full reductions on their energy bill.

HEET selected RENEW Energy Partners as the participating energy efficiency developer through a competitive review process.  RENEW will pay for the upgrades, as well as own, insure and maintain any measures that they install.

The upgrades would include at least $35,000 worth of work that could include a new heating system, an oil-to-gas conversion, heating systems controls, combined heat and power systems, building insulation, lighting, or other conservation measures.

To participate, Quincy-based nonprofits need to own and occupy the building. At a minimum, organizations should have an annual energy bills (heating + electricity) totaling over $15,000 and a high energy-use per square foot.  Organizations will also need to demonstrate financial stability, be willing to participate in WegoWise (an online energy monitoring site that is free through the program) and provide volunteer support to tell local small businesses –such as convenience store and laundromats– about rebates and free energy-efficiency services available to them through the state.

Audrey Schulman, President of HEET, shared that, “The goal of Help for Hogs is to help the whole community become more environmentally sustainable and economically vibrant. Fossil fuel use is reduced; nonprofits save money so they can deliver more community services, and small businesses benefit through lower energy bills.”

 

Visit www.HelpforHogs.com to learn more about the program.

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Prescription Safety, Drunk Driving Prevention Campaigns

Dozens of Norfolk County Police and Fire Chiefs joined Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey, at center, in launching regional campaigns to fight the two greatest causes of preventable death in the county – drunk driving and opiate overdose at Patriot Place.

Dozens of Norfolk County Police and Fire Chiefs joined Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey, at center, in launching regional campaigns to fight the two greatest causes of preventable death in the county – drunk driving and opiate overdose at Patriot Place.

Police Chiefs, Fire Chiefs and Prescription Drug Task Force members from across Norfolk County recently joined Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey at Patriot Place to launch two campaigns aimed at the two greatest causes of preventable death in Norfolk County – drunk driving and prescription drug abuse.

“We are losing more than a person a week to opiate overdose. Fifty-nine so far this year, even though we have a county-wide Narcan program,” District Attorney Morrissey said. “On average we have a person killed or seriously injured about every week in drunk driving crashes.”

Norfolk County chiefs and the DA are launching a new program today and will be visiting all 120 pharmacies in the county to ask them to do three things: Enroll in the Prescription Drug  Monitoring Program designed to prevent doctor shopping and bogus prescriptions; distribute information cards, created and supplied by the DA, with safe drug storage and disposal information with every new prescription for addictive drugs the pharmacies fill; take and use materials outlining the yellow flags that local law enforcement have identified as warning of possible prescription fraud or abuse.

“Some of what we share with pharmacies, they will already have experienced directly or know to look out for,” District Attorney Morrissey said. “But if the information we have gained regionally from analyzing our investigations – including our overdose cases—if we can prevent even a percentage of pills from being diverted, we will have accomplished something important.”

The launch event took place just a few yards from where District Attorney Morrissey was sponsoring a TIPS alcohol server training event at Patriot Place for local bar and restaurant workers. The program  aims to make liquor serving establishments  better equipped to keep patrons from getting behind the wheel when they should not.

“That training dovetails with our Observe, Don’t Overserve initiative,” District Attorney Morrissey said. “For the last several years, we have reached out to local restaurants and bars to partner with us and display ‘Observe, Don’t Overserve’ signs on the bar or at serving stations in their places. When a server recognizes the need to shut someone off, they can point to the signs and explain that their manager, their owner, is in partnership with the local Police Chief and the District Attorney and they just can’t serve them another drink. If it keeps one drunk driver off the road, by all means blame me.”

This is third year Patriot Place has worked with the District Attorney’s Office on the “Observe, Don’t Overserve” campaign and hosted the TIPS alcohol server training event.

“Patriot Place continues to work closely with the District Attorney’s Office to stress the importance of responsible alcohol service and proudly supports programs like the ‘Observe, Don’t Overserve’ and the John R. Elliot HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers,” said Patriot Place General Manager Brian Earley. “Programs like today’s event are important not only for the upcoming holiday season, but year-round.”

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Quincy Mutual Plans 400 Units For Quincy Center

Artist's rendering showing the proposed new West of Chestnut building planned by Quincy Mutual and Gate Residential Development.

Artist’s rendering showing one of the proposed new West of Chestnut buildings planned by Quincy Mutual and Gate Residential. The building includes 65 units and retail space. West of Chestnut would be followed by another building, known as East of Chestnut, with 220 units.

A Massachusetts-based development team unveiled plans Nov. 18 for a $100 million residential and commercial project that marks the start of development for Quincy Center.

Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Company and Gate Residential Properties have formed a new joint venture and plan to break ground in early 2015 on the first phase of the project, known as West of Chestnut. West of Chestnut will feature 169, highly amenitized residential units in a six-story urban midrise building, including 12,000 square feet of commercial and retail space on the ground level that will include restaurants and active retail stores. The second phase of the project will feature approximately 220 units with additional amenity and retail space.

The filing this week for city permits to begin construction are for the first phase, with the second phase, East of Chestnut to follow. , Quincy Mutual and Gate Residential will formally announce the project and team during a press conference with Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch Tuesday afternoon.

“Quincy Mutual’s commitment to the City and its persistence in seeing this vision through to reality is nothing short of extraordinary. This plan confirms what we’ve known for some time — that Quincy Center’s potential is ready to be captured,” Koch said in a press release.

“The joint venture between Quincy Mutual and Gate Residential brings together two companies with tremendous expertise and who are committed to getting this project completed.”

Quincy Mutual has been in continuous operation in Quincy since it was founded in 1851 and has invested more than $23 million in the downtown redevelopment effort to date. In October, Quincy Mutual completed acquisition of all parcels that will make up West of Chestnut.

“Quincy is our hometown,” said Quincy Mutual President and CEO K. Douglas Briggs. “More than half of our employees are residents of Quincy and adjacent communities, so what happens here has always been important to our company and to the community we are invested in. We are partnered with a developer who knows how to get this project built.”

West of Chestnut will feature a variety of amenities, including state-of-the-art, in-unit features, a network café, a club suite, a  top-of-the-line fitness center, a dog-washing station, a media room, a yoga studio, and an outdoor courtyard.

“West of Chestnut offers residents outstanding amenities and vibrant urban living in a historic community, conveniently located on the Red Line. said Damian Szary, Principal at Gate Residential Properties.  “West of Chestnut marks a new chapter for Quincy Center, and we’re excited to announce this terrific team that will build the type of project that will attract a new wave of young professionals to Downtown Quincy.”

Through a unique combination of innovative building and unit design and a comprehensive understanding of market demand, Boston-based Gate Residential Properties develops vibrant apartment communities.  Gate’s focus has been in targeted urban areas located near highly desirable employment and university markets that are easily accessible by public transportation. Its most recent project in Chelsea, One North Boston, set a record for leasing 100 percent of its 230 apartments within two months of opening.  Founded in 2010, Gate Residential Properties, LLC is the multifamily development and investment arm of Redgate Holdings, LLC.

“We have the right team in place, and with Gate Residential we have a developer who fully understands this market and knows how to build projects with luxurious amenities that will appeal to individuals who value easy access to Boston in a relaxed urban environment,” said James Moran, executive vice president at Quincy Mutual, who has led the development effort on behalf of Quincy Mutual.

In addition to Gate Residential, the Massachusetts-based development team includes the Quincy based architectural firm Sheskey Architects, Interior design firm Duffy Design Group and the retail urban advisory and investment firm Graffito SP, a firm that specializes in cities, food, arts, people, context, creativity and responsibility. The team also features highly acclaimed landscape architect Landworks Studio, Inc., a company with an international portfolio of park designs, college campuses, and private works.

With city approvals and a timely start to construction, Gate Residential expects to begin the pre-leasing process for West of Chestnut in the Spring of 2016 and complete construction on the first phase of the project by summer 2016.

West of Chestnut will be the first of many new developments set for Quincy Center, which will include the renovated Quincy Center MBTA station, the newly-remodeled City Hall, and the expected Adams Green urban park.

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