One of the hallmarks of the COVID-19 lockdowns in Everett has been that construction and permitting has chugged on for major projects throughout the city.
One after another, companies have been willing to attend online meetings, work remotely with City planners and push through to keep things going in anticipation of loosening COVID-19 restrictions.
That is exactly the case for Ricky Beliveau and John Tocco – who are ready to get their pioneering residential project, The 600, ready for a January groundbreaking. This week, they said they have one more stop at the City Council to give them approvals to have a mixed-use building (they have a restaurant planned on the ground floor with the Square Deli owner). Other than that, though, the project is fully approved and they feel like they hit a lucky spot given what the pandemic has done elsewhere to construction.
“We hit this pandemic, the way I read it, at just the right time from a development perspective,” said Tocco. “We had just received our approvals and then the municipalities got shut down. We had all the time we needed then to put the pedal to the metal and design and engineer the building. We have engineers on hand, and our architects were all able to work remotely on the design, and all the pre-construction planning will take us through November. Our goal is to apply for construction permits in November and break ground in January.”
The 85-unit building is a new product in a new location in Everett. Bent on appealing to middle income people such as young professionals from Everett and empty-nesters from Everett looking to downsize, the project landed on the top of the Broadway hill. That is an area that hasn’t had a lot of new development in terms of residential buildings in a long time. The development is also unique in that it proposes a full deli and restaurant for the ground floor in a partnership with the owner of Square Deli in Everett Square.
This week, they announced they have hired on Callahan Construction for pre-construction services, and they are hoping to have them build the project as well.
“This is their job to build,” said Tocco. “They’re a great company. They just built a building at Assembly Row and they’re working on one at Revere Beach now. They’re all over the place.”
Tocco said, once again, they feel the timing is just right for their project. While many had written off a lot of development project, The 600 and others in Everett continue on. Being able to design it remotely and get things ready for construction when COVID-19 has hopefully lessened in early 2021, he said they “threaded the needle.”
“We believe the worst of the pandemic will be behind us when we’re ready to open in the summer of 2022,” he said. “We’re left with the newest building and we can design safe spaces that will be ready for when we open.”
Tocco said they believe that as people change their habits post-COVID-19, it will only make Everett more desirable – being closer to downtown Boston and places like Encore. He said their company plans to continue investing in Everett and they will hold on to The 600 as well. There are no plans to flip it once it’s built.
“We want to do this project and it’s full-steam ahead,” he said.