One of the most watched developments in Everett is taking shape at the top of the hill in the 600th block – the City’s first apartment building in that area in decades, and the first citywide in some time to have no parking.
Developer Greg Antonelli, of GTA Inc., started construction on the 18-unit building last year and has worked successfully for most of the COVID-19 timespan. He said he’s ready to deliver a fine product in October 2021 – what many are calling a real pioneering development in that part of the city.
“This will be a four story building and it will be workforce housing,” he said. “That’s what I’m committed to building in Everett. There are a lot of pockets in the City like this that haven’t had new construction for a long time…Moving forward in Everett, more residential units are needed. There are 4,000 vacant apartments in Boston since COVID-19. People are leaving the city because of the prices and some still don’t feel comfortable there. The rental market has taken a 10 to 15 percent dip in prices across the Board. I definitely took a chance here.”
Others have permitted projects in the general area, but few have put the financing in place and gotten the equipment arranged to be able to start construction.
The 603 Broadway project for Antonelli is challenging as the City asked him not to put in parking, but rather to opt for a ground floor retail establishment to activate the streetscape. Originally, Antonelli had parking, but he said the City nixed that as it wanted more activation in the area.
Now the no-parking building on Broadway has become a focal point for planners and builders on either side of the car vs. no-car debate. Antonelli, despite building the project, may not be as much of a fan of the no parking as one might expect.
“The no parking is a challenging condition the City keeps imposing on these developments,” he said. “The City wants and encourages development, but it’s an obstacle because people do have cars. Where are they going to park? That’s not to say they need two spots per unit, which is the requirement now, but they do have cars.”
That said, he is excited about the retail offering that will activate the street, which he said would be a “mom and pop” operation. He said it will likely be a coffee shop or a food establishment with 25 indoor seats and 15 outdoor seats.
Antonelli has set the standard high for construction in the area, and he doesn’t credit that to granite countertops or other frills. Instead, it’s the large hole he built for the foundation and the anchor he gave to the building.
“The difference between this and a lot of other projects is I dug the hole,” he said. “I dug the hole. We dug deep to have a real cellar. That will become storage for the retail and the tenants. That’s different than most buildings like this. The typical construction is podium – just jack it up.”
By Christmas, he said, they will have buttoned up the outside of the development and will begin working exclusively inside. It will be a mix of larger one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.
“My ideal unit is a two bedroom now because people want to share the rent and share the apartment,” he said. “One year ago people wanted to live by themselves and they wanted made more money. Now, they want to share the rent and they don’t want to live alone.”
The building is part of a momentum of development for Antonelli.
On the other side of the City, at 120 Tremont St., he is just finishing a re-hab of 48 micro-units in an old industrial building that abuts the Northern Strand Bike Path and the RiverGreen Park. He said he expects to finish those on Nov. 1 and have them occupied by Dec. 1.
Meanwhile, he has just finished and sold smaller condo projects at 15 Morris St. and 128 Waverly St.