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36 Apartments Now Available for Rent at Old Brigham's Site

The units range from roughly $1,700 to $3,355 per month.

Thirty-six of the 116 units in the new Alta Brigham Square community are now available for rent, according to a press release from the project’s developer, Wood Partners.

Eight more are on track to be available in January, according to the release.

The 135,000-square-foot development consists of 18 studios (598 square feet), 35 one-bedroom units (719-915 square feet) and 63 two-bedroom units (1,013-1,178 square feet).

The units will lease at $2.85 per square foot, according to the release, meaning the studios will lease for roughly $1,700 per month, the one-bedroom units for $2,050-2,600 and the two-bedroom units for $2,885-3,355.

Fifteen percent of the units are reserved for families earning 60 percent or less of the area median income.

The upscale development includes a fitness center, as well as other amenities, such as a roof deck.

Wood Partners, the largest multifamily housing developer in the nation, according to the release, bought the four-acre site at 30-50 Mill St. for $5.6 million from Cambridge Savings Bank, which foreclosed on the property in August 2008, shortly after the ice cream factory stopped productions when the Brigham’s name and recipes were sold to a competitor.

The old 85,000-square-foot office and warehouse facility was demolished in the fall of 2011.

The following is from Wood Partners LLC.

Wood Partners LLC announces the opening of Phase 1 of the 116-unit Alta Brigham Square community located in the heart of the city’s vibrant downtown center. Phase 1, which consists of 36 apartments, has opened.

The development occupies the former site of the long-vacant Brigham’s Ice Cream factory in a neighborhood that’s become a destination for walkers and bicyclists.

Pre-leasing of the units has been under way, and Phase 2, consisting of 80 units, is on track to open in January 2013. 

The four-story community at 30-50 Mill St. is a half block from Massachusetts Avenue and Arlington Center, the city’s bustling main street that includes town hall, the public library and an eclectic mix of restaurants and shops.

Downtown Boston is a 20-minute commute via nearby transit, and the popular Minuteman Bikeway is just steps from Alta Brigham Square.

“Transforming a blighted area into a beautiful amenity in this part of town has been exciting,” said Rick Dickason, Wood Partner’s regional director of development for New England. “It’s gratifying to provide a luxury rental option not otherwise available in Arlington Center.”

The development consists of 18 studios (598 square feet); 35 one bedroom units (719-915 square feet) and 63 two-bedroom units (1,013 to 1,178 square feet). Kitchens feature attractive, durable wood-look flooring, espresso wood cabinets and granite counters; bedrooms come with roomy walk-in closets; and baths feature oversized garden tubs with tile surrounds, wood-look flooring, espresso wood cabinets and cultured marble vanities.

Common areas include an expansive fitness center with a large area for active gaming; clubhouse with a media room, pool table lounge and café-style seating and a coffee bar; an exclusive outdoor area with built-in grills, seating and a fire pit; and a roof deck with views to the Minuteman Bikeway, Alta Brigham Square retail plaza, and long-range views of the Boston skyline.

The eco-friendly units, which exceed baseline energy-efficiency standards by 20 percent, will lease at $2.85 per square foot.  Pursuant to Arlington bylaws, 15 percent of the units are reserved for families earning 60 percent or less of the area median income.

The 135,000-square-foot project incorporates approximately 3,500 square feet of ground-level retail space, reserved for small retail or medical offices. In addition to 84 surface parking spaces, 89 garage-level spaces will be available.

Wood Partners, the largest multifamily housing developer in the nation, bought the four-acre site for $5.6 million from Cambridge Savings Bank, which foreclosed on the property in August 2008, shortly after the ice cream factory stopped production when the Brigham’s name and recipes were sold to a competitor. The obsolete 85,000-square-foot office and warehouse facility was demolished in the fall of 2011.

Dickason said the site’s potential was obvious “because it is located in a well-established infill location in a very stable market with extremely high barriers to entry. It is nearly impossible to find available land of sufficient size to justify apartment development within walking distance to neighborhood amenities like Arlington Center,” he said.

Brigham Square is the third acquisition by Wood Partners in the Boston area over the past 22 months, with its other projects in Stoughton and Melrose, Mass.

The community is adjacent to the popular Minuteman Bikeway, a former rail line converted to a pathway that area residents use for both recreation and commuting. It is one of the most heavily utilized rail trails in the country with about two million trips per year. The town of Arlington plows its section of the bikeway for year-round use.

Alta Brigham Square’s retail plaza area is designed to interface with the bikeway, enabling bicyclists and walkers to pull off and enjoy seating and landscaping.

“It’s an open, attractive common area that we are certain will be well-received by bikeway users,” said Dickason.

Low vacancy rates, a diversified economy, and steady job growth fuelled by nearby Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – along with numerous biotech and high-tech companies linked to these institutions - ensure robust demand for the apartments that Wood Partners expects to remain steady through virtually any market cycle, Dickason said.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets Group, including Simon Butler, Biria St. John, Michael Byrne and John McLaughlin, exclusively represented the seller, CSB Transaction LLC and procured the buyer W.P. East Acquisitions, LLC, an affiliate of Wood Partners of Atlanta, Ga.

The architect is Cube 3 Studio of Lawrence, Mass., and Callahan is the general contractor. Financing is provided by Cambridge Savings Bank.

amb November 28, 2012 at 03:14 PM
20 minutes to downtown Boston by public transit? HA. I live down the street from there and it takes me an hour just to get to Central Square!
Grandma Hannah November 28, 2012 at 03:34 PM
The photo shows a room with NO windows! Is that even legal? Certainly depressing!
Misty November 28, 2012 at 06:59 PM
I think they meant by private car at 3AM!
Mary T November 28, 2012 at 07:29 PM
It's going to take an hour just to get off of Mill Street LOL. After 18 years in Arlington, I just moved to Belmont! About 1/2 the population of Arlington. Yes ....breathing space and I have more square feet than these units and pay a lot less rent.
Tim November 29, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Soured if you seen the way that place was build a fire pit is the last thing they need near it.... if you see smoke near that place Run to Cambridge......
Jennifer November 30, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Can I still get an ice cream there?
Sandy W. December 02, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I agree with Mary T. Mill Street is a short street, with traffic lights at both end. On a regular workday, it can take more than a few minutes to get from one end to the other, especially at peak times in the am and pm. The access road to the high school is also off Mill Street, in addition to Shattuck's and the Mill Street office building. I can't imagine what it will be like with everyone leaving for work, school, etc., all leaving and arriving back at approximately the same time. Never mind all the activity on the street leading to the high school....speaking of which, the alley way leading to the new building is now a one way. All traffic has to use the High School access road. Where was the common sense when planning this, or consideration for everyone who has to use Mill Street everyday?
saul glick December 02, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Well, the common sense came from our town leaders. And i agree, this is a dangerous situation on MIll Street now.
Tim December 03, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Well Saul I am going to teach you Arlington math .. Pay attention it could get a little confusing .. We have the developers = ( a lot of money ) we have the law makers of the town ( selectmen) then we have a building inspector ( son is a selectmen ) So the equation goes like this. Developers who have a lot of money + selectmen who makes the rules + building inspector who doesn't enforce codes on shoddy work = everyones pocket is taken care of ... An example of this equation look up Diane Wilkerson , Chuck Turner and also see Sal Sal in the federal pen ... See in A - Town people are affraid to come forward and turn these people in so they get away with it .. I hope this was an informative lesson .. Professor Von Quack
Southpaw December 04, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Affordable? Huh? $1,000/month is not affordable for someone making $45k/yr. But the income table makes sense....the structure is horrid looking. Looks like tenement housing. It's nothing but an eye sore. And, yes, the traffic will be nothing short of a nightmare...more road rage to come. Bunch of idiots running our town. Very sad.
Tim December 04, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Idiots they are .... But their pockets got well lined ...
Mary T December 04, 2012 at 11:10 PM
And Tim...you are right....and I bet they don't take Mill Street to get home!! Wait until the hospital site is finished. Summer street won't move. No longer an Arlington Resident but unfortunately still have to pass through there and I have to plan at least an hour. It now takes 40-50 minutes to get through Arlington and get to Rt. 93.
Lynne December 19, 2012 at 08:13 PM
The former Brighams property was foreclosed. So rather than have a foreclosed empty non-taxpaying building becoming a blight, this seems to be a plus. Not a single positive comment. 15% of the units are reserved for affordable housing at lower rates, also a good thing.
Mary T December 20, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Lynne..that's because there is nothing positive to say!
Tim December 20, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Lynne, I got something postive to say........I am glad I can't see it from my house...
sam December 25, 2012 at 01:25 AM
I walked around the complex today and on the outside its really ugly. very little open space.most views overlook parking lots or other apartments. I love the way the press release claimsthat this improves a "blighted area".lol. to me a blighted area is unsafe site to crime, crumbling structures, etc. sure the site was "dead space" and wasted, but cramming in 120 units here will suffocate the neighborhood. I'd rather have the blight.

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