Somerville rentals with Cambridge amenities
Developers target young professionals
The new housing complex will feature a high-end community kitchen, a yoga studio, and a wireless suite for residents who prefer social networking to reality television - amenities that would appeal to the hip, young population of Kendall Square.
But Maxwell’s Green won’t be in Cambridge.
It is rising in neighboring Somerville, where developers are betting their 184 rental apartments will attract young families and the 25- to 30-year-olds who, the developers believe, are an ever-growing part of this former industrial city’s population.
“The lines between Cambridge and Somerville have really blurred,’’ said Damian Szary, a principal of Davis Square Partners LLC, the joint venture developing the project. “Culturally, the cities are very similar, and so are the people who like living in them.’’
Construction began this month, with Davis Square Partners becoming the first developer to build along the route for the planned extension of the MBTA’s Green Line through Somerville to Medford.
The MBTA project has been delayed repeatedly, but state officials granted the developer $490,000 to help support construction of housing near the planned line.
Maxwell’s Green is also on the Somerville Community Path, a bicycle and walking trail, and about half a mile from Davis Square.
The property, a former industrial site, was occupied by the Maxwell Packaging factory and other manufacturers. Maxwell’s Green was proposed in 2004, but was stalled by the economic downturn.
Another developer is building town homes on adjacent property.
Maxwell’s Green is unusual in Somerville both for its size and style.
Davis Square is packed with trendy restaurants and bars that draw young people, but its housing stock is still dominated by triple-deckers and traditional homes on dense, residential streets.
The project will occupy 5.5 acres and feature a large green courtyard.
The apartment buildings, designed by ICON architecture Inc., will reflect the site’s industrial past but incorporate chargers for electric cars.
The residential units will range from studios to three-bedrooms, and 12.5 percent will be designated as affordable.
Davis Square Partners has not set rents yet, Szary said, but has pledged to keep the market-rate units affordable, compared to those in Cambridge and downtown Boston.
The firm is a joint venture formed by Gate Residential Properties and KSS Realty Partners.
Its principals, Szary, Kyle Warwick, Ted Tobin, and Darin Samaraweera, have worked on several large developments in Massachusetts, including the Archstone Avenir development across from TD Garden in Boston and two residential buildings at North Point Park in Cambridge.
Maxwell’s Green is among a number of apartment complexes moving forward in Greater Boston. At Assembly Square in Somerville, developers are proceeding with construction this fall on hundreds of apartments in a $1.5 billion development that will include stores, restaurants, a revitalized park on the Mystic River, and a new Orange Line MBTA station.
Casey Ross can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org