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Somerville warehouse high-rise to be converted into apartments

Posted by Brock Parker  October 29, 2013 11:34 AM

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A cold storage warehouse on Medford Street in Somerville on the Cambridge line may soon be converted into apartments. Photo by Brock Parker


A seven-story building in Somerville on the Cambridge line used for frozen storage may soon converted into a 100-unit apartment complex.

Boston-based Berkeley Investments is purchasing the Millbrook Cold Storage building at 9 and 39 Medford St. next to the Twin City Plaza with hopes of renovating the building and adding an eighth floor, said Adam Dash an attorney representing the developer.

A railroad runs between 9 and 39 Medford Street properties, which are being sold by Medford Freeze Realty Inc.

Until earlier this year, the building was used as a cold storage warehouse for items, such as meats being delivered to restaurants, and there was a multi-month process of defrosting the structure, Dash said.

Berkeley Investments is working with Bargmann Hendrie + Archetype, Inc. to redesign the warehouse and met with neighbors at the Somerville Public Safety Building Monday night. The project will go before the Planning Board Nov. 7 at 6 p.m.

Somerville Alderwoman Maryann Heuston said the building is near the Lechmere T stop and is also close to a Green Line T stop planned for Union Square. She said the new developments could transform the area with more people and businesses.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting time down there,” Heuston said.

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A rendering of the apartment building from Medford Street included in the plans submitted to the City of Somerville by Berkeley Investments.

The developer will add windows to the façade, will add an eighth floor, a green roof and will landscape the property. A total of 100 vehicle parking spaces and another 100 bicycle parking spaces are included in the plan.

The building will include a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom apartments, including 15 affordable units and five artist live/work spaces.

Dash said Berkeley Investments will need special permits to convert the building into a residential use and to put most of its parking on 39 Medford St. The developer will also need seek variances from the city’s zoning board of appeals, and is hoping to begin work in the spring of 2014 before opening in the fall of 2015.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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