TDC in Home Stretch on Shawmut Avenue Project

The Davis Companies (TDC) is coming in for a landing on their new residential building on the corner of Shawmut Avenue and Herald Street in the former ABCD building.

Pat Noone of TDC said they are preparing to finish the outside of the building – a combined rehabilitation of the old building with a new glass tower added to up to the 14th floor. So far, the project was delayed more than two months because of COVID-19, but time has been made up and the company is excited to begin marketing units.

“The building has gone up and finish materials on the façade are continuing to go up,” he told the East Berkeley Neighborhood Association (EBNA) at their December meeting. “Our curtain wall is substantially complete…Our exterior sheathing is all installed and the courtyard elevations are being finished…We will continue to work on the exterior of the building for the next several months – through December and January and then we’ll finish up on the exterior.”

The project is part of a three-building, three-organization partnership whereby TDC constructed 139 market rate condo ownership units to be sold, while two other non-profit organizations would shoulder the affordable housing components.

Inside, Noone said they are moving really fast as well and have installed the drywall, rough plumbing and framing up to the top floor. Finishes are also ongoing and are up to about the 11th floor now. In all, the message was they are moving fast after the COVID delay and working really well with General Contractor Suffolk Construction.

“We are looking to turn this project over with completion of construction in March,” said Noone. “We’ve progressed a lot on construction in the last couple of months and are ready to turn the project over.”

Chris Mora of TDC said the common spaces include a breathtaking Skydeck with amazing views of the city. They currently have two model units built out, and are opening a sales office at 1148 Washington St.

There were no real updates on the partners, the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church (BCEC) or the Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association (CCBA), who owns the C-Mart property, about their parts of the project. BCEC did recently sell a piece of land on the other side of the Mass Pike to the City, which is expected to be their vehicle for construction capital.

Neighbors Excited for New Restaurant

When South End restaurateur Jeff Gates used to dine around in the neighborhood year’s back, he said one of his favorite places was Pho Republic, a Vietnamese fusion restaurant he hopes to recreate with a twist on Thayer Street in the SoWa.

Gates explained he was recently able to obtain a potential liquor license, and with restaurants in flux right now, he was seeking to go in a totally new direction in a space that is now open (next to the chalkboard at the SoWa shops).

The new restaurant would have 74 seats inside, 22 bar seats and 64 outdoor seasonal seats.

“I’m very excited to bring this to the neighborhood,” Gates said. “Thayer Street needs an additional push.”

He said he believes the new restaurant concept would work in tandem with many of the stores, artisan shops and galleries that are in the immediate vicinity of Thayer Street.

The hope would be to open up in the morning for coffee and baked goods, remain open all day and transition to a restaurant at night. He said it would be a place where people could stay for some time during the day, and he wouldn’t discourage it.

“I’m a guy that’s lost a lot of restaurants and have seen a lot of empty seats and empty streets,” he said. “I’d love to have that problem of having to ask people to leave. I’m not going to be doing that.”

An abutters meeting is on for Dec. 10, and the liquor license hearing is Dec. 22.

Gates got enthusiastic support from the neighbors, who advised EBNA leaders they were in full support of the license. No one spoke in opposition.

Next Meeting

The next EBNA meeting will be Jan. 5, and State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz is expected to attend for an update. Meanwhile, it is expected that two new gyms are looking to open on Washington Street near Laconia Lofts. They are on the agenda for January, said President Ken Smith.

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