Harrison-Albany Block to Begin Construction Next Week

By Seth Daniel

Workers will begin to mobilize on East Dedham and East Canton Streets as the long-debated Harrison-Albany Block project is slated to begin construction activity on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

At a construction meeting for neighbors on Tuesday night, Aug. 15, Rob Greetham of Leggat-McCall and Doug Kimble and Jason Nadeau of Suffolk Construction told neighbors that fencing would be going up on Aug. 22 and that buildings would begin to come down soon after that.

“We hope to have these meetings with you monthly,” said Greetham. “We want folks to know that Phase 1 work will begin next week, and also to know what we’ll be doing over the next several weeks.”

Three buildings are slated to be demolished before the end of the month, including a house at 75 East Dedham, a smaller building on the site and then 123 East Dedham.

“That’s going to be the first building we’ll demolish – 75 East Dedham – and then we move down to 123 East Dedham,” said Nadeau. “It’s a three-week, active demolition.”

Before demolition, there is some asbestos tile and caulking that needs to be removed and certified, but none of it is the airborne types of asbestos. Once that is certified, crews will begin demolition.

The overall timeline is about 28 months for Phase 1, which will include preparing the entire site, digging the entire foundation and garage, and then proceeding with the first building.

Greetham said Phase 2, which is the second building in the middle of the site could start in the middle of Phase 1.

“Building two could start halfway through construction of the first one,” said Greetham. “It’s going to depend on marketing surveys and the U.S. dollar. Then the re-development of 575 Albany St. is after that.”

One piece of very good news is that the foundation will be constructed using the slurry wall approach, which eliminates the noisy need for pounding pilings or foundation sheets into the ground.

“The slurry wall will be a lot less disruptive than driving sheets – a lot less,” said Kimble. “The owner has decided to go with a slurry wall rather than sheet driving and that’s because of the input given by the community over the last few years.”

Kimble said they planned to apply for their building permit on Oct. 1 and expected to receive it in November. Foundation work on the slurry wall is expected to start at that same time.

The Harrison-Albany Block includes 700,000 square feet of new and renovated areas with a maximum height of 120 feet. There are 650 rental units (studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms) in three buildings – two of them new buildings.

The popular cut-through Andrew Street will be discontinued later this year during the project.

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