Charlie BreitroseVisitors get their first look inside the renovated lobby of the Mosesian Center for the Arts. From the outside, the Mosesian Center for the Arts looks as it has for years, but step inside the front doors and you are greeted by a new lobby that draws you in and showcases works of art on its walls. Thursday evening, the Arts Center located in the Arsenal on the Charles, held a grand opening for its new and improved lobby, and a return of the performing arts. A soft opening was held on Nov. 12 when the first stage show in more than a year-and-a-half went on — the Watertown Children’s Theatre Production of Mama Mia.
Alexandria Real Estate EquitiesA view of Building 2 with a pedestrian plaza in front. It is one of the new additions to the Arsenal on the Charles proposed by Alexandria Real Estate and approved by the Planning Board. The owners of the Arsenal on the Charles complex got approval for changes to the master plan, including three new buildings, and the owners will pay millions in mitigation funding. The plan had been criticized for the number of trees that would be lost in the projects, but the approved plan saves some of those originally slated to be removed. On July 14, the Planning Board gave approval for the amendment to the master plan proposed by Alexandria Real Estate Equities.
Alexandria Real Estate EquitiesAn overhead view of the Arsenal on the Charles complex, with the new buildings proposed by Alexandria Real Estate Equities shown in blueish-grey. Arsenal Street runs along the top of the map, and North Beacon Street is the road the curves toward the bottom. Alexandria Real Estate Equities discussed their master plan for the Arsenal on the Charles complex at last Wednesday’s Planning Board meeting. The group will continue the discussion at a special Planning Board meeting on Monday, June 14. The group purchased the property located at 311 Arsenal St.
We would like to voice our support for the modification of the Masterplan for the Arsenal on the Charles site which was submitted by Alexandria Real Estate (ARE) to the planning Board on June 9th.
For many reasons, we believe that the ARE submission is far superior to the current Master Plan.
The proposal brings economic development that is consistent with Watertown’s comprehensive plan, bringing excellent job opportunities in growing fields. It features state of the art carbon reduction strategies for its buildings, aggressive targets for reducing its overall carbon footprint and increased publicly accessible open space.
ARE has previously worked in Watertown and has a demonstrated track record as a developer that engages with neighbors and contributes to the community. Responding to citizen concerns, ARE modified its earlier landscaping plan to address the community’s recognition of the importance of trees for a healthy environment. The plan that was presented to the Planning Board calls for 129 more trees than are currently on the site. ARE has developed a comprehensive plan that will maintain more of the larger trees on the site, transplant some existing trees to new locations and plant many new trees, paying careful attention to selecting species most suited to the Intended use. We have seen many transformations of the Watertown Arsenal over the years. The community had important feedback for ARE. The developer listened and responded, leading to an excellent proposal for a sustainable and attractive project that will make the thriving Arsenal property even better than it is today.
Samatha Rao VuppalaShade trees in the Arsenal on the Charles complex. (The following piece was submitted by Sharon Bromberg-Lim, a member of Trees for Watertown)
A large real estate equities firm arrives in a small New England town. Based in California, the firm has rolled into many towns before, bought up properties big and small, and plunked down buildings. This project is just one of many investments that the firm owns. The firm says it must cut down more than 200 trees to put up its buildings.
The oval with blue stripes is the location of the contaminated soil at the east end of Building 311 in the Arsenal on the Charles. The U.S. Army has come up with a plan to remove contaminated soil from the former military site, which is now the Arsenal on the Charles. The public can submit comment on the proposed plan until April 14, 2021. The area where the contaminated soil is located is by 311 building on the Arsenal on the Charles site. Building 311, the long building along Arsenal Street, is home to Athenahealth, and used to be home to Boston Sports Club.
Building 1 is one of the new additions to the Arsenal on the Charles proposed to be built by the new owners. The following information was provided by Alexandria Real Estate Equities:
Please join Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (ARE) for a review and discussion on conceptual plans for the Arsenal on the Charles (AOTC) campus, which ARE purchased from Athena Arsenal, LLC in late 2019. The purpose of these meetings will be to present and discuss ARE’s proposed plans to redevelop AOTC into a collaborative and innovative campus including life science, office, retail, and community uses, as well as publicly accessible open spaces and streetscape improvements. Discussion will highlight the changes from Athena Arsenal LLC’s previously approved Campus Master Plan Special Permit and Site Plan Review (PB-2016-01) as well as conceptual designs for the new buildings and the associated public realm including pedestrian and bicycle connectivity tothe adjacent neighborhoods. (note: postings will be available online prior to the first meeting)
An overhead view of Arsenal on the Charles, showing the proposed new additions: Building 1, Building 2, the Connector and Site D.
We will be hosting two community information meetings: one on February 3rd, and the other on March 11th.
A biotech manufacturing center will be created in this building in the Arsenal on the Charles. The Massachusetts Center for Advanced Biological Innovation and Manufacturing is a joint effort between Harvard, MIT, area hospitals and biotech firms.
Harvard University is coming back to the Arsenal on the Charles, this time teaming with MIT, local hospitals and corporate sponsors to create a biotech manufacturing center in the former U.S. Army Arsenal. The new center will be called the Massachusetts Center for Advanced Biological Innovation and Manufacturing, and will be located in 40,000 sq. ft. of a building located off North Beacon Street in the complex.