Originally published in the New England Real Estate Journal. By Dan Perruzzi.
September 30, 2016 – In 2015, The Davis Companies acquired One Cabot Rd. in Medford, with a vision to transform the office building into a highly attractive amenity-rich environment for tenants seeking a valuable alternative to buildings in Boston and Cambridge. The property’s outstanding location adjacent to the recreational Wellington Greenway path, the Wellington Circle MBTA Station, and close to the dynamic and growing retail and restaurant base of both Assembly Row and Station Landing, positions the building as one of the most convenient and desirable large floorplate office buildings within a ten-minute drive into downtown Boston or Kendall Sq.
In order to reposition One Cabot as a high quality, amenity-rich, and value alternative, The Davis Cos. sought to dramatically revitalize the property – with specific emphasis placed on transforming the cavernous lobby into a better-used and more welcoming space. One Cabot features a full-service cafeteria, fitness facility, abundant power and emergency systems, and a generous parking ratio including 170 executive spaces inside the building.
The Davis Cos. engaged Margulies Perruzzi Architects (MPA) to revitalize the main entrance and 176,000 s/f of core amenities, including the lobby, café/lounge and adjoining outdoor courtyard, fitness center, and elevator lobbies, in this five-story, 300,000 s/f Class A office building. Constructed by Bowdoin Construction, the interior building upgrades to One Cabot were completed in spring 2016 and the exterior façade renovations will be complete in fall/winter 2016. A collaborative spirit among the project team has been key to sequencing construction in an occupied building.
To enhance the modern and urban feel of the building, the redesigned exterior main entrance will include a new glass curtainwall, canopy and paving. New exterior signage, bollards, lighting, tiered planters, and visitor parking will also grace the revamped entry. Inside, MPA transformed the two-story atrium lobby with a dramatically backlit glass feature wall draped behind a wood and metal trimmed reception/security desk, shielding the elevator lobbies and defining seating areas. Product selection was key to create the backlit glass wrapping behind and above the reception desk. A ceiling installation had not been attempted before with the product, and required a commitment by the manufacturer to create a custom support system to fulfill the design intent.
Lobby columns were also re-clad in illuminated and back-painted glass panels, and an electronic central directory at reception provides wayfinding and allows for easy updating. Interior flooring color coordinates with the exterior pavers to create a cohesive transition from exterior to interior. In the elevator lobby, the elevator doors and frames have been re-clad, and the lobby wall surfaces feature back-painted glass and wood. The fitness center also received new finishes.
The renovated café/lounge creates an exciting space for networking and socializing, and features new flooring, accent walls, and energy efficient lighting and upgraded finishes to all islands and counters. New counter seating along the windows captures the invigorated outdoor space. The outdoor patio adjoining the café/lounge will be enlivened with lighting, re-tiling, a fire pit, and colorful furnishings when the project is complete.
Sited on a fully landscaped campus, One Cabot offers flexible layouts and abundant natural light on 80,000 s/f floor plates. “MPA recognizes what tenants require in order to attract great talent and retain key employees,” said Duncan Gilkey, senior vice president of The Davis Cos. “Their design for new and exciting common area amenities creates spaces for networking and collaborating, making tenant office spaces more efficient.” The building is 96% leased, with 90,000 s/f for lease and becoming available in early and mid-2017. With its revitalized atrium lobby, modern amenities, and strategic location adjacent to the Wellington Station T-station, One Cabot Rd. conveys a powerful impression to tenants and visitors.
Dan Perruzzi, AIA, LEED AP, is a principal and senior partner at Margulies Perruzzi Architects, Boston.