Millbrook Lofts, A Reinvention In Somerville
Millbrook Lofts, formerly Millbrook Cold Storage, underwent a tremendous renovation project coined as a transformative adaptive reuse. Until 2014, the building was used as a cold storage warehouse for items, such as meats and vegetables being delivered to restaurants, and there was a multi-month process of defrosting the building. This unique and innovative building is now home to 100 loft-style homes in a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom apartments.
Constructed in 1916 for cold storage and only used for that purpose until 2013, the seven-story building was previously a windowless hulking structure in dire need of improvement. The steps to transform the building from cold storage to new apartments began with a thawing process that lasted several months even through the heat of summer. Extensive demolition followed that first removed a foot of cork insulation and then everything down to the building's concrete structure. New skin and interiors were then constructed along with adding an eighth floor. Charlie Petri, previous owner and operator of Millbrook Cold Storage and involved with the building since 1977, stated, "We used to store up to 12 million pounds of product, primarily seafood." Petri further added, "I am amazed at what Berkeley Investments has done to transform the building and enhance the neighborhood and will be thrilled to see people living there."
Millbrook Lofts provides a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments with contemporary finishes that contrast with the century-old structure. "The team sought to celebrate the industrial character by fully exposing robust concrete columns in voluminous spaces with large windows offering expansive city views," commented Eric Ekman, Director of Development for Berkeley Investments. "Now combine these features with the strong location - a grocery store and pharmacy right next door and only a short walk to Lechmere Station, Kendall Square, and Union Square - and you have a unique and convenient place to call home," Ekman added. On-site amenities include fitness center, spacious lounge, ample indoor bike parking, and roof deck set amidst a vegetative roof. The project is seeking LEED Gold certification for recognizing its green building features, such as a highly efficient heating and cooling system that uses 40% less energy consumption than a conventional system.
Millbrook Lofts additionally has a strong connection to the arts with five artist live/work apartments that are oversized to accommodate living and working space. The artists in residence will also benefit from a shared studio space. Common spaces will showcase work from local artists and evolve over time as the artist community becomes further involved.
About Berkeley: Berkeley Investments, Inc. is a Boston-based, full-service real estate company with a primary focus on adaptive reuse and urban infill projects that are transit-oriented in nature. Berkeley has acquired, developed, and managed over 17 million square feet of office, flex, and multi-family assets.
About Princeton: Princeton Properties Management Inc. of Lowell, MA has been acquiring, building, renovating, leasing, and managing apartment communities and corporate furnished apartments in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine since 1973. Princeton Properties has a portfolio of more than 5,000 apartments throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, with Massachusetts locations including Somerville, Boston's Seaport District, and Waltham.