Readville Yard 5 featured in the Boston Globe
Utile is working with First Highland Management and Development on the Readville Yard 5 Industrial Development, recently featured in the Boston Globe and approved by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. The project will transform an underutilized railyard into 375,000 square feet of light industrial and office space spread across seven buildings. Adjacent to the Readville MBTA commuter rail station, the project is designed to be subdivided into flexible leasable modules ranging from 4,000-7,000 square feet, which cater to the burgeoning maker movement and which will keep small-scale manufacturing jobs within the city of Boston.
Michael LeBlanc speaks at Architectural Record Multifamily Symposium
Michael LeBlanc recently spoke as part of a panel during a symposium on Multifamily Housing, hosted by Architectural Record. As part of the larger conversation about affordability issues in the Boston metropolitan region, Michael discussed some of Utile’s multifamily development strategies. He focused on how developers can use irregularly shaped parcels and external public space as ways to maximize the value of shared amenities and reduce construction costs. Ongoing housing projects at Utile following this strategy include the Commons at Forest Hills.
MassDevelopment Transformative Development Initiative
Utile worked with MassDevelopment to publicize its Commonwealth Gateway Cities Transformative Development Initiative (TDI). TDI brings together a number of technical, financial, and community engagement tools to effect visible investments within locally-identified, strategically-located districts. The program focuses on linking and leveraging these investments to catalyze follow-on investments and activities.
We developed a graphic outreach package that communicates the spirit and mechanics of the TDI program. MassDevelopment has successfully used this package to reach out to potential target cities.
MassDevelopment has more information on its website about the Transformative Development Initiative.
St. Andrew’s School in Austin, Texas
Utile is excited to have been commissioned for a new master plan for the St. Andrew’s School in Austin, TX. The scope includes plans for two separate campuses (a Lower School and Upper School) and a 94-acre tract of land adjacent to their Upper School property.
The Utile team is impressed by the culture of the School and the thoughtfulness of the leadership. The plan will both tackle broad strategic questions and provide targeted recommendations for enhancing the physical character of both campuses.
We will closely collaborate with Chris Moyles, a principal at Reed Hilderbrand, and his team. Chris is directing another project for Reed Hilderbrand in Austin, the Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria.
Boston Conservatory building is complete!
Our collaboration with Handel Architects to design The Boston Conservatory’s new studio building located at 132 Ipswich Street is complete! The building features state-of-the-art acoustical technology that is able to suppress outside noise.
Photo credit: Bill Brett Photography
Utile to begin Boston Marine Industrial Park Master Plan Update
Utile has been selected by the Boston Redevelopment Authority / Economic Development and Industrial Corporation to produce an update to the master plan for the Boston Marine Industrial Park. Utile will work with the BRA/EDIC to look at how the industrial park has changed since the last master plan update in 2000. Our team will conduct an economic analysis of the park’s port facilities and identify the port’s relative position in the regional maritime economy, as well as examine how future land uses will relate to the South Boston Waterfront Innovation District. Working with Utile for this project are Ninigret Partners for economic development and business strategy, Durand & Anastas Environmental Strategies for waterfront planning and regulatory consulting, HDR Engineering for port economics and maritime infrastructure, Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates for multimodal transportation planning, Noble, Wickersham & Heart for land use and legal consulting, and Byrne McKinney & Associates for property valuation.
Lawn on D Street featured in CityLab
Anthony Flint of CityLab has published a piece on the recent playground installation at Sasaki and Utile’s Lawn on D Street. Describing the park as a successful urban intervention primarily through intelligent programming, Flint uses it as an example supporting his belief that “planning and urban design these days needs to be more nimble.” The article can be found here.
2014 R+D Awards Winners
Congrats to the 2014 R+D Design Awards winners! Mimi Love recently served as a jury member, choosing nine winners out of over a hundred entries. The results of these awards along with short profiles of the jury members can be found here.
22-26 West Broadway Topping Off
22-26 West Broadway celebrates a milestone with the ceremonial topping off of the steel structure. Rising above West Broadway at the base of the Broadway Bridge, the six-story mixed-use building has formed a new gateway to South Boston. Once completed, the boutique building will house 31 residential units, 4000sf of retail space, and a below-grade parking garage accessed via a car elevator.
“Complete Streets Come of Age” in Planning Magazine
In a cover story in this month’s Planning Magazine, former Utile designer and project manager Corey Zehngebot and Harvard GSD real estate professor Rick Peiser have written an article describing how Boston’s Complete Streets program serves as an excellent example of the growing importance of these policies in cities across the country. It also details the graphic innovations developed by Utile and Toole Design Group, in collaboration with the Boston Transportation Department, namely the “three-dimensional perspective illustrations… that placed streetscape elements in a context with an unmistakable Boston flavor.”