Medford Street Project is Finally on Track

April 5, 2012
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After 17 years, Charlestown residents will finally have new neighbors to greet now that the project to transform the dilapidated warehouse on Medford Street is set to move forward. Boston developer Michael Rauseo will begin the $40 million renovation this summer, transforming the old warehouse into 124 loft-style apartments that will be ready for move-in by the fall of 2013.

In a past Charlestown Neighborhood Council Development Committee meeting on the redevelopment and zoning proposal for 267-281 Medford Street, Real Estate Project Development Committee Chair Mark Rosenshein briefed attendees with an overview of the project. Since then, there have been some changes to the original plan, including a lower rental price, 800 square foot minimum, an earlier completion date. The modern apartments will be priced between $1800 and $1900, and earlier this month, The National Park Service granted historical status to the building, which qualifies it for tax credits. The building will still feature an on-site property manager and security staff, roof access, a first-level parking garage, and an entrance facing Sullivan Square.

The property, formerly inhabited by the Nancy Sales Company, (the makers of plush toys most famously won at carnivals), was purchased at auction by Rauseo in 1995, and since then, Rauseo’s attorney, Patrick Sweeney of Morrissey & Sweeney has helped Rauseo endure the struggle of getting the anticipated project off the ground.

“Michael bought it and thought it would be good for residential use,” Sweeney said. “The project had a lot of support, except for Massport who filed a lawsuit.”

Five years later, Massport dropped the lawsuit, but two others, including one from the Commerce Center, cropped up. Representative Eugene O’Flaherty (D) sponsored a bill to have the building moved away from the water so construction could move more rapidly without the setback of acquiring a permit for maritime use.