The Graphic Construction Winding Down, Residents Begin Move-Ins

The city’s largest modular-constructed residential development is concluding construction on the front row of Sullivan Square this week, and Berkeley Investments said it is ready to begin welcoming residents into the pioneering development on the busy Square.

“To my knowledge, this is the single largest modular construction building in Boston,” said Paul Goodwin, development project manager for The Graphic. “It took some doing, but we think it came out great…It’s a really good spot here. It’s an emerging growth corridor. Our development and Hood are fortunate to be the first movers on this area.”

One of the new units in the modular-built building at 34 Cambridge St. The new building has more than 100 units that will come online in September.

Things certainly stacked up at The Graphic in recent months as 129 modular boxes arrived at the site and were craned into place to construct the project, which consists of two buildings located at 32 and 34 Cambridge Street.

The first building at 32 Cambridge St. is a rehabilitation of the old Graphic Arts building, which was not done with modular techniques, but was painstaking restored and converted into 46 living units and all of the amenities spaces. The rehab features exposed beams, tall ceilings and amazing pieces of industrial machinery that has been reused – such as fire doors and large beams.

“We wanted that building to have a modern look with a nod to the old industrial past throughout,” Goodwin said. “We also chose to put the amenities in the Graphic building because you cannot build spaces like these anymore. It has such character.”

Onsite amenities include: Resident lounge for networking, working and socializing; Clubroom with community kitchen for private dining and events,; Roof deck with skyline views and BBQ grills; Fitness center and yoga room; Pet Spa; Multiple private courtyards; Shared laundry (with large-capacity equipment, in addition to the W&D that are in each apartment); Concierge services; Garage parking; Covered bike parking and repair; Private storage units; Common area WiFi; ZipCar®, and Electric Vehicle charging stations.

The Graphic lofts building faces Sullivan Station and has approximately 5,000 sq. ft. of retail space that the owners said they would like to convert into a top quality restaurant.

“We want to make that space work for the operator,” he said. “We’re not looking for the first bank to come sign up for the retail space. We’re being very thoughtful about that space.”

Meanwhile, 34 Cambridge is the construction built with a modular construction method. It contains 125 apartments as well as the majority of onsite parking, resident fitness center (with yoga studio) and roof deck.

That building is looking to have an occupancy of Sept. 1, and Goodwin said they have been held up by the delay caused from last year’s National Grid gas worker lockout.

“We’re on track for that and are hoping for Sept. 1,” he said.

The new construction is markedly different from the rehabilitated loft building, with units that have a much different layout and feature more modern tweaks.

Units range from one-bedrooms with some extra bedroom space due to the layout of the module boxes, to micro-units of about 430 sq. ft. where designers took over to create kitchens that didn’t interfere with the living space.

Both buildings are connected via an underground tunnel, as well as generous outdoor courtyards/workspaces.

The project is named in honor of the Graphic Arts Finishers company that held the space for many years, but realized that their operation was probably better suited for another location. That company partnered with Berkeley and merged their graphics company with Superior on the South Shore. However, the Finishers still remain a part of the project on the Square, Goodwin said.

The Graphic is at the nexus of many major new developments. It is located across the street from the MBTA Sullivan Square Orange Line Station, a short distance to I-93 and a mile from Assembly Row and the new Encore casino.

New residents will begin moving in this month, and more will be welcomed in phases to the two buildings through the fall.

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