Cambridge, MA – Nauset Construction has completed St. James Place, a mixed-use, transit-oriented development that links the historic St. James Episcopal Church to 46 condominiums, 2,000sf of retail space, and a new parish hall that includes a neighborhood food pantry.
Located at 1991 Mass. Ave. in Porter Square, St. James Place was developed by Acorn Holdings in partnership with the St. James Episcopal Church, transforming the site of a shuttered car wash into housing and replacing an inaccessible and deteriorating parish hall with a new 11,400sf structure. The hall houses classrooms for children’s programs, a nursery, library, and music practice rooms as well as a commercial kitchen and the neighborhood food pantry. The development also includes a private courtyard that is open to the public.
Featuring a stone veneer-lined foundation and situated above the parish hall, the three floors of condominiums consist of 11 one-bedroom, 34 two-bedroom and two-bedroom/den, and 1 three-bedroom units, including five affordable units. The units feature energy efficient LED lighting and additional energy saving features designed to meet the City of Cambridge LEED-based construction standards for energy efficiency and sustainability. Building amenities include an entry-level common entertainment room with wet bar, a guest suite for exclusive use by residents, a pet spa, and electric vehicle charging stations located in the below-grade parking garage.
One of the many construction challenges was connecting the new structure to the historic church, as well as excavating for the below-grade parking garage, all while ensuring that its cobblestone foundation was properly supported and not compromised throughout construction. “This was a project that played to our strengths as a construction manager: historic renovation, midsize multifamily housing and working in tight urban infill locations,” said Benjamin Goldfarb, vice president of Nauset Construction.
The development has a Walk Score of 93 and is steps from the MBTA Red Line station, shopping and dining options, and three local parks. St. James Place is the third Cambridge multifamily project on which Nauset and Acorn have partnered.
The historic church was built in 1888 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“This project creates an architectural highlight for the neighborhood that ties directly into the history of Porter Square,” said Phil Terzis of Acorn Holdings. “The condominiums help to meet the demand of this supply-constricted market, while the courtyard re-creates that historical feel of a classic cloister. And it’s one of the few, if not the only, publicly accessible, privately-owned green spaces in Porter Square.”