North Attleboro , MA
21 East – Contemporary Living
A 5.5 Acre site became available in an historic New England Mill City where jewelry had been manufactured for over 100 years. Today’s demand for rental housing made it feasible to reclaim this Brownfields site for a modern mixed-use development that includes 193 luxury residential units. Three mid-rise buildings frame the site. Fire-rated wood-frame construction created economical structures of 5 residential stories above non-combustible podiums. This style is especially appropriate on river-front property that needs flood-resistant construction.
The original developer/builder allied with financial partners to complete the construction. In the end, he was the general contractor while the partners became the full owners. Many early decisions were revisited as new expertise came in. The original design included gas heating, but electric heat pumps were ultimately chosen for higher efficiency and lower installed costs. This did require reworking the electrical systems that were already being installed. The planned roof deck was eliminated through cost/value analysis, but all access is in place if it is desired in the future.
A sleek modern style is created with a mix of fiber cement siding and panels augmented by metal siding elements. Strong colors heighten the contemporary look. Cable balcony rails were originally considered to further the look, but seasonal changes loosened the cables so dramatically that glass panels were ultimately chosen to provide the desired contemporary look.
Residential unit layouts feature open plan living. Bedroom suites are split by the central living space that looks out onto the generous balconies. Amenities include private laundries and walk-in closets. Many units include a nook that can easily be outfitted as a home office.
A state-of-the-art package receiving room is included in the lobby area. The commercial space that occupies part of the ground floor is set up with fire-rated ventilation shafts that will enable restaurant use. As the occupancy is now above 97%, it is expected that food service on site can soon be a viable option.
21 East has brought a new life-style choice in a modern style that respects the history while bringing a vitality to a city that is looking toward the future.