Jackson Square Continues to Grow & Prosper

We were pleased to read in Banker & Tradesman about the continued success of the Jackson Square master planning effort, in which PCA played a pivotal role. In conjunction with Stull & Lee/Tise Architects and multiple site developers, PCA acted as the lead architect in the master planning and site development of Jackson Square – 9.5 acres of prime yet depressed real estate at the intersection of Boston’s Roxbury and Jamaica Plain neighborhoods.

Initially brought into the project by the Jackson Square Partnership, a quasi-public / private entity, PCA was recruited to oversee the overall masterplan. PCA worked with the Partnership to obtain all of the necessary approvals to secure funding and begin work on the site. PCA subsequently helped to navigate the project through Article 80 Large Project Review and garner approvals from the Boston Civic Design Commission, creating a unified neighborhood vision.

Subsequently, PCA completed a gateway project for the Square - Jackson Commons - an affordable housing project that also rehabilitated one of the last remnants of Jackson Square's history with the adaptive reuse of the historic FW Webb Building.

PCA continues to work in Jackson Square, currently working with the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation on General Heath Square with the addition of 47 new 100% affordable apartments and community space. Heath Square’s design received overwhelming support from community leaders and public officials at its Article 80 Large Project Review.

DiAnn Mroszczak Presenting at MedEd Conference on 4/5

As more campus projects achieve the Living Building Challenge (LBC), the intricacies of the LBC are better understood and explored. However, owners considering the LBC may be hesitant to commit to an unfamiliar new standard of sustainable and healthy design. At MedEd on April 5, LBC Facilitator Leaders Shawn Hesse and DiAnn Mroszczak will delve into multiple successful Challenge projects to reveal the project owners’ lessons learned – helping you understand and accomplish the LBC at your own facilities.

Stepping Into Design

PCA design is becoming larger than life with the help of our new virtual reality systems. EnScape allows our work to be exported directly from Revit & Sketchup into the VR system, where staff and clients alike can walk through it while wearing the VR headset. Under the guidance of PCA’s VR expert Frank Smith, staff immersed themselves in projects, marveling at the chance to fly through our conceptual designs. We are excited to share this with our clients, and hope that you will visit soon to see your project up close & personal.

PCA Office Olympics: 2017

We are actively training for the next world games with Olympic trials of our own. The PCA Olympics are a long running office tradition. Taking first place was the “Office Superheroes”, Boston Favorites “The Family” nabbed second, the “Old Guard” took third place. The “New Kids on the Block” did not place, but played hard for their first go-round.

Check out a few pictures below, and watch one of the events, powerlifting, here.

PCA Volunteers at the Friday Night Supper Program

Since 2011, PCA has sent volunteers to help serve a delicious hot meal at the Friday Night Supper Program.

The FNSP, founded in 1984, has provided over 8,000 nutritious, home-cooked meals a year to Boston’s homeless and hungry in a safe and dignified environment, every Friday night.

In addition to our volunteers, PCA donated $300 for the creation of the meal as well as a very large number of brand new socks contributed by everyone in the office! Socks are the most sought after commodity in the homeless community, and they were warmly welcomed by all participants just in time for one of the coldest days in the 2017 winter season....

Due to an overwhelming amount of interest within the office, PCA will be volunteering at another opportunity in April.

For more information here is a link to the FNSP website HERE

Tuscan Kitchen & Market Opening on March 1

Tuscan Kitchen & Market will be opening tomorrow, March 1. The former Jerry Lewis movie theater in Portsmouth, New Hampshire has been renovated by PCA to house a restaurant for 294+ guests and a 13,000 SF Tuscan Market - opening in June - offering prepared foods, pastries, produce, a full butchery, home-spun gelato, wines and craft beer.  

The restaurant and market will directly import products such as wine, flour, olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses from Italy, while trying to use locally sourced food.  The restaurant will be open for dinner the first week, with lunch added the second week. 

Read more in a recent article in Seacoast Online and Tuscan Portsmouth's Facebook page.... enjoy!

PCA Ski Trip

PCA Takes the Slopes

Early February, the PCA team headed back to Killington Ski Resort – to conquer the “Beast of the East”. Each year, members of the PCA team drive up to Vermont for a weekend of skiing, winter adventure, and general shenanigans. Led by Rob Hagan, this year’s group had a blast dashing through the snow, and speeding down the hills at Killington. A fantastic weekend was capped off by a family-style meal back at the lodge. Check out photos below.

PCA Learns to Curl – Round 2

Next stop, winter Olympics!

PCA hit the ice once more for another curling adventure, after last year’s popular and fun event. Led by seasoned curlers, Shaun Hallisey and Michael Rosa, the PCA team sharpened their skills again at Wayland’s curling hub, Broomstones. Check out some photos below - see you next year in Pyeonchang!

Common Ground

As multifamily apartments and condominium developments continue to come online, competition for tenants and buyers increases exponentially. In a buyer’s market, the right mix of amenities and branding can make a difference in leasing statistics for building managers and owners.

Today’s millennial generation is overwhelmingly deciding to rent instead of own, especially in cities like Boston. Community spaces can give your development a step up in today’s market where renters are looking for a lifestyle, not just an apartment.

National Development’s goal for two of its existing properties was to upgrade public and common spaces to develop a branded experience, with useful, inviting spaces for tenants to gather and relax outside their apartments. PCA was brought in to renovate the interior public spaces of the Element Apartments and two buildings at Station Landing to create interesting and hip common spaces attractive to today’s renter.


 

Previously, Element’s community spaces were underutilized – the fitness room was oversized, a media / movie room sat vacant and the lobby suffered from poor organization and flow. In addition, National Development needed to find room in the building for a central leasing office to manage their newly acquired Allston Green District properties.


 

At Station Landing, a mixed use development, there was a challenge in renovating underused, formerly retail/restaurant spaces for residential use, all while the apartment buildings were occupied.


 

In both developments, the design team worked together to solve problems and find creative solutions, from drapery to glazing, partitions to flooring, and wall coverings to lighting. The new design incorporates a mix of natural, industrial and modern finishes to create a new vibe, contemporizing the apartment building to appeal to today’s millennial renters.

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