Paul Ognibene Cohasset

Paul Ognibene / Urban Spaces Set to Break Ground on Kendall East Mixed-Use Apartment Complex

Cambridge, MA – Paul Ognibene, the CEO of  Urban Spaces, a Cambridge-based commercial real estate development company that focuses on mid-sized, transit-oriented projects, has announced the start of demolition next week on its former headquarters to make way for Kendall East, a mixed-use apartment complex comprised of 136 units and 14,800 square feet of retail.

The site, as described by developer Paul Ognibene, encompasses 99-119 First Street, 18 Hurley Street, and 29 Charles Street, is located across from CambridgeSide, a mixed-use one million square foot shopping center, located within a short walking distance to Kendall Square, Lechmere Station, and Cambridge Crossing.

Designed by award-winning architectural firm Perkins Eastman, Kendall East is set to begin demolition next week and begin construction of the new buildings in April. Paul Ognibene noted that the larger of the two pet-friendly buildings in the complex will include 118 luxury apartments above 14,800 square feet of ground floor retail and 23 surface parking spaces to support retail.

This parcel was once home to interconnected office and retail buildings (including the Urban Spaces headquarters and Petco). An additional 18 residential units will be built on the adjacent parcel. The two buildings will share a two-level underground garage with 142 parking and 159 bicycle spaces that will be built underneath a half acre open air green space. Of particular interest, and in keeping with the other work of Urban Spaces that enhances the areas beyond the bounds of their project sites, Paul Ognibene noted that the space will include a bike and pedestrian path that will connect Charles and Hurley Street. Construction is expected to be completed in 2020.

“With office and lab space in Kendall Square and the First Street Corridor nearly at full occupancy and Cambridge Crossing signing leases with Sanofi and Phillips for over a million square feet, the demand for luxury apartments in East Cambridge has never been greater,” said Paul Ognibene.  “In addition to the housing and neighborhood retail, Kendall East will be providing beautiful green space to the evolving First Street Corridor.”

The complex will be comprised of a four-story and a six-story wood frame building constructed over steel and concrete podium. The 136 apartments will be a mix of studio, one, two, and three-bedroom units, with 16 designated as affordable. According to Paul Ognibene, Apartment rental service Zumper’s Boston Metro Report for January 2019 rated Cambridge as the most expensive Massachusetts city to rent in, affirming the high demand of the Cambridge rental market.

Kendall East is an integral component of the First Street Corridor, a $275 million development that is adding much-needed vitality to the approximately one mile stretch between the Lechmere MBTA station and Kendall Square – the heart of the Cambridge life science and technology hub – with a blend of residential, retail, office, and open space. Paul Ognibene and Urban Spaces are generally credited with initiating this effort which, when completed, the development will add 53,000 square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of retail, 250 parking spaces, and over 250 housing units to supply-constrained East Cambridge.

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Urban Spaces is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based real estate development company that creates residential and commercial buildings in close proximity to public transportation, universities, and employment hubs.  Founded in 2004 by CEO Paul Ognibene, Urban Spaces has earned a regional reputation for award-winning developments that revitalize and enhance emerging and well-established neighborhoods.  The company has a broad range of experience, including new construction, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation in both the private and public sectors.  In addition to being an innovator, Urban Spaces has been influential in forecasting and advancing many of the important urban trends that we see today, such as micro-units, modular construction, and environmentally resilient design.  Urban Spaces continues to make important contributions to enhance the urban fabric of its host communities.   

By Paul Ognibene

Official blog for Paul Ognibene of Cohasset