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DiMella Shaffer is a privately owned architectural planning and design firm located in Seattle and Boston whose talented staff of architects, planners, and interior designers create innovative, inspiring designs for institutional, residential, and commercial clients. They are passionate about architecture and believe that buildings can positively influence our environment and the people who live in, work in, or simply experience them.


Alexandria Real Estate Equities
- Nov 20, 2018

Site Work Underway at 50 Rogers Street in Kendall Square

Site work is underway for the upcoming 6-story residential building just steps from busy Kendall Square. The project is set to include 136 units and two levels of below-grade car and bike parking. The building will also feature a common courtyard in the center of the U-shaped design.



- Nov 08, 2018

Foundation Work Underway for New MIT Residence Hall

Foundation work is underway for MIT's upcoming 5-story, residence hall along Vassar Street.  The 156K sf building will contain 450 beds for undergraduate students, in addition to 16 apartments for faculty and staff.  Student amenities within the building are set to include meeting rooms, lounges, and a dining hall. There will also be ample green space throughout including a public entry courtyard and more private residents only plaza.

Construction is expected to be complete in Fall 2020.


King Street Properties
- Nov 06, 2018

Nexus: 600K SF Mixed-Use Development Proposed in Allston

King Street Properties along with Mugar Enterprises and The DiStefano family have released plans for Nexus at the Allston Innovation Corridor.  The three-building project would include over 607K of lab, office, retail, and residential space along Western Avenue in Allston.  The plans also call for 5,000sf public park and Artist's Way a public space for art installations.

View of the three proposed new buildings in Nexus

The project is now under review with construction expected to be completed in phases. 250 and 280 Western Avenue would begin first with 305 Western Avenue thereafter. Once permitted the development team would expect construction on the first phase to take 2 years.




The Boston Home
- Oct 22, 2018

The Harmon Apartments in Dorchester Nearing Completion

Interior finishing is well underway for The Harmon Apartments in Dorchester.  The new 36 unit building located just about a block from Ashmont Station will offer fully accessible apartments featuring specialized support tech and services.  30 of the units are designated affordable with 6 at market rate. 
Construction is expected to be finished early 2019.


Harmon Apartments
- Jul 10, 2018

Exterior Work Ongoing at Harmon Apartments in Dorchester

Exterior work continues at Harmon Apartments in Dorchester.  The upcoming 36 unit development is designed to be fully accessible with specialized support technology and services for residents.  Units will feature automatic door openers and lighting and HVAC systems that can be controlled via smartphone. The project also includes 21 parking spaces.

40 Rugg Road
- May 18, 2018

40 Rugg Road approval to bring 34 affordable units, new retail and art gallery space to Allston

The 40 Rugg Road project site is comprised of five parcels located in Allston. The site is currently occupied by four existing industrial buildings ranging from one to two stories, including associated surface parking areas, sidewalks, and temporary trailers. Nearby there are two parcels with an existing four-story masonry building and a five-story 36-unit condominium building currently under construction. The project site is located near the new Boston Landing MBTA Commuter Rail Station and is in close proximity to several MBTA bus routes.  

As proposed, the project will include the development of two new six-story residential buildings called Building A-B and Building C, respectively. The buildings will include ground floor retail space, ground floor work and gallery space reserved for local artists, and an automated parking structure for 168 vehicles. The buildings will contain 265 rental apartments, 34 of which will be affordable. Eight of the affordable units are specifically reserved as and designed to be artist live/work units. The current makeup of the project includes 86 studios, 118 one-bedroom units, and 61 two-bedroom units. There will also be a new green space created within the project site with direct access from each building’s ground floor amenity areas for use by its residents. Building A-B will be located in an “L”-shape configuration along the southern and eastern boundaries of the project site; Building C will be located in a “C”-shape configuration on the northern side of the site, wrapping around the parking structure.

The project will provide a number of community benefits for the surrounding neighborhood, including a contribution of $80,000 to Penniman Park.

55 Wheeler Street
- Mar 30, 2018


A statement written by a committee of ABC members

A moratorium on all development at Alewife is a moratorium on affordable housing, a moratorium on transit-oriented development, and a moratorium on an ecologically responsible future. It is fundamentally out of step with Cambridge values. Proposals for housing moratoria are often discussed or adopted in surrounding suburban cities and towns, and for the same reasons forwarded in this letter. We now join Brookline, Newton, Marlborough, Pembroke, among many others, as part of the moratorium discussion. Cambridge has been a leader in progressive solutions to affordable housing, the environment, and transit, and we cannot set a precedent by turning our backs on that legacy.

Most importantly, this moratorium would have immediate and drastic impacts on affordable housing in Cambridge, aggravating issues of income inequality and social equity we pride ourselves in tackling as a community.

- Homeowners Rehab Inc.(HRI), a Cambridge non-profit affordable housing developer will provide 98 low to middle-income homes right on Concord Ave.

- 55 Wheeler Street could be impacted. This project will be the first private development to be built under our new 20% inclusionary zoning rules and will provide over 100 affordable homes. Not only would a moratorium prevent much-needed housing, but would also block many of the goals outlined by the moratorium petition.

-In total this moratorium could directly stop 500+ desperately needed units of Cambridge housing. This includes 100+ affordable units and a mix of 1,2,3 bedrooms with homeownership opportunities that will allow families and young people alike to remain in Cambridge.


Secondly, this moratorium will put a halt on ecologically friendly, transit-oriented development in Cambridge, and cause us to lose much-needed state funding to fix this congested part of our city.

-The Wheeler St development will provide a landing space for a much-needed potential bridge that will connect the quadrangle to Alewife T station.  This bridge could complete and connect many biking and pedestrian routes in Cambridge. The developer has proposed infrastructure improvements, as well as greater connectivity through the creation of a completed street grid to alleviate congestion and traffic.  

- Cambridge has an opportunity to secure state funding as well as priority funding through the MA Department of Housing & Community Development’s Housing Choices Initiative. This important funding could be used to help pay for a bridge connecting the quadrangle to the Alewife T station. The state will reject applications from cities and towns that have a moratorium on housing. We cannot miss this opportunity for increased mobility and connectivity in the Alewife area.

- Some have argued that this area is too congested for new development. However, it is estimated over 80% of the traffic in this area originates outside of Cambridge. This development is close to multimodal transport options, and could even lessen traffic as people move in closer to jobs and transit options.  Residential development causes much less congestion that commercial development this partially replaces.


Lastly, this moratorium would fail to set the highest standard for climate preparedness in Cambridge development and miss opportunities to remediate severely polluted sites.

- The Wheeler development will provide significant flood mitigation and new open space for flood and stormwater runoff. Higher standards could even be proposed without scuttling the entire development

- HRI is keeping all units and building resources above the 2070 flood elevation, as recommended by the City of Cambridge’s Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment.

- The area being developed is currently contaminated soils and unused pavement. Development work would require remediation, rather than these toxins remaining free to infiltrate the floodplain.


A moratorium on development in Alewife does nothing but prevent this community from confronting our housing, climate, and mobility challenges. We need investment in housing and mixed-use development to tear up pavement, insert green space, provide infrastructure, and build a resilient, diverse, and well-connected neighborhood. A moratorium is a step backward and does nothing but hurt our progress on some of the most important issues facing our city.

One Charlestown
- Mar 14, 2018

On Thursday, March 15th at 545 Medford St, Charlestown, Massachusetts at 6 PM there will be a public council hearing regarding the development of One Charlestown. 

The proposed $1 billion development, is a 3.3 million square foot redevelopment of the existing 27.6-acre, 1,100-unit Bunker Hill public housing project into 3,200 mixed-income residential units with a neighborhood retail component. All 42 existing Bunker Hill housing buildings, dating to 1941, would be demolished and replaced with new buildings consisting of apartment and duplex unit formats. 

Visit OneCharlestown.com for more information.

Vassar Street Undergraduate Residence Hall
- Feb 11, 2018

MIT begins construction of 450-bed undergraduate residence hall

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has begun construction of its’ new 450-bed, 156,000-square-foot undergraduate student residence hall on Vassar Street. The building is expected to open by Fall 2020, and will replace the former West Garage parking facility and an adjacent surface parking lot. Site-enabling activities including utility relocation began last September, and demolition of the West Garage began in late January. Completion of demolition is expected by April, at which point construction of the residence hall’s foundation, which will consist of precast concrete piles, will begin. Vertical construction of the five-story residence hall is expected to commence this Fall.

The 450-bed residence hall will house a mix of first-year and upper-class students. Additionally, 12 apartments will be located on site housing graduate resident tutors, and four apartments will be constructed to accommodate staff members including a faculty head of house, an associate faculty head of house, an area director and a visiting scholar. A variety of community spaces will be provided on site, including a 225-seat residential dining facility with a communal kitchen, an avenue of study lounges and other common spaces, a private courtyard and a maker space area. The residence hall will be built to LEED Gold sustainability specifications. 243 long-term and 34-short-term bicycle parking spaces will be provided; there will be no vehicle parking on site.

40 Rugg Road
- Feb 01, 2018

Revised plans revealed for $107 million Allston apartment development expected to break ground this Fall

The Michaels Organization has revealed revised plans for the proposed $107 million 40 Rugg Road apartment development in Allston, which the proponent hopes to break ground on this November. Originally proposed in Spring 2017, 40 Rugg Road’s proposed apartment count has increased from 261 to 265 residences. Additionally, eight income-restricted artist units are now proposed to be included in 40 Rugg Road’s 34-unit affordable apartment component.

Each artist would be provided with 1,350 square feet of gallery and work space on the ground floor; ground-floor retail space has been reduced from 2,700 square feet to 2,500 in order to make room for 10,800 square feet of ground-floor artist gallery and work space. An additional 1,500 square feet of flexible gallery and work space would be located in common areas throughout the development, resulting in a total of 12,300 square feet of gallery and work space.

Overall, 40 Rugg Road’s proposed gross floor area has been reduced from 294,400 square feet to 270,170. The development’s proposed height remains six floors and 69 feet. The proposed apartment mix has shifted slightly towards one-bedrooms; 86 studios, 122 one-bedrooms and 57 two-bedrooms are now proposed, as opposed to 94 studios, 105 one-bedrooms and 62 two-bedrooms previously. The City of Boston is now reviewing The Michaels Organization’s revised plans. Completion of 40 Rugg Road is expected in September 2020. The latest 40 Rugg Road renderings are posted above.

Vassar Street Undergraduate Residence Hall
- Nov 21, 2017

MIT proposes 450-bed undergraduate residence hall in Cambridge

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) proposes to construct a new, 450-bed undergraduate student residence hall on Vassar Street, near the intersection with Massachusetts Avenue. The hall would include single and double rooms, arranged in clusters of 35 to 38 students with one graduate resident tutor per cluster. A variety of amenity spaces would be spread throughout the hall, including lounges, meeting rooms, music rooms, flexible spaces and a dining hall.

MIT’s new hall would allow the university to renovate other student residences and modernize its’ existing housing stock by providing an added supply of on-campus beds. The hall would also allow MIT to accommodate an increased number of students on campus, and would better connect the campus’ east and west ends by replacing an existing surface parking lot and parking garage with a modern building consisting of contrasting colors, a patterned brick exterior and new greenery. Demolition of the parking garage is slated to take place in early 2018. Pending city approval, the hall would open in Fall 2020. MIT has filed plans for the proposed hall with the City of Cambridge, who is now reviewing the project.

55 Wheeler Street
- Aug 24, 2017

Over 500 apartments proposed at 55 Wheeler Street in Cambridge, minutes from Alewife Station

Redgate and Westbrook Partners propose to construct three new buildings containing 526 apartment residences across six acres located minutes from Alewife Station in Cambridge. Residences would include studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms and three-bedrooms; 111 residences would be designated affordable. 55 Wheeler Street would be built to LEED v4 Silver sustainability specifications and include amenities such as two on-grade courtyards, one of which would feature a pool deck, and a third elevated courtyard. A new 30,000-square-foot public park would be constructed as part of the project. The City of Cambridge is now reviewing Redgate and Westbrook’s proposed project plans.

Harmon Apartments
- Aug 13, 2017

W. L. French breaks ground on Dorchester’s Harmon Apartments, new housing for people with physical disabilities

W. L. French Excavating Corporation has broken ground on Harmon Apartments in Dorchester, an important development that will feature 36 mixed-income apartment residences specialized for people with physical disabilities. Initial site work is now underway to prepare the project site for construction of the foundation of the $15.4 million building. Financing for Harmon Apartments is provided by a variety of proponents, including $2.8 million from The Boston Home, $9 million in equity financing, $1.2 million in debt and a grant of $200,000 from Capital One Bank, $2 million from the City of Boston, $750,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development and $1 million from MassHousing. Specialized features at Harmon Apartments will include automatic door openers, as well as HVAC and lighting systems controllable by smartphone. Harmon Apartments residents will be able to take advantage of on-site wellness, fitness and social programming.

40 Rugg Road
- Jul 27, 2017

261-unit Allston apartment development would break ground Spring 2018

The Michaels Organization hopes to break ground on 40 Rugg Road, a proposed 294,400-square-foot Allston mixed-use development featuring 261 apartment residences, in Spring 2018. The LEED Silver efficiency certifiable building would include 2,700 square feet of retail along Braintree Street, and is located steps from the new Boston Landing commuter rail station surrounded by multiple development projects including Penniman on the Park, Trac 75, Boston Landing, Allston Yards and the Boston Volvo Village Redevelopment. The Michaels Organization has filed plans for 40 Rugg Road with the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), who is now reviewing the project.

Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly Genesis House Renovation
- Jul 05, 2017

Interior and exterior upgrades underway at Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly’s Genesis House in Brighton

Installation of new windows and exterior facade upgrades are currently underway at the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (JCHE)’s Genesis House in Brighton, which is under renovation, modernization and sustainability repositioning by general contractor Dellbrook | JKS. The existing buildings, which are dated and in need of renovation, are being fully refurbished both inside and out; inside the buildings, the Dellbrook | JKS team is at work upgrading utilities and installing modern finishes in residences and common areas. The Genesis House features 209 senior residences; Dellbrook | JKS’s renovation will ensure the availability of quality senior housing in the Brighton neighborhood for years to come. Renovations are designed to achieve Enterprise Green Communities sustainability certification; project completion is expected in June 2018. The following are photographs of the JCHE’s Genesis House:

JCHE Genesis House Interior Photos

JCHE Genesis House Exterior Photos

40 Rugg Road
- May 26, 2017

262 new apartments proposed steps to Boston Landing commuter rail station in Allston

The Michaels Organization, based in New Jersey, proposes to construct 262 residences with 3,485 square feet of ground-floor retail at 40 Rugg Road, a 1.89-acre Allston site located steps to the newly opened Boston Landing commuter rail station. The development has filed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to construct the project with the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), who is now reviewing the project.

Union Square Apartments
- Jan 08, 2017

Dellbrook | JKS cuts ribbon on new affordable apartments in Somerville’s Union Square

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Thursday for the newly opened 35-unit Union Square Apartments affordable housing building, built by Dellbrook | JKS in Somerville. Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Senator Patricia Jehlen, MassHousing Executive Director Tim Sullivan, Massachusetts Housing Partnership Executive Director Clark Ziegler and Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation Executive Director Roger Herzog were among those in attendance. Union Square Apartments brings an important affordable component to Somerville’s rapidly developing Union Square. The following are photographs from the ribbon cutting:

Union Point
- Nov 28, 2016

LStar cuts ribbon on new Parkway at Union Point

LStar Communities held a ribbon cutting ceremony last Wednesday (November 23rd, 2016) for the new $6.7 million Patriot Parkway at Union Point in South Weymouth. The completion of the Parkway frees hundreds of acres of land at Union Point up for development. The completed Parkway, financed by MassDOT, cuts through the 1,500 acre Union Point site, linking Routes 3 and 18 as well as the South Weymouth commuter rail station and the future Union Point town center district. Town Center Apartments, a new mixed-use development with 265 apartments and 14,000 square feet of retail, is already under construction at the end of the Parkway steps to the commuter rail station.

Union Point residents were delighted to welcome the new Parkway and enthusiastically honked their car horns as they drove along the road for the first time. The following are photographs from the ribbon cutting ceremony:

Union Point Patriot Parkway Ribbon Cutting

Union Square Apartments
- Nov 27, 2016

Dellbrook | JKS completes new Somerville affordable housing development

General Contractor Dellbrook | JKS has completed Union Square Apartments, a new affordable housing development located in the heart of Somerville's eclectic Union Square. The newly opened building, developed by Somerville Community Corporation, features 35 affordable housing units and approximately 2,500 square feet of ground-floor retail. The following are photographs of the new Union Square Apartments:

Union Square Apartments Photographs

115 Hartwell Avenue
- Nov 09, 2016

Wave Life Sciences anchors new Lexington life science office building

Wave Life Sciences, a preclinical genetic medicine company specializing in treating rare diseases, has leased 58,000 square feet of office space across two floors at King Street Properties' new 91,000 square foot Lexington life science office building, 115 Hartwell Avenue, Banker & Tradesman reports. Wave raised $102 million in an initial public offering (IPO) last year. 115 Hartwell Avenue is slated for completion in the first quarter of 2017.

Nexus at the Allston Innovation Corridor
- Nov 01, 2016

Mugar acquires 3.64 acres along Western Avenue in Allston for $13 million

Local real estate developer Mugar Enterprises closed yesterday (October 31st, 2016) on the acquisition of 3.64 acres of land along Western Avenue in Allston, located next to Harvard Business School between Everett and North Harvard Streets, for $13 million as recorded in the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds. A number of smaller buildings including an auto body, a duplex house, a gas station, a Subway sandwich shop and a two-story office building stand on the land. The following is the deed for Mugar Enterprises' acquisition of the land:

Union Point
- Oct 24, 2016

Union Point plans revealed at BLDUP, Inc.’s Developer’s Agenda


LStar Communities’ Managing Partner Kyle Corkum revealed the latest plans for Union Point, a a 1,500 acre mixed-use development located 12 miles from Boston, at BLDUP, Inc.’s inaugural Developer’s Agenda event last Thursday evening. Corkum, with help from John Tocci Jr., Director of Virtual Design and Construction at Tocci Building Companies, led Developer’s Agenda attendees on a 3D virtual tour of Union Point and revealed new project renderings, which can be found on the Union Point BLDUP page.

Corkum spoke of the “unprecedented opportunity to build something spectacular” at Union Point, namely a “new transit-oriented city.” The State of Massachusetts has invested $53 million into a new 2.5-mile parkway at Union Point that leads to a new MBTA Commuter Rail Station; the State also invested $23 million into the MBTA Station.

Corkum unveiled plans for a “tremendous concentration of restaurants in an urban environment” that will be centered around a new man-made lake. These restaurants will surround new professional athletic facilities, activating the restaurant district. At game times, streets will be closed off “like Yawkey Way” in Boston. According to Corkum, professional sports teams have already committed to playing at Union Point.

Ultimately, over 100 commercial buildings will be constructed at Union Point; Union Point will feature up to 4,000 homes and up to 6 million square feet of commercial. Construction recently began on Town Center Apartments, a mixed-use development at Union Point with 14,000 square feet of retail and 265 units of rental housing. Six major projects at Union Point are now underway; up to 20 major projects will be underway by Spring 2017.

One Charlestown
- Sep 29, 2016

One Charlestown detailed plans filed with BPDA

Proponents Corcoran Jennison and SunCal have filed a Project Notification Form (PNF) with the Boston Planning & Development Authority (BPDA) containing detailed plans for One Charlestown, the proposed $1 billion, 3.3 million square foot redevelopment of the existing 27.6-acre, 1,100-unit Bunker Hill public housing project in Charlestown; the following is a link to the PNF. One Charlestown would reconfigure the project site, replacing the existing low-rise buildings with new ones ranging from six to 21 stories tall containing a total of 3,200 mixed-income residential units and approximately 100,000 square feet of civic and retail space. All 1,100 public housing units would be preserved, and all current residents would have the right to return. One Charlestown housing units would include 750 affordable rentals, 350 senior affordable rentals, 1,500 market rate rentals and 600 market rate ownership condominiums ranging from studios to four-bedrooms.

Two new public parks would be constructed at One Charlestown along with streetscape improvements. One Charlestown would be built in three phases over an approximately ten year period beginning in 2018. Additional information about and renderings of One Charlestown can be found above.

One Charlestown
- Aug 20, 2016

One Charlestown development moving forward, Letter of Intent filed

Proponents Corcoran Jennison Associates and SunCal filed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) last Tuesday (August 16th, 2016) to construct One Charlestown and anticipate filing an Expanded Project Notification Form (EPNF) with additional information and renderings within the next 30 days. The proposed One Charlestown would revamp the existing 27.6-acre, 1,100-unit Bunker Hill public housing project into 3,200 mixed-income residential units with a neighborhood retail component. The following is a link to the LOI for One Charlestown; additional information about the One Charlestown proposal can be found above and at the One Charlestown website. The following are renderings of One Charlestown:

One Charlestown Renderings

Fuse Cambridge
- Mar 30, 2016

Newly opened Fuse Cambridge offers the best of city dwelling and suburban living

The newly-built Fuse Cambridge apartment building has been open to new residents since November 2015. Fuse Cambridge is uniquely positioned along the Alewife Brook Greenway, a great place to walk, run and bike. Fuse Cambridge residents have access to complementary bicycles, ensuring residents can take full advantage of Fuse Cambridge's surroundings.

Units at Fuse Cambridge feature abundant natural light and views of the lush green surroundings. Residents have access to a rooftop terrace with a pool and a panoramic view of Alewife Brook. Fuse Cambridge is a thoughtfully and distinctively designed building that offers the best of city dwelling and suburban living.

New photographs of Fuse Cambridge are posted above. Additional project information is posted below.

Union Square Apartments
- Jan 25, 2016

Foundation work is underway at 181 Washington Street. Concrete is being poured on completed pile caps by the Dellbrook Construction and JK Scanlan Company team. 181 Washington Street is located next door to 197 Union Square, also being built by Dellbrook Construction and JK Scanlan Company.

181 Washington Street will bring new residences and retail space to Union Square's commercial heart, home to a growing number of restaurant, cafes and retail stores. A Green Line transit station is also proposed for construction steps from 181 Washington Street. Check out our new photographs of 181 Washington Street, posted above.

Vivo Apartments
- Jan 21, 2016

Construction was completed at Vivo Apartments in September 2015. Building is now leasing. New photographs posted.

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