Development Begins on Transforming Historic Back Bay Brownstone into Luxury Condominiums
The transformation of an 1880 Back Bay double-wide brownstone into five luxury boutique condominiums is now underway. The residences, known as ‘Maison Commonwealth,’ located at 260 and 262 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, are being built by Needham-based Nauset Construction for developer Chevron Partners. The buildings were originally constructed as single-family residences, and most recently served as student housing for Bay State College, and were acquired by Chevron Partners in 2017.
The extraordinarily complex historic renovation project includes a fully excavated below-grade garage, the removal of all load-bearing walls between the two historic buildings, construction of a new modern penthouse addition, and the installation of highly sophisticated mechanical systems.
“I have been so impressed with Nauset Construction’s level of diligence in their attention to detail in the bidding process, planning the finishes and coordinating every aspect of the construction well in advance of trade execution,” said Marcel Safar, managing partnerof Chevron Partners. “As an owner, this gives me confidence in such important aspects of a project that are price security, speed of execution and accuracy of execution on my project.”
The project architect is Meyer & Meyer, which specializes in historic restoration and renovation. The stately brick and brownstone Victorian façade, originally designed by Samuel Kelley, architect of the first Back Bay apartment house in 1885 later known as Hotel Royal, will be restored to its original splendor. Walled garden areas will be seamlessly integrated with the original building, and the beautifully appointed lobby will include a custom elevator.
Each unit will offer expansive formal living, dining, and entertaining spaces with ceiling heights up to 12’ and views onto Commonwealth Avenue. The units will feature cast plaster moldings with custom corner cartouches that meet sleek modern finishes, hand-carved marble mantels and gas fireplaces that adjoin modern Italian cabinetry, and state-of-the-art appliances. Imported oak wood chevron flooring, Italian closets, and floor-to-ceiling imported Carrara marble master bathrooms will also be constructed. The 4,200 square foot two-level Penthouse unit will feature a 1,500 square foot modern upper-level addition, appointed with front and rear motorized glass walls that blur the boundary to 970 square feet of private front and rear outdoor space.
Nauset Construction has a long history of award-winning historic renovation/restoration projects, including Old Quincy City Hall, Cary Hall in Lexington, the Brazilian Consulate in Boson’s Financial District, and 907 Main, a boutique hotel and restaurant in Central Square, Cambridge.
“The redevelopment of Maison Commonwealth is a special opportunity to demonstrate some of our greatest strengths as a construction manager – historic renovation, multifamily development, and working in zero-lot line urban infill sites,” said Nauset Construction President Anthony Papantonis. “We look forward to working with the entire development team on this challenging project.”