Dilapidated 22-story Cambridge, Mass. courthouse headed for mixed-use rebirth

April 29, 2013 |
Drew Ballensky

Plans have been unveiled to convert the old Middlesex Courthouse in East Cambridge, Mass. into a mixed-use facility for office, apartment, and retail space. Leggat McCall Properties wants to completely renovate the 22-story building after winning a bid to purchase it from the state last year. Construction could begin in early 2014 on the $200 million project, pending approvals.

The renovated building with 18 floors of offices (totaling 460,000 sf) will stand out for its unusual open air windows, landscaped open spaces, and collection of locally based retailers at street level. Under the plan, 24 apartments would be added to the lower floors, but Leggat executives said they remain flexible on the number of units, perhaps a signal to local residents and commercial enterprises who want to see a larger residential profile. Opened in 1974, the courthouse towers over the neighboring low-rise commercial and residential buildings. Laden with asbestos, its interior became so dilapidated that court operations had to be moved to suburban Woburn in 2008.


Drew Ballensky | Reconstruction Blog

Drew Ballensky is general manager of Duro-Last Roofing, Inc.’s central U.S. facility in Iowa and company spokesman for Duro-Last’s cool roofing, sustainability and architectural education programs. He is past-president of the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association and chairman of CFFA’s Vinyl Roofing Division. Drew earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from the University of Northern Iowa and master’s degree in business administration from Florida State University.
Drew has over 29 years experience in business and industry in various engineering and managerial capacities. He has worked in the U.S. and Canadian operations for a major international manufacturer of pre-engineered steel buildings, was a financial analyst with a major athletic apparel manufacturer and was an owner of a general contracting company.

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