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Revere puts a ribbon on progress

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, left, helps Budge Upton, partner at Upton & Partners, Mayor Brian Arrigo, and Xander Dyer, V.P. T.A. Associates Realty cut the ribbon at Ocean 650 Apartments.

By GAYLA CAWLEY

REVERE — Ocean 650 Apartments, a new luxury apartment complex on Revere Beach, was christened by city and state officials on Wednesday, who hailed it as setting the standard for future development in Revere.

Jay Ash, state secretary of housing and economic development, joined Mayor Brian Arrigo and other city officials for a ribbon cutting on the rooftop of the apartment complex on Ocean Avenue, which holds 230 market-rate units, ranging from $1,750 to more than $4,000, according to the developer, Budge Upton, partner with Dedham-based Upton & Partners.

“This is awesome,” Ash said. “To the city council, congratulations on what you’ve been able to accomplish here. This is really something that you should take a great deal of credit for. Lots of communities (would) be very happy to have what you have here and are very envious here today. To be able to deliver such quality development to the community and a community that very much wants to have development … take place is really something you should be proud of.”

Upton said the building opened about five months ago, on a budget of $50 million, and is 61 percent leased. He declined to say how much he paid for the property, which he acquired from the master developer, Joseph DiGangi in late 2014. Online records show the sale price was $2.47 million, and the property value is $31.4 million. Upton said construction began 26 months ago.

Upton said he liked the location for the complex because of the public transportation, the beach, proximity to downtown Boston and a supportive government. Amenities include a fitness center, roof deck views of the Boston skyline, garage parking, and its location adjacent to the MBTA Wonderland Station.

“I think it’s a great place setter for future development in Revere,” Upton said.

Boston-based Arrowstreet was the architecture firm for the project. David Bois, principal of Arrowstreet, said the design was trying to be a modern interpretation of the New England beach house. He said 70 percent of the units have water views.

Ash said he was very impressed and that the project is important to the entire Commonwealth. He said there’s a housing crunch in Massachusetts and each of the state’s 351 municipalities are needed to solve that problem.

He said housing in the Greater Boston area is critically important “to all of our economies,” and there is a need for developments such as Ocean 650 to take place in places such as Revere to continue to attract talent and income. Municipalities such as Revere and Chelsea also need to be creating the housing necessary to support all of the jobs that want to come to Massachusetts, added Ash.

“The good news for all of us right now is that Massachusetts is in a great place,” Ash said. “The great place is that we actually have more jobs than we have people. We have jobs that are chasing after people instead of people that are chasing after jobs. In order to make sure that we continue to retain those people that are here and attract others, we need to have quality housing and what you have here is quality housing.”

Arrigo said the building and the oceanfront view, are beautiful, but “at the end of the day, this sets a new standard (for) the city of Revere and that’s what’s so exciting about tonight.” He said there is a new standard in terms of development and the developer’s interest and the project is really a testament to the city’s vision, a vision that has been going on for a number of years.

Arrigo said there had been 15 to 30 years of work that went into making the project a reality. He credited former Revere mayor and current city manager in Chelsea, Thomas Ambrosino, for having the vision of a waterfront square.

Arrigo said it was exciting to hear Upton say the project was only the beginning for the city, because it couldn’t be more true, as there are “great things” happening in terms of developments at Wonderland and Suffolk Downs.

“Those are all part of the further vision, the bigger vision, and the bigger things that are going to be happening in the city of Revere,” he said.


Gayla Cawley can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.

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