Commonwealth relocates a court from Cambridge to Woburn—again

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WOBURN, Mass.– For the second time, the Commonwealth is relocating a court from Cambridge to Woburn, MA. Middlesex County Probate and Family Court South will move from its longtime home at 208 Cambridge Street to 10 Commerce Way in Woburn. The new location is slated to open November 9.

The court is following in the footsteps of Middlesex County Superior Court, which has been seated in Woburn, at the TradeCenter 128 campus, since it moved from Cambridge’s Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in 2008. Both facilities are leased from Cummings Properties. Woburn is also home to a district court.

“The Commonwealth’s relocation of these significant civic facilities speaks to how central Woburn is within Middlesex County and how accessible it is for residents and all other constituents,” said Cummings Properties chairman and CEO Dennis Clarke. “These factors are equally important to businesses, which is why Woburn has enjoyed such a robust commercial sector for a couple hundred years.”

Located at the junction of I-95 and I-93, the Commerce Way corridor is home to a tech and life sciences cluster, as well as the Woburn Village lifestyle center, currently under development. Court staff and visitors will have access to free on-site parking, as well as MBTA commuter rail service at nearby Mishawum Station and Anderson Regional Transportation Center.

The court’s move was prompted by the aged condition of the court’s former building in Cambridge, which is owned by the Commonwealth.

“There can be great cost efficiencies to putting certain government entities in leased space, and I applaud the Commonwealth for considering alternatives to a costly building modernization project,” said Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin. “In addition, privately owned facilities pay full real estate taxes to their host cities whereas public facilities do not.”

Cummings’ in-house team performed a custom buildout of the court’s new 50,000-square-foot space, including upgrading the building’s exterior with a dramatic glass-and-architectural-panel main entry and more than two dozen new operable windows. In addition to four courtrooms with custom millwork and oversized skylights, the facility includes judges’ quarters, a private area for families to meet with their representatives, and a substantial space to accommodate high-density file storage for the Register of Probate.

Among the facility’s green features are LED lighting, a high-efficiency HVAC system, and a bioretention storage area, which protects the adjacent conservation area by removing contaminants and sedimentation from stormwater runoff.

Cummings Properties participated in a bid process through the Commonwealth’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) to secure the lease. The 50-year-old Woburn firm is familiar with the bid process and with accommodating the unique needs of government leases. In addition to the two courts, Cummings provides space for multiple other state or federal entities, including Department of Revenue, Environmental Protection Agency, Massachusetts Lottery, and U.S. Department of Transportation.