Salem, MA–The joint venture of Urban Spaces and Diamond/Sinacori last week celebrated the opening of BRIX, the 61-unit, mixed-use condominium development in the heart of historic downtown Salem, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included BRIX residents, Massachusetts State Senator Joan Lovely, State Representative Paul Tucker, City of Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and other city officials, and various members of the development team.
Located at 65 Washington Street, BRIX offers residents a unique living experience that combines the abundant natural resources of Salem’s harbor, beaches and open space with the city’s historic legacy and the urban conveniences of the walkable downtown and its shops, restaurants, and museums. The transit-oriented development, which also includes 3,200 square feet of retail/restaurant space, offers convenient access to Boston’s North Station via a 28-minute ride on the MBTA Commuter Rail, as well as the seasonal Salem Ferry.
The project was jump-started in part by the Commonwealth’s Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP), which provides Gateway Cities like Salem with a tool to increase residential growth, expand diversity of housing stock, and support economic development. BRIX was the first home-ownership project in Massachusetts to utilize the HDIP program.
“The story of this building and this work is one of stick-to-itiveness and perseverance,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll to the gathering. ”This doesn’t happen without state investment through the HDIP Housing Development Incentive Program and a crazy good development team. It’s great to be mayor of a city where there can be forward thinking while taking advantage of our amazing history, and this building is evidence of that.”
Constructed on the site of the former federal district courthouse, which had sat vacant since 2016, BRIX was designed by Tise Design Associates of Newton and constructed by Groom Construction of Salem. BRIX is comprised of 61 residential units, ranging in size from 800 to 1,700 square feet, with six of the units designated as affordable. Building amenities include a tranquil courtyard terrace, club room, pet spa, and fitness studio. The building also includes a two-level parking garage. BRIX also features public art commissioned by Suzi Hlavacek and Boston Art in the form of murals painted on the exterior of one side of the building and a sculpture by local artist, Peter Cohen. All but two of the market-rate units have been sold as a result of the efforts of Salem-based Merry Fox Realty and Charlesgate Realty Group, which exclusively represented the property.
“You would normally find this type of urban housing in places like Boston or Cambridge,” said Paul Ognibene, chief executive officer of Urban Spaces, “and for us to be able to deliver a building like this in downtown Salem is a testament to the City’s desirability, including its walkable burgeoning business district, cultural opportunities, infrastructure, and natural beauty.” Ognibene added, “Salem is an incredibly well-run city and, under the leadership of Mayor Driscoll, offers an even-handed business environment, making Salem one of America’s municipal treasures.”
This is the second collaboration for the collective team of Urban Spaces, Diamond/Sinacori, and Tise Design Associates. The firms previously developed The Lancaster, a 55-unit home-ownership project in Brighton that in 2016 became the first condominium complex in Boston to earn the coveted LEED Gold certification.