BOSTON – May 1, 2014 – Kaplan Construction, a general contractor and construction management firm, announced today that it has completed construction of the Bornstein and Pearl Food Production Small Business Center, a redevelopment project in Boston’s Dorchester Quincy St. corridor. Led by Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC), the project converted the vacant former Pearl Meats manufacturing facility and adjacent land into a 36,000 SF multi-tenant, light industrial business center with a focus on small-scale food production.
The anchor tenant, DBEDC’s partner in the project and on-site property manager is CropCircle Kitchen, Inc. They will run a multi-functional commercial kitchen that will foster the growth of local food businesses, create employment opportunities for residents, and facilitate improved access to healthy food in the immediate neighborhood. Building on the success of its sister food business incubator, CropCircle Kitchen in Jamaica Plain, CCK Pearl will offer infrastructure and technical support to food businesses in various stages of growth. The shared kitchen will offer kitchen rental space and business training to food businesses in an early stage phase of growth. The CCK Pearl commissary kitchen will serve the various food preparation needs of food trucks, restaurants, and institutions. Food storage rental space is available to tenants of the CCK-run kitchens and to established food businesses renting their own kitchen space.
Kaplan’s renovations to the existing single-story masonry building included a new roof and entrance, structural repairs, extensive site work, the addition of a parking lot, and new utilities. Communal kitchen equipment was rehabilitated or installed, and all of the spaces offer heating, ventilation, easy-to-clean surfaces, floor drains, grease traps, and shared loading docks. Over the course of the project Kaplan employed a significant number of construction workers from the local neighborhood (57%) in addition to minority (45%) and women-owned (19%) sub-contractors from the Greater Boston region.
“Kaplan was a true partner throughout this project, and we enjoyed working with them to revitalize a former factory into a light industrial business center with a focus on small scale food production,” said Jeanne DuBois, executive director of Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC). “By co-locating multiple food producers, we will be able to leverage the overall impact of the project by providing opportunities for cross-marketing, bulk purchasing, sharing of office and administration space and staff as well as expensive equipment and building systems.”
Project financing includes a mix of debt, new market tax credit equity and grant funding. A $14 million project funded through various federal, state, city, private lending and foundation grant sources, the Pearl project is a recipient of $500,000 in CHOICE Neighborhoods Initiative funds for critical community improvements in the Quincy Corridor. The Bornstein & Pearl Food Production Center forms an integral part of the revitalization the corridor is currently undergoing. Funders include: Boston Community Capital, City of Boston, HUD, Local Initiatives Support Corporation/PNC Bank, Commonwealth of Mass., Federal Dept. of Health & Human Services, Coastal Enterprises Inc./Wholesome Wave, DB Neighborhood Loan Fund, Mass Development, EPA, The Boston Foundation, Pierce Charitable Trust, Garfield Foundation, Community Economic Development Assistance Corp, and Citizens Bank.
The Bornstein and Pearl Food Production Small Business Center project is a key part of a broad community effort that will redevelop more than four acres of blighted land, generate close to 100 jobs in the first three years, and bring more than $70 million of investment in affordable housing, commercial development, job training, and youth arts programming to the area.
Kaplan worked with RODE Architects, an emerging design firm based in Boston specializing in architecture for the urban environment.
About Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation:
Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Dorchester Bay EDC has worked to build a strong, thriving, and diverse community in our Dorchester neighborhoods. Working with many neighborhood partners, DBEDC has completed 1113 apartments and homes for both middle and low income residents; assisted homeowners to upgrade 306 housing units; created 1112 jobs through commercial real estate developments and small business loans; provided computer training to 1944 adults and youth; engaged over 2,331 youth and adults in services and community organizing; and helped 1093 people find employment with local companies. DBEDC has also been a partner along the Fairmount Rail line corridor, where broad coalitions have won new stations and lowered fairs; CDCs have been building over 800 units of housing and job centers; and people are planning for a Fairmount Greenway.
Susan Shelby, FSMPS, CPSM
Rhino Public Relations