National Development and funding partner AEW Capital Management have named their 2 million-square-foot, two-city-block project in South Boston “Iron Works,” harkening back to the neighborhood’s history.

South Boston Iron Works was incorporated in 1827, supplying materials and supplies to soldiers in the Civil War. It was a major occupier on the 5.4 acres where Newton-based National Development has now planned an expansive mixed-use project. The two-block site extends from 10 to 80 Old Colony Ave.

Iron Works will include two life-sciences buildings, spanning a combined 650,000 square feet, as well as two residential buildings and 55,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. The project also features a revitalized former Cole Hersee facility, which previously served as office, manufacturing and distribution space and is now being transformed into creative offices, makerspace, restaurant and retail space, along with fitness and outdoor amenity spaces.

“The repositioning, which is still ongoing, includes new storefronts, bold exterior graphic accents and historic character cutouts that accentuate the buildings’ industrial context while creating contemporary, visually appealing architecture,” National Development said in a statement.

Hacin and Associates and Groundswell led the design team for the Cole Hersee project.

It will include tenants such as Castle Island Brewing and Tatte Bakery, which will open on Sept. 23 and Oct. 20, respectively, as well as Rock Spot Climbing, a pop-up spin studio and the headquarters for agriculture tech company Freight Farms.

Other tenants include PKL, which will operate a 21,000-square-foot pickleball/restaurant/entertainment space, and Mei Mei, which will operate a dumpling factory and café. Both concepts are scheduled to open next spring.

Other companies on the Iron Works project team include Elkus Manfredi Architects, ZGF Architects, COOKFOX, Future Green and ARUP.

By Catherine Carlock
Boston Business Journal
9/20/21

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