Recent Ground Up Construction Projects

John McGrail

MG2  Group is proud to announce the completion of several recent ground-up construction projects in the growing neighborhoods of East Boston:

130 Coleridge

Alaris Construction_130 Coleridge 9
Harbor View, East Boston
At one time a small, single family home, MG2 Group and Alaris Construction transformed this underutilized lot into a high-end, 12,700 SF, three-story residential building with eight condo units.

65 Meridian

Alaris Construction_65 Meridian 4
Maverick Square, East Boston
This project saw the ground-up development of a 11,600 SF, five-story mixed-use building with 1,500 SF of retail and six high-end condo units.

336 Chelsea

Alaris Construction_336 Chelsea_Bedroom

Day Square, East Boston
MG2 Group turned an old glass installation company space into a 14,000 SF, four-story mixed-use building with 3,200 SF of retail and six high-end condo units.


Worcester Beer Garden’s Pavilion Set to Feature Wide Range of Shows

John McGrail

Article by Chris Van Buskirk | Telegram

WORCESTER — “Hodgepodge.”

That’s what Leah Urbano, director of entertainment at The Grid Hospitality Group, uses to describe the different acts slated to perform in a brand-new event space set to open in downtown Worcester.

“We have high hopes for the space and the sky’s the limit, really. As far as the music, that we want to bring in there we’d like to try everything based on what the area will bring for us,” she said in a phone interview. “We’re talking about Latin, jazz, hip-hop, rock, jam bands, folk, blues, swing, (and) reggae.”

The Pavilion at the Beer Garden is set to open Tuesday with a jam-packed schedule of local  bands, Boston DJs and DeadBeat, a Grateful Dead cover band. The event space will host everything from burlesque to country music and corporate parties to DJs.

Entering into The Pavilion at the Beer Garden is almost like walking into a state-of-the-art festival tent that isn’t moving anytime soon. The high ceilings made up of white canvas and airy dance floor with modern staging, lighting, video and sound systems could make the most road-hardened artists pause.

A nearby bar whose front is made up of black and white tiles will serve up to 20 draft beers. For those wanting to take a break from the festivities, stools at the bar offer a welcoming reprieve — not to mention that the four flat-screen TVs can keep one distracted for hours.

Read full article here.

Worcester’s Brew Beer Garden to Open New 300-Person Pavilion

John McGrail

Article by Aviva Luttrell |

WORCESTER — Worcester’s Brew Beer Garden will open its new 300-person Pavilion entertainment and event space next week with a lineup of DJs and musicians.

The Pavilion at Brew Beer Garden is scheduled to open Tuesday with a performance by the local XS Band. The event is open to all ages and there is no cover fee.

The new space will feature a wide variety of musical genres and entertainment, as well as various themed and and private events, including weddings. The Pavilion has a 300-person standing capacity, 28-foot stage, full sound and lights and a 19-foot LED video wall.

It adjoins the Beer Garden on Franklin Street, which has 36 beers on tap, a full dining menu, an outdoor terrace and indoor live entertainment.

The Pavilion will feature ticketed national concerts, local showcases and more, the company said in an announcement.

Next week’s lineup includes Boston’s DJ Sisko on Thursday; DeadBeat — a Grateful Dead tribute band — on Friday; and a variety of bands followed by DJ TecThreat during an all-day grand opening event on Saturday.

Sunday will feature Boston Beautease — a summer-themed burlesque show.

Intro Classes in Improv Offered Starting April 17 at WooHaHa!

John McGrail

Article by Richard Duckett | Telegram

WORCESTER — You don’t necessarily have to be a comedian to do improv.
Norm Laviolette, who grew up in Grafton, most definitely did take to comedy improv and is co-founder and CEO of Improv Asylum in Boston and New York as well as Laugh Boston, and a partner in WooHaHa! Comedy Club, 50 Franklin St.

However, when Laviolette leads improv training with corporate clients around the world, he isn’t a laugh a minute.

“I’m not pitching comedy, I’m pitching the art of communication,” Laviolette said. “I can teach the skill set of what we do to anybody.” That includes clients in Shanghai, Dubai, Beijing, London and Dublin. Much closer to home, the main emphasis is likely to be on fun when the Improv Asylum Training Center launches classes in Worcester beginning April 17 at WooHaHa! Comedy Club. Laviolette will be leading the classes along with Adam Michael Kennedy. The first class will be Improv Level 1 (intro to improv) and runs for eight weeks from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The cost is $320 for eight weeks. To register, go to

Improv Asylum will include “comp ticket perks for students so that they can see professionals doing it” at WooHaHa!, Laviolette said.

Read full article here.

From fast-casual to upscale, Worcester is getting these new restaurants and a 5th brewery in 2019

John McGrail

Full article by Aviva Luttrell |
Big changes are happening in Worcester, and the city’s dining scene is no exception.

From a new artisanal butcher shop and coffee roastery to a fastcasual
Chipotle Mexican Grill and Dairy Queen, there’s no shortage of eateries that have had their eyes on Worcester. In 2019, the city — which has been in is in the midst of a renaissance of dining and development will become home to a slew of new establishments. At least 14 restaurants, cafes and breweries are planning to open their doors throughout the city this year.

Here’s what you can expect to see in 2019:
Revolution Pie + Pint
This pizza joint is coming to the city’s downtown Grid District on Jan. 18. Revolution Pie + Pint t gets its name from the revolving pizza oven that cooks its pizzas at 850 degrees in less than two minutes. Diners can order custom pies or select one of the eatery’s signature pizzas.

The Worcester location will offer pies like the Becker pizza, featuring buffalo sauce, roasted chicken breast, mozzarella blend and red onion, and the City Hall pizza, featuring apple cider BBQ, smoked pulled pork, caramelized onion, cubed bacon and mozzarella blend.

And as its name suggests, the restaurant’s second claim to fame is its beverages. The location will have a number of local and regional craft beers on tap.

Craft Table & Bar
Craft Table & Bar, which already has a location in East Boston, is coming to Worcester Jan. 18 with polished casual cuisine.

Opening on Franklin Street in the lower level of the Bancroft Building, the restaurant will offer craft beer, wines, spirits and innovative dishes prepared from a scratch kitchen. Menu options will range from roasted lamb lollipops with mint infused demiglaze to lobster claw meat in a tomato vodka alfredo with fresh cavatappi pasta.

BPDA Approves Project at 656 Saratoga St.

John McGrail

Article from the Eastern Boston Times, written by John Lynds
At its last meeting of the year the Boston Planning and Development (BPDA) approved the 30 unit rental project proposed for a large vacant lot on Saratoga Street.

Developer MG2 plans to develop the 16,500 sq. ft. vacant lot at 656 Saratoga St. into market rate rental housing by combining six parcels on the lot into one developable parcel.

The original plan would have MG2 erect a five story, 50 ft. building. The building would have included 62 units with a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom units and retail opportunity on the ground floor. A later scaled down version then called for 43 units of market rate rentals that would be a mix of studio, one and two-bedroom units and 39 parking spaces and eliminated the retail component.

However, the community still felt at five stories and over 50 ft. tall the building was uncharacteristic of the surrounding neighborhood and sent MG2 back to the drawing board. MG2 then lowered the building to four stories and 40 units with 30 parking spaces. This was the plan that was rejected by members of the HVNA at a meeting a few months back.

At last month’s HVNA meeting MG2’s attorney, Richard Lynds, said his client has reduced the number of units to 30 and knocked an entire floor off the building, bringing the height down to just under 32 ft. at three stories.

As currently proposed, the 30 residential units are anticipated to consist of 14 studio units, seven one-bedroom units, and nine two-bedroom units.

This project will also include a financial contribution of $28,500 to be used toward the relocation of the MBTA bus stop and shelter on westbound Bennington Street/Moore Street on the Route 120 to the far side of the intersection. This transportation enhancement will improve operations on the Route 120 bus and improve pedestrian safety. In addition, a $3,000 contribution to the Salesian Boys and Girls Club Incorporated will be used for general operating capital for the club, which provides athletic, tutoring, dance, cooking, and educational programming for local children. Another contribution of $3,500 to the Veronica Robles Cultural Center Corp. will be used for general operating capital needed to sustain and implement youth programs which include art making, dance, and musical activities.

In its ruling the BPDA said the project makes progress towards Mayor Martin Walsh’s goal of increasing affordable housing to support a strong middle-class. The project includes four “income restricted” units. Earlier this fall in response to increased population growth, Mayor Walsh announced updated housing targets supporting the creation of new affordable housing, increased access to homeownership opportunities, and preventing displacement of residents.

BPDA Approves Two Eastie Projects at October Meeting

John McGrail

Article from the Eastern Boston Times, written by John Lynds
The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approved two separate projects on Border Street at agency’s October meeting that will result in 34 units of housing and financial contributions to the East Boston Social Centers and East Boston Greenway as part of construction mitigation.

The first project by MG2 at 277 Border St. plans to eliminate an existing auto body to construct five story, mixed-use development with 18 units and parking for eight vehicles.

The project was supported recently by members of the Eagle Hill Civic Association (EHCA). EHCA members worked for months on the project’s design, scale and mitigation to local non-profit organizations.

The building will feature 18 condominium units, made up of 16 market-rate units and two affordable units under Boston’s Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP). In addition, the building will also have one ground floor commercial unit. There will be eight off-street garage parking spaces located at-grade level. Bicycle storage and a trash/recycling room will be located within the ground-level of the building. The 18 condominium units will consist of a mix of four studio units, 11 one-bedroom units, two two-bedroom units, and one three-bedroom unit.

MG2 has committed $10,000 contributions to both the East Boston Social Centers and the East Boston Greenway. The East Boston Social Centers contribution will be used to fund youth athletic and enrichment programs, while the East Boston Greenway contribution will be used to fund construction and improvements.

The building would be a modern design with large windows and a mix of metal and wood materials.

According to the BPDA, the project will create about 40 construction jobs.
The second project the BPDA approved was just down the street from the first at 425 Border St.

There the developer plans to replace an existing auto repair shop with a five story, 16 condo unit building with 16 off-street parking spaces. Two of the 16 units will be affordable IDP units.

All 16 units will be two bedroom units. The project is located five blocks from Central Square and less than one mile from the MBTA’s Blue Line Maverick Station, and is well served by multiple bus lines operating in Eastie.
Again the developer has committed $10,000 contributions to both the East Boston Social Centers and the East Boston Greenway.

The project includes a more modern design than what EHCA members are usually support. However, while the project is in the Eagle Hill Historic District the developer plans on making the building a blend of modern and more traditional since it borders historic homes at the transition between the historic district and more industrial area of Border Street.

This project, according to the BPDA, will create 50 construction jobs.

BPDA Gives Nod to Two Eastie Projects

John McGrail

Article from the Eastern Boston Times, written by John Lynds
At last Thursday’s Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) meeting the BPDA approved two East Boston residential development projects that will add 61 units of housing to the neighborhood, eight of which will be set aside as affordable units.

The first project approved by the BPDA will allow developer, MG2, to go ahead with plans to re-develop a 6,074 square-foot commercial site at 152 Liverpool Street in the Central Square section of the neighborhood that is currently an auto repair shop.

The project will involve the demolition of the former auto repair shop and the construction of a new, five-story, mixed use building, containing 23 residential units, one commercial unit, and nine off-street parking spaces located in the building’s garage. The garage will be entered and exited via Liverpool Street, which has access to Central Square and Meridian Street.

According to MG2’s attorney, Richard Lynds, the proposed project would create a residential development combining market-rate and affordable housing opportunities in an ‘aesthetic appropriate’ in scale, massing and design to the Central Square area. The retail space, explained Lynds, could be used as a cafe or affordable office space.

The project will include three affordable units under the BPDA’s Inclusionary Development Policy (IDP).

In its ruling the BPDA wrote, “The 152 Liverpool St. project will demolish the existing automobile repair facility that currently occupies the site and construct a five story, approximately 23,010 square foot mixed-use building with approximately 23 residential rental units, including three income-restricted units, approximately 1,910 square feet of retail/commercial space, approximately nine off-street vehicle parking spaces, and at least 23 on-site bicycle storage spaces. As currently proposed, the 23 residential units are anticipated to consist of two studio units, eight one-bedroom units, twelve two-bedroom units, and one three-bedroom unit.”

The second project approved by the BPDA will replace a former factory at 287-293 Maverick St. with 38 residential units, including five IDP units and commercial space.

Developer MG2 received community support from both the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association and the Gove Street Citizens Association. MG2 plans to tear down an former industrial building known locally as the ‘Pickle Factory’ at 287-293 Maverick St. and replace it with 38 condo units.

The site is currently occupied by a garage and warehouse, and is approximately eight minutes walking distance from the MBTA Blue Line subway and bus service at Maverick Station.

The project will construct a five-story, mixed-use building with 38 homeownership condo units, five income-restricted (IDP) units, retail/commercial space, 30 off-street vehicle parking spaces, and at least 38 on-site bicycle storage spaces. The 38 residential units are expected to consist of two studio units, 10 one-bedroom units and 25 two-bedroom units.

“In addition to revitalizing the former industrial site, the project will provide a number of public benefits to the East Boston neighborhood, including, but not limited to: pedestrian access improvements and new widened sidewalks, a $30,000 contribution toward a neighborhood transportation analysis, planning initiative, or public realm improvement(s), and a $5,000 contribution for the Crossroads Family Center, Inc. to support the organization’s mission and the services provided to support families as they transition from homelessness to independent living and self-sufficiency,” the BPDA wrote in its ruling.

ZBA Hosts Meeting on Walley Street Project

John McGrail

Article from the Eastern Boston Times, written by John Lynds
The Boston Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve zoning relief for developer MG2’s project at 11-19 Walley St.

The project, which was scaled down from its original proposal in 2016, received Orient Heights Neighborhood Association approval last year and Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) approval this year. After a series of community meetings the developer decided to reduce the height of the building from five to four stories and reduce the number of units from 48 units to 38 units.

According to the developer’s attorney, Richard Lynds, the reduction in height and number of units has resulted in the creation of a top floor common space with balconies that can be used by residents to host parties or other gatherings.

The proposed project consists of the redevelopment of a 14,993 square-foot industrial site situated at 11-19 Walley St. near the Suffolk Downs MBTA station.

The project will consist of the 38 market rate rental units with 25 off-street parking spaces located in a garage under the building that will accessed from Walley Street.

Due to the size of the proposal the project also includes five affordable units under the City of Boston Inclusionary Development Policy. Lynds said community benefits would include removing an industrial site and creating not only the residential building but also landscape buffering and associated streetscape improvements. MG2 also agreed to adopt the small triangular park between Walley Street and Orient Avenue. Lynds said MG2 plans to rehab the park, improve pedestrian access around the part and pay for the yearly maintenance of the park.

Lynds told the ZBA that MG2 is currently working with the MBTA to iron out methods of construction as to not disrupt or interfere with MBTA operations due to the project’s close proximity to the Suffolk Downs Blue Line station.

John Ellison of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services as well as Judy Evers from City Councilor Lydia Edwards’s Office spoke in favor of the project.