‘Ultra modern’ apartment project breaks ground in downtown Brockton

Firm, News, Projects

BKA Architects designs a 44-unit, five-floor high-end apartment building in downtown Brockton.

BROCKTON – For nearly 10 years, a five-story, brick office building on West Elm Street in downtown Brockton remained unoccupied, burned out and damaged by a fire.

“It was a monument to everything that was wrong with downtown,” said Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter, speaking on Thursday. “It was a monument to a depressed downtown.”

Now, after the fire-damaged building was demolished by the city in the fall of 2017, modern, high-end market rate apartments are being constructed in its place, with a small parking garage underneath. Carpenter said it’s a great sign for the future of downtown Brockton, with more projects on the way this year.

“It’s the fact that this was a longtime vacant, abandoned, depressed, ugly site that is now going to have a spectacular, brand new building built on it,” Carpenter said. “It’s the fact that what’s being built here is 100 percent market rate units, luxury units, people paying top dollar to live in a beautiful building right in the heart of downtown.”

The city of Brockton celebrated the groundbreaking for a 44-unit, five-floor high-end apartment building at 47 W. Elm St. on Thursday afternoon. The project is being undertaken by developer Geoffrey Anatole, owner of South Shore Property Management. Anatole compared the building to state-of-the-art apartment buildings in Quincy and Boston, calling it unprecedented for Brockton.

“I think this project is going to set the standard for what the future of downtown Brockton holds,” Anatole said. “It’s ultra modern, new, sleek – something that hasn’t been done. And it’s 100 percent market rate. It’s going to have a good impact on the community. It’s just going to be positive all around. We’re excited to get started.”

The project will take about a year to complete, Anatole said. The apartment building was designed by BKA Architects. Anatole declined to provide a total cost for construction.

The building is being financed privately through Mutual Bank, which received praise from the mayor and Anatole for making the project possible. Anatole thanked Mutual Bank’s CEO Richard Spencer, its senior vice president Dan Trout, and vice president for commercial lending Jeff Charnel.

“Essentially, they stepped up to the plate, where they were able to work with me and create a package that was good for them and good for us,” Anatole said. “For a private bank to do that locally is unique. It’s not something you see very frequently.”

This will be the second downtown apartment project developed by Anatole in as many years, after he completed a renovation last year of the Standard Modern company building, transforming it into luxury apartments right across the street from the Brockton Fire Department’s central station.
Dave Seibert, an architect from the Brockton-based BKA Architect, said he’s proud to be a part of the team behind the 47 W. Elm St. project.

“We’re a local architect, and we’ve been around for almost 50 years,” Seibert said. “I’ve personally been driving down this street for 35 years and here we are finally taking a project to what we hope will be a success.”

Carpenter and Anatole also thanked Brockton Redevelopment Authority, which was handed the 47 W. Elm St. property by the city to negotiate a development agreement, after the city took over the property for back taxes several years ago. Carpenter said he foresees about a half dozen other groundbreakings for redevelopment projects in downtown Brockton this year, promising some announcements at his State of the City address scheduled for March 28.

“That’s the model to make these private sector deals happen,” the mayor said. “2019 is going to be a historic year for the city of Brockton, and particularly for the redevelopment of downtown Brockton. This is one of half dozen downtown projects to break ground this year.”

By Marc Larocque
Enterprise Staff Writer