One of the first new buildings on this stretch of Main Street in 100 years, 524-530 Main Street’s revitalization was a change welcomed by the community. Bergmeyer partnered with our client, John Wise of Wise Construction, to revive a property that had lost its history and identity, to reinvigorate the location and enhance downtown Melrose. The mixed-use development was designed with the present and future in mind while still honoring its past.
The design approach sought a balance between creating a tenant-attracting modern design that would fit into the existing context of the historic Main Street and the growing neighborhood. The Main Street façade was crafted to complement the commercial street, designing the storefront and façade details with a historic nod. The plaza-side façade, which would become the primary residential access, takes cues from the Main Street side’s design while adding modern details to give it its own identity.
Along with the challenges of meeting planning and historic requirements, another unique design challenge was how to add natural light to a site that is very deep compared to its narrow width and set between multi-level buildings on either side. The solution was to add an open-air courtyard in the center of the building. The courtyard gives residents access to a common outdoor space and private outdoor spaces for the internally facing second-level units while creating a much-desired natural light source.
524-530 Main Street’s 6,000 SF ground floor is primarily for commercial use, housing Caffè Nero and a branch of the Wakefield Co-operative Bank, but also the main entrance to the ten in-demand, Five24 Main Street residential rental units that comprise the top two floors. From Main Street, visitors are met with large glass storefronts. Residents access second-level Juliet balconies and a third-level deck creating an inviting, open connection between the building’s occupants and the activity along the street. Guests and residents arriving at the plaza side ascend the well-lit and ipe-clad access ramp and stair and are greeted by café patio seating and the welcoming residential entrance. Once inside, residents in plaza-facing units access private balconies that overlook the busy commercial plaza, City Hall, and views to the surrounding neighborhood, further fostering community connection.
So, can the redesign of one building transform a neighborhood? We can’t wait to find out!