REVERE — A Chicago real estate firm will break ground in September on a $37 million luxury apartment complex at Revere Beach, marking the first private development along a strip of land where the city has estimated that up to $500 million in investments will occur in the next decade.
“I think it’s a catalyst that will bring a lot of future development,” said Mayor Dan Rizzo.
Covington Realty Partners
plans to build the luxury apartments on a 1.25-acre lot at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Revere Street.
its website, Covington has acquired more than $3 billion in real estate and has developed and constructed 16,000 residential units. The firm could not be reached for comment for this article.
John Festa, Revere’s economic development director, said Covington plans to build a six-story and a seven-story building on the corner lot. Festa said most of the 194 units will have one bedroom, but about 30 percent will have two bedrooms. The units will range from 600 to 1,400 square feet. The complex will also have 258 covered parking spaces. Festa expects the project to be complete by the end of 2014.
For decades, Revere officials and the state have worked together to develop plans to redevelop the land along Ocean Avenue behind Wonderland station. More than five years ago, the city produced a master plan for the 9-acre property, which has been used for parking lots. Revere also awarded development rights to Eurovest Development.
To stimulate economic development and bring in private investors, some $70 million in state and federal funds was used to build a new 1,500-car parking garage at Wonderland Station, a plaza deck, and a new cable-stayed bridge that connects the station to America’s oldest public beach.
“The market and the economy [are] in our favor, so we’re going to develop,” said Joseph DiGangi, Eurovest’s lead investor.
DiGangi said Eurovest began negotiating with Covington last fall. The two-building complex will generate about $400,000 in new annual tax revenue, said DiGangi, who plans to develop the parcel, known as Waterfront Square, over the next decade.
DiGangi said that up to 900 residential units will be built along the 9 acres. In addition, he expects at least one hotel, along with space for retail and commercial projects and restaurants to be added, combining for $500 million in new investment in the next 10 years.
Rizzo said the Wonderland parking garage, plaza, and pedestrian footbridge from the T station to the beach could lead to a $90 million project that he hopes to announce in September. That project is slated for a 3-acre site behind the T station and would include a 300-to-400 room hotel and 143 new apartments. As part of its agreement with the city and state, Eurovest has a lease that allows up to 600 cars to park at the new Wonderland garage.
“I’m confident that we’ll realize some significant development down there,” Rizzo said.
The garage opened last month, and the plaza and bridge are nearly complete. Last fall, the city held an economic development summit that drew 150 participants and several developers. Part of the conference included a bus tour of the vacant property behind Wonderland station. Rizzo and Festa said the summit generated renewed interest in the beachfront property. “They saw what we had and how close we are to Boston; Revere is a lost jewel,” Festa said.
He said the city is prioritizing having a hotel built along Revere Beach. Five hotels operate in the city, but he said there is demand for more than 1,000 additional hotel rooms. “We feel that there could be another 1,500 hotel rooms, and the market wouldn’t be saturated,” he said. “Revere could handle it, and it’s because of the location” close to Boston, Festa said.
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