Case Studies

Boston Public Market — Lee Kennedy Co. Inc.

A community-centered space to celebrate local, regional producers

The Boston Public Market is dynamic public space, beloved by residents and a must-see for visitors from far and wide. The permanent, year-round market features fresh, locally sourced food from more than 40 unique vendors and top regional producers. Visitors can shop for a range of products such as fresh produce, meat and eggs, cheese, fish and shellfish, freshly baked bread, local honey, an assortment of specialty and prepared foods, flowers and more — all from producers located throughout Massachusetts and New England.

The purpose of the Market is to educate the public about food sources, nutrition and food preparation. The space includes the KITCHEN, a 3,200-square-foot demonstration kitchen offering hands-on cooking demos, lectures, training and community activities.

Boston Public Market -- Lee Kennedy Co. Inc.

Finding a permanent home

Located at 100 Hanover Street at Haymarket Station, the space had been vacant for 12 years. The project committee selected this location as part of Boston’s emerging Market District, located near the Haymarket open-air fruit and vegetable market at the historic Blackstone Block.

The not-for-profit Boston Public Market Association raised more than $13 million to fund the design, permitting and construction of the Market with the help of individual and corporate donors, the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The revitalized building opened in July 2015 and has been brought to life through an extensive interior buildout performed by Lee Kennedy Co. Inc. and Architerra. Lee Kennedy Co. Inc. is one of New England’s premier construction management firms, founded in 1978 by Lee Kennedy to improve the construction experience. The company is proud to be homegrown and has been involved in other notable projects throughout the Greater Boston area such as The Envoy Hotel, Brown Brothers Harriman, Edward M Kennedy Institute and Berklee College of Music.

The Market is housed in the same building as the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MASSDOT) and the MBTA station. “MASSDOT was very heavily involved in the design phase and they attended regular project meetings,” says Marisa Somers, project manager for Lee Kennedy. “Directly above the site are a parking garage and the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which was finished right before we started construction. Just as they were ramping down, we were ramping up.”

Fitting together pieces of the puzzle

In October 2014, Lee Kennedy and the Market project team began to make way for the 28,000-square-foot interior renovation of the existing wide-open space. “There were no walls or real utilities in the space when we started,” says Somers. “Our task was to build out 40-plus individual vendor stalls, add all new plumbing, HVAC, lighting, fire alarm and sprinkler. All of it had to come together like a jigsaw puzzle.”

Lee Kennedy coordinated the installation of new plumbing under the floor with a raised concrete slab. “We wanted the space to remain flexible for future use,” explains Somers.

“With all of the existing MASSDOT, MBTA utilities from the upper floors, it was quite a challenge to find empty holes in the space,” says Somers. “We used BIM modeling to identify empty spaces and fit the pieces of the puzzle together almost perfectly. There was minimal conflict during the installation.”

After assessing the usage and capacity of the new Market bathrooms, Lee Kennedy’s team decided to run a new sewer line. “This was a logistical challenge because the sewer manhole was located directly in front of the parking garage doors and elevator,” notes Somers. “We had to close down the lobby and redirect people coming in and out of the garage and close down part of the sidewalk.”

Somers says the biggest project milestone and true turning point was finishing the concrete floor. “With the plumbing issues up front that caused some delays, this was really a big milestone,” she says. “We finished pouring the floor in late December 2014 and this was a big step forward. Once this was done the rest of the project could move forward.”

Custom-built vendor stalls

Once the basics of the interior started to take shape, Lee Kennedy faced the challenge of constructing the right space for each vendor’s unique needs. “We had about $1.5 million in the budget for vendor fit outs,” says Somers. “Delivering these vendor stalls was a big push — the last month was pretty crazy.”

“Finalizing the stall design was a challenge. With such a limited amount of space to work with and multiple code requirements to meet, giving the vendors exactly what they envisioned was a difficult task — then times that by 40,” says Somers. “In an effort to streamline the process we tried to standardize a few design options, but we found they wouldn’t work with the vendors’ individual needs. It came down to having multiple meetings and conversations to help understand what the vendor needed and how to get the most out of the space, which in some cases could be no more than 100 square feet.”

“What we called the back wall of the stall contained the plumbing and basic electrical for the space and was provided for each vendor,” adds Somers. “This would include upper cabinets, a configuration of sinks based on the needs of each vendor [hand sink, prep sink and a three-bay sink], a counter top and a lower cavity with removable panels to house the plumbing [including grease traps] and some storage.”

A long useful life

Despite the massive design and coordination effort that went into finishing the vendor booths, Lee Kennedy was able to push through and deliver the project by the July 2015 opening date. “We opened the space to vendors July 15 and the Market was open to the public by July 31,” says Somers.

“Overall, this is a project that I am proud to have been a part of,” says Somers. “This is one of those jobs where I’ll look back in 10 years and think, ‘Wow, we really made that happen.’”

As the first market of its kind in the U.S., the community facility is a big plus for Boston. “It attracts hundreds of visitors and tourists a day and it serves the people who live and work nearby. Whether they’re stopping through to grab a coffee or a pretzel or they’re going on a longer grocery shopping trip, there’s a little bit of something for everyone,” says Somers.

Now in its second year in operation at the new location, the Boston Public Market is on a mission to support the farmers, fishermen and entrepreneurs who produce local food through an exciting one-stop shopping experience, one that Lee Kennedy Co. Inc. is proud to have been part of.

Published on: September 13, 2016


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