Case Studies

Tidewater at Salisbury – Fulcrum Associates

A contemporary multifamily development steps from the Atlantic Ocean

Located just steps from Salisbury Beach State Reservation in the popular summer resort town of Salisbury, Massachusetts, Tidewater at Salisbury is a new, 210-unit garden-style multifamily development constructed by Fulcrum Associates. Located within an hour of both Boston and Manchester, New Hampshire, Tidewater at Salisbury consists of four three-story buildings centered around a resort-style swimming pool, landscaped common area and clubhouse.

Tidewater at Salisbury features a number of premium amenities, including cable television, controlled access entry, a fitness center, outdoor grilling area and pet-friendly facilities.

The smoke-free facility also offers 24-hour emergency maintenance and package acceptance, but the real highlight of the development is its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the Merrimack River and Salisbury Beach State Reservation. The state-owned public recreation area is one of Massachusetts’ most popular state parks with an annual attendance of more than 1 million visitors.

Residents of Tidewater at Salisbury can reach Salisbury Beach via a short half-mile walk where they can enjoy sunning on the beach, sample fresh seafood and a drink at one of the area’s many restaurants and bars or explore the state reservation and its wealth of wildlife including harbor seals, herons and sandpipers.

The reservation itself features a 3.8-mile-long beach on the Atlantic and a smaller, non-swimming beach on the Merrimack River. Other amenities include a 484-site campground, boardwalks, dunes, restrooms, a boat ramp, fishing, grilling, hunting, picnicking, scenic views, educational programs, showers and trailer/RV hookups. Recent improvements to Salisbury Beach State Reservation include the construction of a new jetty in 2015, which will help prevent erosion and keep the area’s beach in pristine shape for years to come.

Turning tides

Managed by Lincoln Property Company, 90 percent of the units have been rented at the $36 million development since construction was completed in February 2015.

Units at Tidewater at Salisbury include one-bedroom, one-bath accommodations that range in size from 771 to 939 square feet and two-bedroom, two-bath units from 1,059 to 1,222 square feet. All units include a private balcony, giving residents the opportunity to enjoy views of the Atlantic Ocean, Merrimack River, Plum Island and surrounding marshlands.

While specific amenities depend on a unit’s unique floor plan, many feature central air conditioning, covered parking, dishwashers, double vanity sinks, full washer/dryer, granite countertops, microwaves, mini blinds, stainless steel appliances, tile flooring in the bathrooms and walk-in closets.

Built by Amherst, New Hampshire-based Fulcrum Associates, Tidewater at Salisbury presented a number of challenges during the construction phase. Crews had to work through a historically snowy winter in 2014 that saw nearby Boston covered with a record 108 inches, making construction a slow and difficult process.

Located between the ocean and a tidal marsh, Fulcrum had to work around a number of environmental factors to construct Tidewater at Salisbury. The soft, damp nature of the surrounding soil required the buildings to be supported by rammed aggregate geopiers, a subsurface structural support system designed and installed using helical drilling.

The exterior of Tidewater at Salisbury features pitched roofs and is finished with a combination of cultured stone, cementitious siding and vinyl trim elements in a design meant to evoke contemporary New England style. The development was designed by Berard Martel Architects, a Bedford, New Hampshire-based firm providing design services to a wide range of clients.

Civil engineering services for the development were provided by Allen and Major Associates of Manchester, New Hampshire, who helped Fulcrum tackle some of the complex issues that come with building on such an environmentally unique site.

Building the future

Founded in 1989, Fulcrum Associates has grown to become a major name in the regional commercial construction market thanks to a roster of successful developments and the willingness to take on even the most complex, challenging projects.

In 1995, for example, Fulcrum landed a contract to design and construct a 25,000-square-foot office building in just 60 days. While many construction firms might balk at such an aggressive timeline, Fulcrum embraced the challenge and delivered the project in just 59 days while working through one of the toughest winters on record.

After the early years of chasing bid work, Fulcrum embraced a construction management model — revising accounting, estimating and project management systems to ensure transparency and ease of collaboration. The firm has also worked to integrate energy-efficient features into every project, installing heat reclamation systems, micro turbine natural gas congregation systems and natural cooling systems that use the frigid winter air to cool buildings such as data centers. “We became obsessed with improving the quality of our envelopes, promoting high-performance air and vapor barriers long before it was trendy,” says Jeff Luter, president of Fulcrum.

As the building market begins to rebound in New England and across the country, a lack of qualified subcontractors has been one of the biggest challenges facing companies such as Fulcrum.

While Fulcrum did not self-perform any aspects of the Tidewater at Salisbury project, the firm turned to a trusted network of pre-qualified subcontractors using an extensive bid solicitation process.

“The MEPs, structural components, high-end finishes and site work were extremely important,” says Brad Scott, project manager at Fulcrum.

Fulcrum works throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, occasionally branching out for the right project. In addition to its work on luxury multifamily developments like Tidewater at Salisbury, the company has developed an expertise in the medical market in recent years.

With high-end amenities, a range of design options, an idyllic location close to beaches, shops and Salisbury Beach State Reservation as well as easy access to major highways and nearby cities, Tidewater at Salisbury, built by Fulcrum Associates, offers the best of both worlds for those looking to enjoy the latest in contemporary multifamily residential development in a peaceful seaside setting.

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