Fremont Lofts Unveiled to Applause
By Rod Lee - Telegram & Gazette
 
WORCESTER, MA - First a new Price Chopper on Cambridge Street. Then a new Shaw's and a brand new Bob's store in the Webster Square Plaza. Now the Fremont Lofts on Fremont Street, as the transformation of a neighborhood continues in surprising and impressive ways.

It did not take long for the compliments to start flowing on September 7th, when Sales Director Cindy Dube of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage's New Homes Division and associates unveiled the Fremont Lofts' model unit for brokers at an open house.

Fremont Lofts consists of 97 loft-style one-bedroom, one-bath and two-bedroom, two bath condominiums ranging in size from 845 to 1,740 square feet.

"These units are 65% sold with no model available to look at until recently," Dube said. "They are being purchased mostly by young professionals, not only from Worcester area but from Boston and Metrowest. It's the loft concept again just as it was with the Biscuit Lofts (on Envelope Terrace, off Shrewsbury Street). They're trendy! It's a lifestyle!"

The standard features alone are enough to turn heads: 12 to 18-foot exposed ceilings, windows (huge and fully operable) that Dube describes as "phenomenal" for their cosmetic appeal (and for their capacity to flood rooms with light), sandblasted brick walls, burnished wood floors, stainless steel appliances, granite kitchen countertops and ceramic bathroom floors.

"The raw materials were here," Dube said, referring to the natural ingredients contractors were presented with at the Fremont Lofts. The building was erected in 1923; it originally housed a silk and rayon weaving company, and was later occupied by the Sweeper Vacuum Co.

Add in such amenities as a fitness room, a media room, storage units, a roof deck and a courtyard and it's easy to see why demand is running strong.

Realtor David Patrick Kirwan purchased one of the units. He jumped the opportunity. "For me, it was the success of the Biscuit Lofts (which also experienced potent sales from the outset)," Kirwan said. "I've lived in Worcester for fifteen years and I love everything that's going on in the city."

Jeffrey Brooks, A partner with The Abrams Group, LLC, of Boston, which is developing the property, said sales are already topping expectations.

"We projected, initially, a thirty-month sellout," Brooks said. "Naturally we wanted to beat that."

The Abrams Group, which is working in partnership for the first time with Callahan Construction on the Fremont Lofts' residences, brings a lot to the table," Dube noted. Within the past few years, Brooks said, The Abrams Group has developed a 135-unit luxury loft-apartments complex in Lowell. "We started that in 2003 and finished in mid-2004," he said. "It's right downtown." The Abrams Group has also tackled a smaller loft building complex in downtown Lawrence.

"We found a great niche in the secondary-tier market," Brooks said. The Fremont Lofts fits with this thrust.

"We're finding people who want to come back to Worcester, and better housing is drawing them," Brooks said. "We've always had the philosophy that if you build the best product for the market, people will come."

"The Abrams Group is thrilled to be a part of Worcester's imminent resurgence," Brooks said. "We're very interested in being in this city. Worcester is on the verge. Worcester is only three to five years behind where Providence is today."

For more information on the Fremont Lofts, go to www.thefremont.com.