Athenahealth unveils updated plans for the Arsenal on the Charles complex


The plans for what athenahealth would like to do in its major renovation of the Arsenal on the Charles complex have been submitted to the town. Here are some of the details.

The plan calls for several new buildings with nearly 250,000 sq. ft. of floor space and with a total footprint of 70,000 sq. ft. The building include: three five-story buildings; one three-story building, two two-story buildings an a one-story building.

About 224,000 sq. ft. will be new office space, nearly 39,000 sq. ft. will be for retail and a 100 seat restaurant is proposed.

The application notes that designers have made efforts to minimize the impact of taller buildings on the surrounding areas.

A new parking garage will be built on the east side of the complex, with seven full decks and one half deck on the top. Two levels will be built below ground. It will be 91 feet high at the maximum and 80 feet high on the side facing North Beacon Street. It will be setback 86 feet from that road.

With more outdoor public spaces, the number of surface parking spaces was reduced from 828 to 143. The new garage would have 1,623 spaces, and a smaller garage under Building 6 would have 283 spaces, for a total on the campus of 3,167 (including the existing garage). The complex would have 243 bicycle parking spaces, of which 188 are covered.

The traffic study found that on the average weekday, 5,424 more trips will be added (including vehicles entering and exiting). This is in addition to the 11,624 trips currently going to and from the site. During peak hours, 371 more trips would be generated in the morning and 530 in the evening. On Saturdays, the midday peak traffic would increase by 548. A glass-like roof will create covered open space on the east side of the Arsenal on the Charles campus. The new office space, Building 6, can be see in the background.

Athenahealth’s goal is to have the new campus more welcoming to the public, with a number of outdoor gathering spaces, including a pocket park.

“A “shared street” concept is proposed for key areas of the campus that will facilitate a safe pedestrian-oriented environment that accommodates bicycles and vehicles,” the application says.

Another addition will be a glass-like roof over the area between the long buildings east of the Arsenal Center for the Arts.

Most trees will be protected, and the plan calls for improving plazas, courtyards and buffering.

“The Plan takes advantage of its relationship to the Olmsted historic landscape at the east portion of the property along Talbot Avenue and on the abutting property of the Town of Watertown,” the application says.

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