Cambridge Local First

A name from Harvard history returns to buy; Projects around Union Square are multiplying

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By Eamon McLoughlin, published on the Cambridge Day on June 25.

Construction is underway at 1130 Massachusetts Ave. in Mid-Cambridge, just blocks from Harvard Yard and the heart of Harvard Square. (Photo: Marc Levy)

A captain of private equity appears to have bought into Cambridge, returning to the scene of his undergrad and graduate degrees.

Patrick Healy, 54, chief executive of the private equity giant Hellman & Friedman, is listed as the London-based principal on record for the company buying the office building at 1130 Massachusetts Ave., Mid-Cambridge, just blocks from Harvard Yard and the heart of Harvard Square. Healy is a 1989 graduate of Harvard, where he is remembered – at least in reporting by The Harvard Crimson – as an accomplished diver and swimmer; he later attended Harvard Business School, where online biographies show him earning a master of business administration degree with distinction.

Construction is already underway at the 3,024-square-foot structure, the neighbor of the building housing Hourglass Tattoo and Arrow Dry Cleaners, as well as national tutoring service Signet Education.

The sale price was $3.4 million, the Bldup platform reported June 17. T. Baker Pond, a subsidiary of MacArthur Construction, was the seller, but MacArthur employees could provide no more information Friday.

Another private equity executive, Tim Dibble of Alta Communications in Boston and Alta Equity Partners in Concord, recently bought Central Square’s Cantab Lounge with plans to revive and reopen it. Dibble is a graduate of Wesleyan in Middletown, Connecticut, not Harvard – but he too is a former Cambridge resident.

In other development news:

  • Somerville gave the go-ahead to three Union Square projects last week expected to add a total 163 residential units to the area, which is soon to have a new green line subway station. At 346 Somerville Ave., developers plan 94 studio and one-bedroom units over five stories, plus 2,470 square feet of ground-floor retail and a publicly accessible park at the rear. A five-story 3 Hawkins St. project by ZRE Development promises 59 or 60 eco-friendly passive-house units. And down the street, Somerville gave the go-ahead for the demolition of 379 Somerville Ave., which was home to the Thunder Road music club until owners announced in August that it would not reopen after the coronavirus pandemic. Plans for the site call for a five-story, 3,478-square-foot mixed-use building with 10 residential units and ground-floor space for a bar or restaurant. Bldup described it June 17 as a “redevelopment of Thunder Road nightclub.”
  • The 67-room 907 Main boutique hotel in Cambridge’s Lafayette Square recently refinanced the property for $24 million through Cambridge Savings Bank, according to Bldup. The hotel, which opened in the fall, is home to The Dial bar and restaurant and a Praline patisserie on its ground floor. The return of Toscanini’s ice cream is expected this summer, along with a rooftop bar and restaurant called Blue Owl.
  • Construction is set to begin this fall on 28 Chestnut, a four-story, 200,000-square-foot life-sciences building in Somerville’s Inner Belt area. The project by the developer North River is expected to open in 2023.

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