The former industrial city of Lowell, Massachusetts is encouraging growth in the Hamilton Canal Innovation District (HCID). Parking was a missing, but critical component needed to support future development throughout the district.
More development projects are in the works thanks to the completion of the new HCID precast concrete parking garage. Without it, the adjacent residential development, which includes a mix of one and two bedroom units as well commercial space would not have gotten off the ground. The ultimate goal is to transform this area into a vibrant and exciting spot in Lowell.
The new 253,900 SF parking structure accommodates 900 cars on six elevated levels and one level below grade. Design-assist was key to successfully meeting the aggressive project schedule. Dailey Precast worked closely with Shawmut Design and Construction in an effort to get this large garage constructed in record time. The accelerated schedule was critical to address the parking shortage in the area.
Dailey Precast started fabricating components in September 2019 concurrent with site preparation. Erecting more than 800 pieces of precast concrete took only 47 days during a two month period in early 2020. Despite pandemic delays, the garage was open to the public in December, 2020. The garage also features a parking office and retail space at street level.
In order to maximize the number of spaces while minimizing the size of the structure, slightly lower floor to floor heights were approved by the City. The overall height of the garage was less than 60 feet with a step-back to 40 feet near the Canal Place condominiums. The step-back minimizes shadows on the adjacent building and concrete planters on the roof section help provide additional screening for Canal Place residents.
The free standing precast concrete garage features exterior columns, spandrels and infills with stair and elevator cores at the ends. The overall footprint is a unique shape to align with the property setbacks and site constraints. Surrounded by frontage roads, two canals and converted mill buildings, the parking structure footprint follows the unique site layout.
The exterior precast facade includes a form liner finish and metal scrim system. To provide visual interest to the garage, the architect added exterior solid and perforated aluminum wall panels that were attached via brackets to the precast spandrels. The architect of record, Fennick McCredie Architecture, designed the canopy fascia and soffit panels to draw attention to the storefronts at street level.
Located on the edge of the HCID on Dutton Street, the garage has 300 spaces designated for the new million Lowell Justice Center. It provides parking for the mixed-use residential and commercial spaces, as well as projects currently under construction behind the garage and across the Lower Pawtucket Canal.
The precast parking garage was completed in record time and paved the way for construction of the HCID’s mixed-use neighborhood.