In 2020 Eastern acquired a 100,000-square-foot, two-story mill building set on 3.2 acres in Melrose, MA. Built in 1882, the property had a long history of prior uses including being home to both the Boston Rubber Company (which would become Converse) and the National Radio Company. Eastern was drawn to the historic nature of the building, which features exposed brick walls, wood beam columns, original hardwood floors, and ceiling heights in excess of 14 feet.
Located just north of Boston and accessible by MBTA Orange Line, Melrose is one of Boston’s premier outer-urban bedroom communities. Recently named one of Boston Magazine’s “Top Places to Live”, Melrose offers residents the best of urban amenities, suburban convenience, and natural beauty. Radio Factory is a short bike ride to downtown Melrose and directly across the street from the expansive Middlesex Fells Reservation – with 2,200 pristine acres perfect for hiking, biking, and kayaking.
Eastern worked with the City of Melrose and local community stakeholders to re-envision the underutilized property into a 141-unit apartment complex including 19 units of affordable housing with public civic space and ground-floor retail. The transformation included the addition of a third level and repurposing of a historic Gatehouse building and outdoor courtyard into a community hub.
Radio Factory opened its doors to new residents in July 2022 and set a record for the fastest lease-up the management company had ever seen. In September 2022, with the property 82% leased, Eastern sold Radio Factory to an institutional multifamily investor.