Andrew E. Howarth, Director of Development and Financing
“I wanted to take a few minutes to express my appreciation for the work that Metric performed on our Heywood Wakefield Commons project in Gardner, Massachusetts.
As you know, this was an extremely difficult project, involving multiple funding sources and their various requirements on design, wage schedules, documentation, and virtually every other aspect of construction. It took nearly ten years to assemble the complex financing package, and we were most fortunate to have Metric involved at a very early stage. Your pricing and involvement in the design process were major factors in our ability to close on the eight separate funding sources involved in this development. We were always able to evaluate design changes in a financial context and to realistically assess feasibility and existing conditions thanks to your company’s constant feedback and involvement.
When we started construction in late summer of 2010, Metric’s star shone even more brightly. [The] Project Executive was simply the best project manager I’ve worked with in nearly forty years of affordable housing development. Construction challenges were met fairly and effectively, without the constant stream of change order requests that can sometimes plague a project involving such complex adaptive re-use plans for a structure that had deteriorated to the point of failure in some areas. We were given fairly priced alternatives at each decision point, and the entire design/development team was able to function most effectively thanks to the collegial approach of all Metric staff involved. We were fortunate to have good subs, two very effective on-site superintendents, and a dedicated and productive support staff back at the home office.
The project budget, about $13 million to start, was always respected, no matter what challenges arose during the construction process. Our square foot cost on this job was far lower than the funders in Boston expected, and yet we stayed on that budget right to the end, leaving us sufficient funds in the overall budget to pay for amenities and upgrades that we had initially value-engineered out of the design.
Ultimately though, any contractor is judged by its results, and the results on this project speak for themselves. We turned a dilapidated and decaying structure into one of the finest assisted living facilities in New England, and did it both on-time and under-budget. Furthermore, as we continue to work on closing out the multiple federal and state financing sources, Metric’s paperwork and records have been rock-solid, creating no problems in the complex and multi-layered approval process.
In summary, we can’t wait to work with Metric on another project. The capability, professionalism, and cooperation you have shown at all levels make for the best insurance I can imagine for any project’s success. I will remember the work of your company on this project for a long time – or at least until the next opportunity we have to have you excel on one of our projects!
Please feel free to use me as a reference for any future clients – I am more than happy to contribute to Metric’s already large and glowing stock of references.“
Richard T. Lefferts, President
“I am writing on behalf of Metric Construction as a direct result of the work they have provided for our organization. I am the development consultant to the non-profit owner of Heywood Wakefield 3 Assisted Living Facility, now known as Heywood Wakefield Commons. It is with great pleasure that I give Metric Construction my highest recommendation… The company’s extensive experience with logistics and construction management as it relates to historically sensitive renovations, elderly care facilities and academic institutions provided Commonweal Collaborative and our client with a great level of confidence.
Metric has been a tremendous asset to our development team at Heywood Wakefield Commons in Gardner, Massachusetts. Early on during the pre-construction process Metric Construction and their team of experienced professionals offered tremendous insight and value to mitigate potential problems. Metric utilized their resources, uncovered certain challenges and positioned our team for success in the completion of a 70,000 square foot renovation of an existing mill building.
The Heywood Wakefield Commons complex consisting of 78 apartments offers extensive common areas, including a living room, library, dining room, wellness center, activities space, and a country kitchen. The building is conveniently located within walking distance to amenities in the town, including the central business district, library, municipal services, and medical/hospital facilities.
The Heywood Wakefield Commons development is a high-profile $24 million project in downtown Gardner. Congressman John Olver and the Worcester Community Housing Resources, Inc. helped the development team secure HUD grants in addition to affordable housing subsidies and bonds from the Massachusetts DHCD, and MassDevelopment. The rehabilitation of the building in accordance with the Standards of the Secretary of the Interior. As a result, the project qualified for both Federal and state Historic Tax Credits, which generated additional revenue for the development process.
Due to Metric’s contributions and their steadfast dedication to maintaining the budget and the schedule we anticipate timely completion and delivery. It is my pleasure to recommend Metric Construction.“