Saturday, May 5, 2018

Can Superior Nut Stand the Heat?

From Michael J. Squirrel:

Looking at the Superior Nut Company building, one might be forgiven for thinking the roasting outfit was, well, toasted. Started in 1929 in Somerville, Mass., Superior Nut has been at this location in East Cambridge, Mass., since 1979, per the company's web site. In previous drives and walks past the facility, I've enjoyed the aroma of roasting nuts. Lately, I haven't smelled anything, but I assume the company is still cranking out product. Its Facebook page is up to date.

Built in 1920, the manufacturing facility is located in a quickly evolving neighborhood. In recent years developers have built a Marriott hotel and very large apartment/condo buildings in the immediate area. Another development is under way across Monsignor O'Brien Highway (Rte. 28) from the nut company. Nearby, the massive Cambridge Crossing (formerly known as NorthPoint) multi-use project is in process, with several residential buildings completed and many more on the way. I wrote a little about this area back on October 27, 2017, in "Set Yourself Free on Prison Point."

There are a few lots north of Superior Nut that, on a recent walk-by, I noticed were either vacant or more than a bit rough around the edges, and surely ready to be redeveloped, including Lechmeres U-Do-It Car Wash, Boston Tropical Fish and Reptile and Sav-More Discount Liquors. A crack developer or two surely must have these sites on their radar. Since the nut company seems to be doing well, I'm guessing that it will stay put.

"Why is this area ripe for redevelopment?" you ask. Well, for one thing, Superior Nut is close to Somerville's Union Square, which in recent years has become quite the hipster zone, what with the restaurants and the bars and the breweries and mustache waxing.

Secondly, the neighborhood around Superior Nut will one day, God willing and the money don't dry up, be serviced by a long-planned, but much-delayed, extension of the Green Line trolley system. So developers are jumping on board now in expectation of growth along the new train line, which will connect Union Square and Medford with downtown Boston.

You know what to do. Stay tuned....

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