Back to News
Dec 09, 2016

Hot Property: Affordable living at The Merc

Boston Herald
Friday, December 9, 2016
by Paul Restuccia

The Merc at Moody & Main has an urban feel thanks to its location in downtown Waltham, but rents are about 25 percent less than new buildings in Boston and Cambridge.

“We get a lot of people who started looking in the city for apartments, but find that rents out here are lower,” said Stephanie Cabral, the Merc’s community manager. “Rents at The Merc run around $300 cheaper than comparable new buildings in Cambridge and $500 in Boston.”

Cabral says many residents relocated here from out of state and work in tech and biotech firms along nearby Route 128. She says most are young professionals, but there are also some empty nesters. The 269-unit, three building, five-story apartment complex — named after the former Mercantile building on the 41?2-acre block — recently finished its third phase, which includes a ground floor filled with common amenity spaces.

There’s a wood-floored resident lounge with seating and a gas fireplace, a billiards room and a clubroom with a catering kitchen featuring a large quartz center island and stainless steel appliances. Adjacent sits a resident library and business conference center. There’s also a large fitness facility/yoga studio that overlooks Waltham Common across the street. A dog washing station has a large shower stall.

By the spring, a fifth-story skydeck with Boston views will have an outdoor fireplace and grill areas.

Studios of 628 square feet go for $2,060. One-bedroom apartments, from 719 to 754 square feet, range from $2,295 to $2,560. Two bedrooms, from 916-1,189 square feet, start at $2,770 and go up to $3,085. Three bedrooms rent for between $3,700 to $3,850 a month.

Rents include one free parking space in the complex’s 300-car underground garage. Second garage spaces are $175 a month. Pet rent runs $50 a month per dog or cat.

The Merc is 63 percent leased, and the complex is offering a month’s free rent on 12-month leases signed by Jan. 1.

We toured staged model unit 220, a 750-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath renting for $2,495. The apartment has an open kitchen/dining/living area with 9-foot ceilings. The kitchen has dark vinyl plank flooring, 15 white and brown wood cabinets and quartz countertops with a mosaic tile backsplash. There’s a moveable quartz island and Whirlpool stainless steel appliances, including a refrigerator, dishwasher and electric stove.

The carpeted dining/living area has a wall of windows with a bumpout that allows views down Waltham’s Main Street.

The carpeted bedroom has a large walk-in closet with shelving — and the ceramic tile-floored bathroom has a large vanity and a white-tiled tub and shower. In one corner of the bathroom sits a full-size stacked Whirlpool washer and dryer.

“This is a true transit-oriented development with the commuter rail to Boston and buses to Cambridge right here,” says Peter Standish, senior vice president at Newton’s Northland Investment Corp., the Merc’s developer and owner. “We figured we’d get tenants looking for a more urban experience that downtown Waltham offers, including all the restaurants along Moody Street.”