Campus Master Plan

  • A Master Plan for the Watertown Arsenal

    While athenahealth has been a resident business in Watertown since 2005, we only purchased the property in 2013 from Harvard University. Shortly after, the Boston Globe published a story describing athenahealth’s vision for growing our presence on our new 29-acre home at the historic Watertown Arsenal. We immediately developed a 10 year plan that focuses on creating an open, permeable, and exciting campus for the community. The current conditions of the campus offer significant opportunities for community beautification and public activation for the once closed military installation.

    Our company has embraced an open planning process engaging neighborhood and community groups, town officials, and the business community in dozens of meetings over 2.5 years.  Our campus plan aims to balance necessary company growth with community and ecological needs of the campus.  We are focused on enhancing community connectivity through open space, circulation, and amenities that transform the property from its past as a private campus to a permeable inviting pedestrian-oriented public environment.  Our plan maintains open space and expands it through landscape enhancements and an integrated and comprehensive stormwater management strategy.

  • Integrated Stormwater Strategy

    The Arsenal on the Charles is a 200 year old facility and former Superfund site. Our campus plan provides the opportunity to upgrade essential stormwater management systems to better protect the Charles River, while making the campus more enjoyable through innovative landscape design such as catch-basins, retaining ponds, rain gardens and cisterns.  Watertown’s zoning for the campus mandates a minimum of 15% open space which we already surpass at 23%.

  • West End of Campus

    On the West Campus, we will construct a 1,400-car parking garage with bicycle parking, and electric vehicle charging stations.  On the Arsenal Street side of the garage, a new retail building will be constructed following  Watertown’s design consultant, David Gamble’s, recommendations for street activation. The south side of the garage is envisioned to provide a significant park with walking paths, a bike path through to Arsenal street, and a green wall similar to the one gracing the walls of the Watertown Lexus dealership on Walnut Street.

  • Parking Solutions

    In 2017, as part of our 10-year campus plan, approved by the Watertown Town Council and Watertown Planning Board in 2015, we plan to open a new parking garage on the West end of campus. This parking garage is the cornerstone to the greening of the Watertown Arsenal campus by enabling surface parking to be removed and replaced with additional green space and landscaped areas available for community enjoyment. The additional green space will also help remediate stormwater runoff into the Charles River from the property.

    The garage will utilize a “smart-parking” system to help drivers find available spots. Other amenities in the garage include electric vehicle charging stations and a dedicated indoor bicycle parking area to encourage athenahealth’s Bike-to-work program. Preferred parking will be available for ride-share participants.

    The garage concept was designed in close collaboration with neighbors and town representatives, and careful consideration was made to align the garage’s design with the overall campus and neighborhood feel as athenahealth continues to grow. The garage has a step-back design so the interior garage height is greater on Arsenal Street and lower on North Beacon Street, and the maximum height is 68.5 feet.

  • Retail Space on the West End of Campus

    Retail Space along Arsenal Street

  • A Connection to the Minuteman Bikeway

    In 2014, athenahealth contributed funds to the completion phase of the Watertown Greenway. The completion of this project will create a continuous regional connection from the Charles River Trail network to the Minuteman Bikeway, the Alewife Greenway, and the Mystic River Reservation. The Greenway is designed to provide an alternative commuter route for cyclists, and other non-motorized modes of transportation that are traveling from the west to urban centers, such as Arlington, Cambridge, and Boston. It also serves as a passive park with abundant native plantings and wildlife. As part of our campus plan, The Arsenal will provide a safe pass-through continuation of the trail from Arsenal Street to North Beacon Street

  • A Safe and Walkable Promenade

    As part of our efforts to green the campus, Wooley Avenue along building 311 will be transformed in to a safe and walkable promenade, passable only by emergency vehicles. The surface parking lots will be replaced by enhanced open space, stormwater landscaping, and a small orchard. The plans currently include an amphitheater which will be available to the community, although the permanent location has not been decided.

     

  • The Historic Iron Fence

    The Arsenal boasts a beautiful historic iron fence surrounding the property on all sides. In an effort to preserve the fence and create a safer experience for pedestrians, the fence along Arsenal Street will be moved closer to Building 311. An enhanced walkway will be created including benches and improved landscaping. The Arsenal’s other fences will also be repaired and preserved accordingly.

  • The Retail Corridor

    In the center of campus, we have broken ground and begun to realign Kingsbury Avenue with a new coplanar design. This will encourage pedestrian and bike activity, and create attractive outdoor event opportunities. This Retail Corridor will feature a new building with boutique retail, and is the site for Garrett Harker & Andrew Holden’s new restaurant, Branch Line. 

  • Winter Garden

    Further along in the plan, we will include the design for a glass roof over the top of building 313 and 37, creating an indoor winter “garden” that will function as an event space and potentially host some small culinary or retail opportunities.

  • All-Season Covered Walkways

    Proposed winter garden providing an all-season covered walkway to connect the Theatre, Building 313, and Building 37

  • East End Redesign

    In considering designing and building new buildings on campus, our plan was to ensure the character and presence of the existing Arsenal architecture by distinguishing old from new.  The AODD Zoning ordinance provides specific direction to our planning effort. We will follow all height, area and setback requirements, such as locating taller buildings at the interior of the site, and to step down and articulate buildings where they engage with the Public Realm and Charles River. Our design creates visual interest, activates and enriches the ground level experience by weaving together buildings and landscape.

     

  • The Design for the Future

    The design for The Arsenal campus is in line with the Comprehensive Plan and the vision Watertown has articulated for developments. Our campus plan invites the community in to the property, activates small businesses and the theater space, protects the Charles River, adds new open space, and provides an attractive place to visit, work, live, and play.