University Station Parking Garage

Developers of the new 2 million-square-foot University Station multi-use project near the Route 128 MBTA commuter rail line in Westwood, Massachusetts, have begun construction on the first phases, which will include an apartment complex with a total-precast concrete parking structure at its core.

When completed, the $500-million project will include 750,000 square feet of retail space, a 350,000-square-foot Class A office building, 650 residential units, up to 160 hotel units and an assisted-living and memory-care facility with 100 units, according to the Boston Business Journal.

The first phase, to open in the spring of 2015, will feature 550,000 square feet of retail space. That will be followed by the Gables at University Station, a 350-unit luxury residential development planned to open that summer, BBJ reported. Later phases will add the offices, hotel and additional residences and retail.

The residences are being designed in the “Texas wrap” format that the developer has used on other projects. In this design, a parking structure is constructed at the center and residential spaces are wrapped around that core, leaving some facades of the parking structure open. The precaster on the project is Blakeslee Prestress, which has worked with the general contractor on a total-precast concrete parking structure in the past.

“The apartments units will be built within a couple of inches of the precast garage on some sides,” explains Gary Weinberger, project manager for Blakeslee. “In that case, a special finish wasn’t needed.” These facades used fire-rated caulk to meet fire codes for this construction.

The 457 precast components comprise of double tees, girders, columns, shear walls, lite walls, spandrels, wall panels, stairs and slabs. The erection took about six weeks, after which construction on the apartments began.

On the two sides where the parking walls are exposed, designers specified an architectural finish of a gray concrete with a light sandblast. Some panels on the west façade had thin brick inset into them to provide depth and contrast. Panels were designed so that only one finish was required on each piece, simplifying the casting process.

Foundation work for the apartment construction began while the precast concrete erection was still underway. “As soon as the walls were up and the fire-rated caulk had been applied, they began working right behind us,” Weinberger says. “Our comfort level from working with the contractor in the past was such that we worked together well to create an efficient plan.”

Project Details









Owner/Owner's Rep:

Hanover R.S. – Limited Partnership, Houston, TX


Wallace Garcia Wilson, Houston, TX

Structural Engineer:

SCA Consulting Engineers, Sugarland, TX


The Hanover Company, Boston, MA

Sq. Footage:



5 (510 parking spaces)

Structural Precast Elements:

457 precast concrete pieces including;
• 207 Double Tees
• 16 Girders
• 12 Columns
• 10 Shear Walls
• 27 Lite Walls
• 15 Spandrels
• 16 Stairs
• 23 Slabs
• 131 Wall Panels


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