Brand identity is a big part of effectively doing business today. More than ever, customers are interested in what your brand says, what your values are, how you communicate your product and how you want people to feel when they interact with it.

When it came time for the Cherrytree Group to find a larger office space for our growing company, we thought it was important for our new offices to reflect our brand identity as well as our basic values.

We started our search in 2017. And as a company that deals with tax credits for — among other things — renovation of historic structures, we all agreed we needed to find a historic building. Eventually we found the perfect solution—a former dry goods store located in the Auburndale village of Newton. The 4,657-square-foot centerpiece of The Miller Block was built in 1850 and already carried a historic designation.

Almost all the historic buildings in The Miller Block area, near the Auburndale Commuter Rail Station, had been lost to construction of the Massachusetts Turnpike abutting the neighborhood. This particular building remained as one of the last commercial buildings of its kind in Newton.

Now, our brand identity isn’t just about preserving historic buildings. It’s about benefiting from valuable state and federal tax incentives through mindful development. Like our clients, our new home office wouldn’t be possible without these special tax credits because there was a lot of construction work to do!

To bring the building up to date, we improved the building’s foundation and structural integrity, as well as installed all-new windows, electrical wiring, data wiring, mechanicals, plumbing, HVAC, Wi-Fi, hardwood floors, installed a magnificent balustrade and built out nine new offices.

It was an authentic restoration; which included period-specific workable shutters, exterior and interior painting, exterior molding, and new kitchen and restroom.
We’re incredibly proud of the end result. Cherrytree takes up the entire second floor and part of the first level. There are also three private offices and two suites available for lease — which include access to a common conference room, kitchen, and reception area.

Interior office space, desk and chairs

We leveraged our own expertise to make our project financially possible by improving the quality of life in the area —by adding available office space — and preserving the character of the neighborhood.

And people noticed. Neighbors and town officials were pleased, and our little building began catching the eye of many agencies and organizations which advocate rehabilitation of historic properties.

One of those was Preservation Massachusetts, an advocacy group with the goal of helping towns, businesses and residents understand that real estate development can progress while at the same time retaining community character. Much to our delight, our rehabilitation of The Miller Block has been recognized as one of the winners of the organization’s People’s Preservation Choice Award for 2019. Our staff traveled to the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston to receive the award at the organization’s annual dinner to recognize those who made significant contributions to preserving the Commonwealth’s historic resources

Our team worked so hard to give ourselves an amazing new home in The Miller Block, and we’re all proud to be recognized by Preservation Massachusetts as standing out in the field for doing what we help clients do every day. As our founder and president Warren Kirshenbaum likes to say, “We’re now an award-winning example of how federal and state tax credits can benefit businesses and communities.”

Woman working at conference table in office

We all love our new office building! It’s wonderful to come to work at a place with character and timeless beauty. And it’s heartwarming to see that others have noticed how we’ve restored some of the beauty and character to the neighborhood. We’d like to thank these people for helping our dream come true:

Architect: Barry Ganek: Ganek Architects, Carlisle, MA
General contractor: C2MG Builders, Topsfield, MA
Systems contractor: Total Temperature Control, Wakefield, MA
Historic consultancy: Epsilon Associates, Inc., Maynard, MA

When someone has a dream of making a rundown old building useful and productive again, hopefully this visionary will think of The Miller Block and find out how we can help build dreams in the real world.