130 Parker Street, Lawrence, MA – Packard Square Professional Center


Bell Tower Commercial Real Estate Group began managing 130 Parker Street in Lawrence, MA on the 1st of February just days before record-setting low temperatures. One month prior to formally managing the property, Bell Tower CRE Group began the onboarding process with the owner of the building. Onboarding for Bell Tower CRE Group consists of learning about and getting comfortable with the building, as well as understanding the owner’s goals, building needs and meeting the tenants. The Packard Building at 130 Parker Street was built in 1885 and is now used for office purposes only. There are six tenants in the building, including the owner herself, but the majority of the property is vacant. As a new owner of the building, the owner was learning the ins and outs of the property alongside Bell Tower CRE Group.

The record-setting low temperatures for the first weekend in February were well broadcast and communicated to the public and as the property manager, Bell Tower CRE Group was focused on protecting all properties under management, including 130 Parker Street. They checked the heat and thermostats, paying additional attention to any unoccupied space. In anticipation of the freezing temperatures, Bell Tower CRE Group was in communication with the owner and tenants on a regular basis.

The new owner of 130 Parker Street was becoming acclimated to the building when the cold blast hit. The thermostats in the building were locked and the new owner did not have the code to unlock them. As a resourceful team, Bell Tower CRE Group was able to get the required code so the thermostats could be adjusted in advance of the deep freeze.

On Saturday, a tenant in the building called the President of Bell Tower CRE Group, Gary Sidell, notifying him that the fire alarm was going off and that water was outside the building. Immediately, Gary contacted his lead property manager Vlad Saldaña who arrived on-site quickly.

Services Provided by Bell Tower CRE Group

Vlad met the Lawrence Fire Department at the property to discover that a pipe in the attic had burst, with water running from the third floor all the way down to the basement. This pipe was inaccessible during a typical walk-through. The fire department was directly notified as the water had reached the building’s fire panel, sounding the alarm. Vlad and the fire department knew the first course of action was to find the main water shut off point.

The water shutoff could not be located. Neither the fire department nor the property’s building information noted where the shut off was located. It was fortunate that the Lawrence Water Department was able to trace via the pipes to determine the shut off point was in the basement of another building. This is an extremely unusual situation, but attributable to the age of this historic property.

Once the water was shut off, the professionals from Aspen Environmental in Methuen, MA, were onsite, cleaning up the water, running fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the portion of the building affected. Vlad contacted the company as they had a prior relationship with the owner of the building. Aspen Environmental started on Saturday afternoon and continued into Sunday.

Vlad reached out to Bell Tower CRE Group’s top partners to begin sequencing the work. Many teams were at other job sites, but made their way to 130 Parker Street based on Vlad’s persistence and reputation.

In order to make the building secure and the fire system operational, the priorities were as follows:

  1. Fix the pipe that burst and restore water to the building.
    Kannan & Pricone Plumbing & Heating Inc. from Methuen, MA were part of the first response team. Vlad called Kannan & Pricone and was persistent that a team needed to make their way to the situation at 130 Parker Street. Shortly thereafter, a team was on their way.
  2. Fix the main electrical panel as it was damaged by the water.
    Another partner, Hammond Electric Inc. of Haverhill, jumped into action and arrived early evening to repair the electrical panel.
  3. Ensure that the fire panel is back online so the building’s fire alarm system is operational.
    The fire panel could not be repaired; due to the water damage it had to be replaced, meaning a part had to be located. Vlad secured a fire panel technician with the help of Kevin Steele from Alarm Contracting Enterprises in Pelham, NH. Quickly, Mammoth Fire Alarms in Lowell, MA arrived with the needed part and started installation on site late Saturday evening. After running two tests with the Deputy Chief of the Lawrence Fire Department, the fire alarm system was operational and the building was back on-line and fire protected. The property received a green light from the Lawrence Fire Department due to the dedication and hard work of Vlad and his partners.

Every team who helped at 130 Parker Street that night had come from other crises or left their homes on one of the coldest Saturday nights in history. Bell Tower CRE Group and their professional partners brought their respective expertise to control the damage, protect the building and get the water, electricity and fire alarm system back up and running.

Delivering Value

On the coldest day in many years, Bell Tower Commercial Real Estate Group provided highly responsive and professional services to immediately address a burst pipe. From mid-afternoon on Saturday, through the evening and into the early morning hours on Sunday, property manager Vlad Saldaña jumped into action to spearhead bringing the property to operational status. He prioritized and coordinated with the fire department, water department and trusted partners.

Property owner, Michelle Fermin, counted on Vlad and Bell Tower CRE Group to rapidly and thoroughly resolve the immediate priorities for the building and the tenants. She knew that the building was in trusted hands and felt so reassured that she kept her plans to leave the country the following morning for a planned vacation.

Three tenants were affected by the pipe that burst and general cleaning is now underway. In the meantime, Bell Tower CRE Group found one tenant an alternative space in the building for them to conduct business.

In about 12 hours on the coldest day of the year, the pipe was fixed, water was restored to the building, the damaged main electrical panel had been fixed and a new fire panel was installed. This was not a typical Saturday, but for Gary Sidell and Vlad Saldaña, it is exactly how they operate: with a high sense of urgency and responsiveness supported by a group of trusted professionals who readily take their calls and jump in to help when needed.

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As a business owner and a new property owner, I am so grateful to have Bell Tower Commercial Real Estate Group as my property management team. With water flowing throughout all four floors of my building, Vlad Saldana jumped in, keeping me informed while coordinating the other professionals needed to fix the pipe, fix the electrical and replace the fire panel. All during extreme cold on a Saturday. I was so confident in Vlad and Bell Tower CRE Group, that I left the country for vacation, knowing they had the situation fully under control.
Michelle Fermin
Owner of 130 Parker Street
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