“A lot of what we are working on is super-efficient data centers,” said the firm’s other senior principal and co-founder, Paul Durand.
Founded in 1987, the firm started on Winter Street in Salem then moved to Washington Street.
In 2000, the firm moved to the former Newmark department store and office building at 209 Essex St., where it occupies a spacious, airy office on the third floor. The building is owned by Winter Street’s founders.
Working long hours as they built their firm, Meche and Durand found Salem to be a more efficient place to work than Boston.
“We almost signed a lease on Summer Street in Boston ...” Durand said. “But we thought about it and the quality of life, and being able to work here efficiently from (Salem) was a great thing.”
They could afford to buy a building in Salem, which is located on the pedestrian mall, something they would not have been able to do in downtown Boston. And they were able to tap top-notch designers and architects who live in the area.
“Coming to Salem and doing high-quality work is their choice,” Meche said, “and they stay here a long time.”
Winter Street’s portfolio includes libraries, commercial offices, firehouses, public safety buildings, residential condominiums, life science labs, resorts and data centers. It’s also designed the Depot Square condominiums in Beverly, among other local projects.
Locally, the firm has done its fair share of work in Salem.
Winter Street designed the Derby Lofts condominiums, the A&J King Artisan Bakery and the Olde Salem Greens golf course clubhouse with its soaring roof. At Salem State, the firm designed the public safety building and is designing a temporary modular dorm. It is designing a renovation of the Salem YMCA’s historic Ames Hall.