With Somerville Construction, Highgate Electric Expands Vision and Competitive Edge


“Highgate began as a small, 1-2-man shop owned by Tom Hession, with a focus on HVAC controls,” recalls Paul Lyons, owner of Northeastern Mechanical and Patriot Plumbing, who acquired the company in 2019. “Now a full MEP shop, my vision for Highgate was growing the company into a larger, more competitive electrical contractor.”


With 25 field electricians on staff as of June 2023, Highgate is delivering on its promise, expanding its primary focus on low-voltage electrical jobs to more ambitious service and maintenance projects in the Boston area. One of the latest of these is a new 7-story construction project located at 100 Chestnut Street in Somerville.


Working for Arch Energy, a division of Consigli Construction, Highgate is responsible for all HVAC control wiring on the base core and shell job, as well as two tenant fit-outs for pharmaceutical lab and office spaces on the second and third floor of the structure. “We began work on this project in January and are on track to complete work on the core and shell by the end of August 2023,” said Lyons, who serves as Highgate's president.


It's a tight schedule, but the Highgate team has embraced the challenge of keeping pace with deadline demands, given the Chestnut Street project’s large scope of work. Fortunately, Highgate’s experienced technicians know their trade. “Over the years, we’ve serviced every industry, having worked on sports facilities, retail and restaurants, bio-tech labs and utilities, colleges and universities and residential buildings,” added Chestnut Street project manager for Highgate Electric, Ryan Conley. Recent Highgate jobs include control and power wiring upgrades for Boston’s Mass Eye and Ear, access control systems for Parcel 12 Boston and HVAC wiring for the Dot Block grades, Parcel 12 Boston access control and Dot Block apartment complex.


A major challenge for the company—and other contractors in recent years—has been bumps in the supply chain, resulting in longer than average lead times on a lot of materials and equipment that are essential to the timely completion of projects. Lyons explains: “Certain drives, gas detection systems and thermostats can have lead times up to 60 weeks. If not coordinated correctly from the beginning, this can cause major delays, which is the last thing we want.”


Experience and capable planning have helped Highgate rise above potential roadblocks. The Somerville project is on track for completion later this summer. Lyons said, “We strive to provide the customer with excellent quality work that is also completed in an efficient and timely manner.”