Shopping Center Business

MAY 2015

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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Page 164 of 342

160 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • MAY 2015 W hile New England Develop- ment is evolving and creating projects in the outlet center space (see page 331), the company is still develop- ing the regional centers for which it is so well known. New England Development's Uni- versity Station is bringing 2 million square feet of retail, office, residential and hospitality space to the Westwood, Massachusetts, area. The first phase opened in March. "The project is the culmination of the revitalization of an old industrial site and the re-envisioning of a previous master plan," notes Douglass Karp, president of New England Development. The company partnered with Eastern Real Estate and National Development in 2012 to create a plan to redevelop the former industrial site, which is located adjacent to the Amtrak and Massa- chusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Station on Interstate 95 and Route 128. The project team involved the entire town of Westwood in the approval pro- cess — a risky but inclusive approach that ended in the approval of a new zoning overlay district that enabled the long-awaited project to move forward, explains Karp. The project's master plan includes 750,000 square feet of retail space, 350,000 square feet of office space, 650 residential units, 100 assisted liv- ing/memory care units and 160 hotel rooms. The project's design team in- cludes Elkus Manfredi Architects, Al- levato Architects, Shadley Associates Landscape Architects and Tetra Tech. "Our development team's close work with the Town of Westwood's planning board, finance committee, board of se- lectmen and other officials set the tone for the ongoing approvals process and allowed construction of the initial phase of retail, residential and assisted living — totaling more than 1 million square feet — to begin immediately," says Karp. Once the approvals were set, many retailers, including Wegmans, Target and Nordstrom Rack, committed to University Station, which is helping to meet the demand for such retailers in the market. The project boasts a trade population of 974,668 with an aver- age household income of $96,274 in a 10-mile radius, which has been under- served by retailers. Additional tenants in the 550,000 square feet of recently opened retail space include Marshalls, HomeGoods, Michaels, Sports Authority, ULTA Beauty and PetSmart. A 125,000-square- foot Life Time Athletic will open this summer. Also included in the first phase of development are the 350-unit Gables University Station apartment commu- nity and the 64-unit Bridges by Epoch University Station assisted living resi- dence that specializes in memory care. Future phases of the project will include additional restaurants, a hotel with approximately 150 rooms, as well as up to 300 additional residences and 350,000 square feet of office space. "The scale of the project and its mix of uses, coupled with its location ad- jacent to the Route 128/Interstate 95 MBTA Commuter Rail/Amtrak Train Station, make it unmatched in the mar- ketplace," says Karp. In addition to bringing much desired commercial space to the area, Univer- sity Station's design includes two parks, totaling 16 acres, and an 11-acre open space adjacent to Life Time Athletic, allowing the center to become a place for community gathering. The 120-acre project is slated to in- crease Westwood's property tax collec- tion by a net of approximately $3.5 mil- lion annually, and return a significant amount of commercial development to the town's tax rolls. — Amy Bigley Works Regional Retail by New England Development Wegmans, Target, Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Michaels, Sports Authority ULTA Beauty and Petsmart are among the tenants signed on to University Station. Life Time Athletic at University Station will open this summer.

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