Shopping Center Business

MAY 2017

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

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ARSENAL YARDS 234 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2017 W hat's old is new again in Wa- tertown, Massachusetts, at the edge of Boston and Cambridge. The Arsenal Mall, an enclosed center built in the 1980s, absorbed buildings constructed in 1816 that had been used by the U.S. Army to assemble tanks and can- nons. The "de-malling" redevelopment project currently underway at the site will demolish the added structures to reveal the masonry and steelwork of the origi- nal buildings and add new components to the site to create a neighborhood with a mix of uses that appeal to today's retail consumers and city dwellers. The Wilder Companies and Boylston Properties have teamed up to develop the project, called Arsenal Yards, which will result in 325,000 square feet of retail space, 107,000 square feet of office space, 450 residential units and a 150-key hotel. "The two historic buildings that were part of the U.S. Army arsenal held assem- bly lines. They are long buildings with 48-foot clear ceilings, beautiful steelwork and classic masonry. We will reintroduce these buildings for street-front retail and activate the former parking lot for addi- tional multi-level uses," says Tom Wilder, principal with The Wilder Companies. WHAT'S NEW The historic buildings will contain roughly half of the total retail space at the project. The four new residential build- ings and the new hotel will have ground- floor retail space. The retail offerings will include curated shops, specialty fitness, personal services, health and beauty, and a specialty grocer, as well as fine dining and casual eateries. Entertainment retailers will likely include a six- to eight-screen specialty theater and a concept like the popular bowling/boc- ce/bistro venues, Wilder says. "This market has really changed," he adds. "The new dining concepts will be critical to the project; we are targeting chef-driven restaurants — concepts with great flare, eclectic presentation and build out. We are looking for eight to 10 restaurants that will have a regional draw, especially when paired with the theater and shopping experience. Customer ex- pectations are higher today and we are targeting restaurants that we know will deliver." Peeling Back Layers Of A Mall A former mall near Boston will give way to Arsenal Yards, a mixed- use neighborhood with sections that have distinct, eclectic personalities. Jaime Lackey Arsenal Yards will be designed with different sections with their own unique identities, including an area with a European feel, a Main Street with an urban vibe, and River Green, which connects to the adjacent park fronting the Charles River.

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