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Copley Place's Massive Expansion

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Copley Place's Massive Expansion
The Collaborative Partners president and CEO Jack Hobbs, associate Kristi Dowd, and CFO Donna Camiolo are managing the $500M addition to Back Bay?s Copley Place for the nation's largest public real estate company, Simon Property Group. (At its size, you'll need a golf cart to complete a decent shopping spree.)
Copley Place's Massive Expansion
The project announced last week is the most ambitious one that Simon has under construction and includes a 47-story, 318-unit residential tower and 115k SF of additional retail at the upscale mall that Simon purchased in ?02. Simon?s VP of development Bill Jackson tells us the Indianapolis-based company (with an ownership stake in 263M SF in North America, Europe, and Asia) will add to the upscale mall built in ?84 because it feels the metro Boston economy is in recovery and improving more rapidly than other parts of the country: ?The timing is right for us.?
Copley Place's Massive Expansion
Jack says the project is ?a construction feat.? The new space will be built, in part, where there is nothing but thin air over the Mass Pike, a commuter rail line, the MBTA, and the Pike exit ramp that circles around the mall. Bill explains that pilings will be installed at six or eight locations. On top of this superstructure will be built three-story trusses that will serve as the platform for the residential tower. As the project moves forward, he says, Simon will determine if the residences will be rentals or condos depending on market conditions. He says that even though Copley Place was built in ?84, it's still among the most dynamic retail centers in the US and Boston is a premier market.
Copley Place's Massive Expansion
The site?s open air plazas and long-held air rights give Simon the opportunity to add onto the mall. Neiman?s store here will be expanded into a flagship. In front of it, Simon plans a 40' tall, 30k SF Wintergarden that will serve as a new entrance for Copley Place. (So if you have a 39' statue you'd like to submit for the Wintergarden, get it in soon.) Bill tells us that Simon started planning this project in ?07 and then shelved it when the recession took hold. The team, which includes architect Elkus Manfredi and many other consultants, hopes to complete permitting early next year. Bill says construction, which will create 1,700 jobs in the trades, could start as early as next fall although much permitting and planning remains to be done.