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This Week's Boston Deal Sheet

Skanska has signed a contract to build Simmons University's new Living and Learning Center after winning final zoning approvals for its 1.7M SF mixed-use development on a piece of the university's campus. 

Skanska won final approvals for a 1.7M SF mixed-use development on a piece of Simmons University's campus.

On Thursday, Skanska signed a $311M contract to build a residence and campus center for the university. The project will include 1,000 student beds and a 500-seat dining facility.

The project will consolidate all of Simmons' facilities into one campus project and will allow Skanska to build the 1.7M SF Longwood Place development on the site of Simmons' current residential campus. It is ground-leasing that site from the university in exchange for building the new Living and Learning Center. 

Longwood Place is planned to include life sciences and office space, 380 units of market-rate and affordable housing, and 44K SF of ground-floor retail across five buildings. Skanska filed plans for the development in January 2022, and it is planned to begin after the delivery of the Living and Learning Center in 2026.

“Skanska is eager to deliver much needed lab and research space to support Boston’s healthcare ecosystem, more housing opportunities, and enhanced ground-level amenities and transportation options in an intentional and sustainable manner that will create a destination neighborhood,” Carolyn Desmond, vice president of Skanska USA Commercial Development’s Boston office, said in a statement.


Wegmans is closing its 134K SF store at the Natick Mall that it leased from Brookfield Properties, creating a large vacancy. The grocery store opened in 2018, the first multilevel location inside a mall for the popular chain. The company announced the closure Wednesday and said it is offering jobs at other locations for all 365 employees of the Natick store, 142 of whom were full-time workers. 

“Making these decisions is never easy. However, we do it for the long-term benefit of our people, our customers, and our communities,” Brien MacKendrick, human resources director for Wegmans' New England division, said in a release. “Unfortunately, with this non-traditional location we are unable to attract enough customers for our business model to work.”  


Marcus Partners fully leased its 7 Manley St. development in West Bridgewater, signing an 88K SF deal with 4Wall Entertainment. The building is expected to be completed in the next month. The company then plans to move forward with another 168K SF industrial development in Andover that is set to deliver at the end of 2023.


Nice North America renewed its 9K SF lease at Combined Properties' Centennial Park office in Peabody. Other tenants in the building include North Shore Physicians Group and The Warren Group. Combined Properties' Greg Regazzini represented the landlord and tenant.


Envision Energy USA, the U.S. arm of Shanghai-based Envision Energy, signed a 30K SF lease at Nordblom Co.'s Northwest Park campus in Burlington. The full-building lease will act as the company's H2 Center of Excellence, where it will grow its research and development of green energy. 

Nordblom's Northwest Park is a 200-acre mixed-use site that has attracted a number of life sciences companies like Vericel Corp. and the Broad Institute, which signed leases in a newly constructed building on the campus. Hunneman's Jim Boudrot, Steve James and Patrick Grady represented Envision Energy in the lease.


Eastern Bank provided financing to build Grace by Nia, a new supper club in the Seaport. The 5K SF restaurant was opened in partnership with Nia Grace and Big Night Live Entertainment Group owners Ed Kane and Randy Greenstein. Eastern Bank's Greg Buscone, Brendan O’Neill and Ian Willard helped advise the partnership with financing.


Rise's two-building development will include seven soundstages, pre- and post-production facilities, and offices to support major television and film productions.

Rise acquired the development rights for the 123-acre Banner Park campus in Braintree, where it plans to develop a 275K SF production studio lot. The firm acquired the site from Onshore Properties, which secured approvals and set up the permitting to make the studio plans possible. 

The project will include soundstages, pre- and post-production facilities, and offices to support major television and film productions. The campus has a 20K SF office building that will be demolished to make way for the studio.


Bryant University plans to expand its campus in part through a donation by Fidelity Investments. The financial firm donated 100 Salem St. to the institution to help expand its Smithfield, Rhode Island, campus. The new 250K SF building is slated to include classrooms, entrepreneurial innovation space and labs.


Rise is moving forward with a 46-unit, four-story multifamily development in Everett. The firm bought the site at 52 School St. earlier this month for $3M, according to public records, and it received financing from Needham Bank. Of the 46 units, seven will be set aside for families making up to 80% of the area median income. A quarter of the parking will be designated for electric vehicle charging stations. Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2023.