North Station's Celebrity Status
Next month, Converse will start fitting out its new HQ at the $250M, 225k SF Lovejoy Wharf for a relo from the ’burbs. (It wants to stop getting grass stains on its new shoes.) This celebrity tenant reflects the rush to downtown and is a star player in the $2B transformation of the North Station neighborhood.
Related Beal is redeveloping the former industrial wharf building on the harbor into 450k SF mixed-use project with 175 condos, the 185k SF Converse HQ plus other office space, and 28k SF of retail. In a departure from the usual, it won’t have any parking. Why should it? The T and commuter rail are just steps away. (Beats parallel parking any day.) It’s a quick walk to the Financial District, Government Center, and the Seaport. In early ’15, the sneaker maker expects to move to the city and leave leafy Andover behind.
One Canal, Trinity Financial’s $200M multifamily/retail project slated for completion early 2016, is filling up one of the last North Station parcels created by the $16B Big Dig. When the massive public infrastructure project tore down the elevated Central Artery, it created four sites around this busy transit hub that could be developed. In the district called the Bulfinch Triangle, two projects have been completed, One Canal is underway, and the fourth is expected to get into construction by year end. This work is the “realization of a big plan and vision,” says BRA senior planner Jonathan Greeley.
But the neighborhood’s big game changer—in creating a mixed-use neighborhood out of an old industrial district—could be the $950M, 1.9M SF project by a JV of Boston Properties and Delaware North (the owner of the TD Garden) that the City approved in December. The iconic Garden will be transformed inside and out. Outside, the JV is planning new entrance and two towers with 497 residences, 668k SF of offices, a 306-key hotel, 800 parking spaces, and 250k SF of retail including a supermarket. Inside, they’ll expand it by 40k SF and revamp the concourse. (And hopefully add a bigger trophy case.) The partners will also remake North Station itself.
Across the street from The Garden, the $134M Victor developed by Colorado-based Simpson Housing was completed on a Big Dig parcel earlier this year. It has 286 rental apartments and 17k SF of retail, including 5,600 SF leased by Tavern in the Square. On the other side of Causeway Street, AvalonBay and Delaware North hope to start construction in August on $500M Nashua Street Residences—500 residential units and 3,300 SF of retail.
At 121 Portland St, Pizzuti Development is doing a $35M redevelopment of an old office building into 81 residences. Around the corner in 2015, $24M in construction is slated to start on Commercial and Causeway streets to widen sidewalks, plant trees, rebuild intersections to improve safety, and create a dedicated bike lane. (If you rollerblade, you're out of luck.) Culminating decades of planning, North Station is turning from an industrial area with a busy sports arena that hosts three million visitors a year into a dense mixed-use neighborhood where people will live, work, and take walks on the Greenway.
The last Big Dig parcel to get into construction will be the $175M Merano by Boston Development Group with 231 residences and a 210-key Marriott Courtyard. Tasked with building over a highway tunnel, any changes require lots of public review. It’s one of six projects with 1,500 housing units slated for North Station. Once the private and public projects are completed, the new North Station will be more closely knit into the popular North End on one side, the Greenway, and the West End with its complex of MGH facilities.