Opening of Warrior Ice Arena signals new era for development, area

When the first puck dropped onto Warrior Ice Arena in Allston recently, a new season began for the Bruins – and a new era commenced for Allston. The Bruins’ brand new, $130 million training facility, a dramatic structure (its exterior suggests our collective shipping past) sitting near the turnpike, is a feature of a new 15 acre, $500 million neighborhood called Boston Landing.

Sitting adjacent to New Balance’s new global headquarters and several office buildings completed or near completion, Warrior Ice Arena is just the most visible part of this long blighted area’s revival. Boston Landing has taken off, fostering a new, thriving neighborhood on the outskirts of the city.

The development brings together not just sports facilities (the Celtics will soon be joining the Bruins at the new facility) but apartments, offices, retail space, lab space, a fitness center, a hotel and, most importantly, a commuter rail station.  In fact, if it were not for NB Development’s commitment to help fund the rail station, there would be no public transportation.  And with no public transportation, there would be no Boston Landing.

“The train station was the lynchpin,” said Jim Halliday, Managing Director of NB Development Group.   “Without the commuter rail, our companies would not be able to attract a quality workforce.  Same goes for the apartments – it would be much harder to attract builders to capture quality tenants.  No apartments, no offices, then no retail.  This truly is a case of if you build it, they will come. ”

Though some of these parts are still in progress, the area is already seeing significant changes – and with so many additions to the development, it is guaranteed to promote a bustling, 24/7 environment once fully complete.

Boston Landing will also hold 440,000 square feet of new office and lab space (with much more still currently under construction), and will bear amenities including shops, upscale dining, and green space.  Workers in the area have the ability to walk to each of these features right from their own office buildings. It also helps employers that Boston Landing is so easily accessible for commuters from other areas. There is parking on the development, which is right off the Massachusetts Turnpike, and the commuter rail station is scheduled to be completed in the spring.

With the addition of Warrior Ice Arena as well as the in-progress Celtics practice court, Boston Landing has taken on an identity as a bona fide sports hub. The presence of New Balance’s global headquarters and fitness club underscores this as well. The dynamic space is revamping the Allston-Brighton area for local residents, workers and shoppers, and with a 295-unit residential complex constructed on the development, an entire neighborhood is being transformed into a thriving center for sports, commerce and quality of life.

Warrior Ice Arena creates an open, community-driven environment in the neighborhood, as the facility is open to the public with seating for up to 660 spectators. Groups can also rent ice time; the arena will host college, high school, youth and amateur level hockey, in addition to offering public skating sessions. In providing such an interactive atmosphere, the rink adds to the feel of civic integration that the entire project has brought to the Allston-Brighton area.

As each of the elements come together in the Boston Landing development, there has been a slow-but-steady transformation of what once was a quiet, neglected neighborhood into an economic and athletic powerhouse. The commercial benefits along with the community feel of the development truly bring together the public and private sectors, and make room for significant growth that will proliferate throughout both Allston-Brighton and the Greater Boston area.

Original Article BostInno