Developments to Watch in 2020
2020 is here, which means a new chapter in Boston’s development boom is underway. With a new year – and a new decade – upon us, it is important to take stock of the city’s current skyline and appreciate the many pending projects guaranteed to remake our regional landscape.
Whether it’s hundreds of thousands of square feet of new offices, labs, retail space, or additional housing and hospitality/recreation venues, Boston’s building momentum will continue to shift our city in new and surprising ways. Here are some of the top projects on our radar:
South Station: As the result of a recently completed air rights deal, Houston-based Hines real estate investment firm is poised to begin construction on what will become one of the largest structures in the Northeast: a 678-foot glass tower connected to the iconic regional train and bus terminal. The South Station tower will feature 175 condos on its upper floors and 768,000 square feet of office space below. The project will also include an expanded bus station, an 895-spot parking garage, an additional 279-foot office space, and a separate 349-foot residential tower.
Parcel 12: Last summer, the Boston Planning Board approved this Samuels & Associates’ Back Bay project located at the busy intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Newbury Street. Formerly the site of a Best Buy big box store, the new project will include a 325,000 square foot office tower, a 150,000 square foot hotel as well as retail and restaurants on the ground floor. In addition, an adjoining half-acre park will be a boon for residents and shoppers strolling through the area.
Cambridge Crossing: Developed by DivcoWest, and located on the edge of Kendall Square, the 43-acre Cambridge Crossing will include 2.1 million square feet of lab and tech space, roughly 2,400 new housing units, and 100,000 square feet of retail. Given its close proximity to downtown, this development is already attracting big names: Philips North America has announced its headquarters will be moving to Cambridge Crossing from suburban Andover. And last month, Lamplighter Brewing announced plans to open a new micro-distillery, brewery, and taproom in this busy location.
Suffolk Downs: Located off of McClellan Highway and straddling both East Boston and Revere, this 161-acre development site was purchased for $155 million in May 2017 with plans to develop residences, retail, offices, and labs, hotel space as well as much-needed parking. Recently, the development firm HYM Investment Group and several of the region’s major construction unions announced they have reached a long-term labor agreement to build 16 million square feet of housing and office space on the site of the shuttered racetrack. This deal represents an estimated 14,000 construction jobs over the next several decades. Recently, we connected with Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo, who had this to say about the project’s potential: “We have always believed the redevelopment of the Suffolk Downs property would be a catalyst for Revere’s renaissance. We look forward to the many benefits the Suffolk Downs project will ensure for Revere residents and families.”
Allston Yards: This 10.6-acre development will include over 800 condos/apartments as well as 117,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 350,000 square feet of office space, and 10,000 square feet of community art space. In addition to Allston Square – the six-building, 344-unit project centered on Cambridge Street and Harvard Avenue – and projects such as Harvard’s Enterprise Research Campus, Allston Yards should contribute to a neighborhood revitalization over the next decade.
These represent just a handful of the many exciting projects worth tracking over the next 12 months. By addressing the need for new housing, accessible workspace, dining, and recreation, these projects will help to determine Boston’s unique personality for years to come.