National Development » 2016

Yearly Archives: 2016

Ribbon Cutting for Building 700 at The District Burlington

The District Burlington is transforming a 9-to-5 1970s office park into a 24/7 walkable mixed-use neighborhood. The District Burlington’s centerpiece, the 11-story, 200,000 square foot Building 700 prominently visible from nearby Route 128, has been thoroughly renovated. An 80,000 square foot, four-story glass-curtained addition has been built with floor-to-ceiling windows, an open floor plan and a private roof deck.

Existing office buildings at The District Burlington are being upgraded with new lobbies, entries and plazas. A new 170-room Marriott Residence Inn hotel and six new retail spaces are being constructed at The District Burlington. Tavern in the Square, TD Bank, Tuscan Kitchen, Island Creek Oyster Bar and Pressed Cafe are all open now, providing The District’s over 3000 tenants as well as visitors from all over Metro Boston many great eating and drinking venues. The District Burlington’s main artery, District Avenue, has been transformed into a pedestrian artery featuring widened sidewalks, bike sharing stations, lush landscapes and outdoor seating. New pocket parks and nature trails now line District Avenue.

Workspaces are currently available at The District Burlington ranging from 1,000 to 200,000 square feet. There is also opportunity to construct an approximately 180,000 square foot build-to-suit office building at The District Burlington. Visit DistrictBurlington.com for more information about office and retail leasing opportunities at The District Burlington.

Sudbury Town Meeting’s zoning change makes way for retail, housing development

By Brittney McNamara
MetroWest Daily News, Framingham

Posted Jun. 13, 2016 at 10:36 PM

SUDBURY – Voters passed a special zoning district for the former Raytheon land, bringing the town’s vision of a more bustling Rte. 20 corridor closer to reality.

Special Town Meeting on Monday night approved a zoning overlay district that will make possible National Development and Avalon Bay’s proposed Meadow Walk project at 526 and 528 Boston Post Road. The move, town officials said at the meeting, is the product of a decades-long discussion to bring more business and vibrancy to Rte. 20.

The zoning overlay district allows commercial development only on the 50 acres of former Raytheon land, meaning National Development’s proposed restaurant, retail and age-restricted housing at Meadow Walk can go forward.

Plans call for 60 age-restricted condominiums, 54 beds for memory-care patients, restaurants, shops like nail salons, a Whole Foods and 250 apartments. Those apartments must still be approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals and were unaffected by Monday night’s vote.

All together, the town expects the project to bring in around $800,000 in net tax revenue, but the changes come with costs. Planning Board member Dan Carty said the town’s education costs could rise $600,000 to $1.1 million because of the projected 65 students who will live in the development. To help lessen the project’s impact, the developers offered $2.5 million in one-time payments for various town departments as part of a town-signed agreement, a new traffic light to help with traffic near the Shaw’s plaza, money for a new fire station and other incentives.

In addition to the immediate impacts, the agreement allows Town Meeting to extend the overlay district to certain other parcels in town that would allow landowners to bring in more commercial development. The overlay agreement hinges, however, on a Town Meeting vote, giving residents general control over what comes into town, officials said.

“This is a plan that has long been in development,” Selectmen Chairwoman Susan Iuliano said. “The Planning Board has been working on some aspects of this plan going back to the 1990s. We’re here tonight because the Raytheon company is leaving Sudbury. Raytheon asked the town what its preferences were. The development plan before you tonight is a careful…response.”

Residents questioned the impact of the development on traffic, town water and the environment, but the project faced little opposition as a whole. One resident, however, questioned whether the development will benefit existing residents, or only change the town’s character to fulfill a years-long dream.

Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly to approve the overlay district, accept the Meadow Walk master plan and accept land for a new fire station from developers. Town Meeting had not voted on articles 4, 5 and 6 by the Daily News’ print deadline.

Developer sees next step in growth in South End

The Ink Block building at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Herald Street.

By Tim Logan Globe Staff March 06, 2016
Photo by Lane Turner/Globe Staff

First came the Whole Foods. Then some 400 apartments and condos.

Now it’s time to fill out the neighborhood.

National Development is taking the next step to remake a scruffy corner of the South End into one of the city’s prime new residential districts, announcing that it has a number of stores and restaurants that will soon move into its Ink Block development on Harrison Avenue.

“Not so long ago, nobody wanted to walk down Harrison,” said Ted Tye, National Development managing partner. “We’re trying to create energy.”

This same challenge is emerging in several sections of Boston — including the Seaport District and the far end of Allston — that are experiencing a rush of development. Typically housing or office space is the first to be built, with stores, restaurants, and other retailers following. While apartments in many of these places are renting fast, filling the storefronts on the street requires a delicate balance and takes a little longer.

At Ink Block, for example, Tye said his company wanted a mix of retailers that meet the needs of hundreds of new residents, while also giving outsiders a reason to visit.

“A neighborhood isn’t just residential. It’s residential and retail,” Tye said. “Very quickly, we want people to think about Harrison the way they think about Tremont Street.”

The first retail to open at Ink Block, a Whole Foods Market, certainly helped, said Gustavo Quiroga, director of place-making at retail consulting firm Graffito SP, which has done similar retail makeovers in the Boston area but not at Ink Block. Another big boost, Quiroga said, will come this spring when the popular outdoor South End Open Markets relocates across Harrison Avenue from Ink Block.

“It’s almost the definition of place-making,” he said. “That’s a great strategy for them to help bring new people to that part of the neighborhood, to put it on their map of the city.”

Next will come a strip of restaurants on Harrison Avenue. They include salad chain Sweetgreen; an outpost of Asian-fusion group Fuji; Bar Mezzana, a white-tablecloth Italian restaurant being launched by alumni of Barbara Lynch’s restaurant group; and a cocktail bar from Dropkick Murphys guitarist Ken Casey. Rounding out the block are a yoga studio and a Turnstyle Cycle studio, and a bank/coffee shop from Capital One with Peet’s Coffee.

All of them, per their deal with Ink Block, will have outdoor seating on a well-lit, extra-wide sidewalk out front. Most will have extended hours.

The neighborhood around Ink Block is fast transforming. Across Harrison Avenue, development firm UDR has begun work on a 577-unit apartment complex with street-level retail. Down the street, Related Beal is planning to turn the former Quinzani’s Bakery into housing with ground floor retail as well. A new office building is in the works on that stretch of Harrison, too, with significant upgrades planned at street level.

Tying all that together to create an interesting mix of businesses will require careful planning, Quiroga said. It will also require designing spaces, for example, that don’t all feel — and cost — the same. Quiroga added that a little imagination never hurts. His firm is working with Harvard University on a stretch of Western Avenue in Allston, where it has commissioned murals and hosted pop-up restaurants to help both retailers and their potential customers think about what the place could be.

“Some of this is just experimentation,” he said.

When it’s done, though, the neighborhood will have a bustle and identity of its own — one that will be determined much more by its street life than by the new buildings above.

“You brand your project by your retailers,” Tye said. “That’s what we want to do here.”

A common area with the letters “B’’ and “H’’ pays homage to the site’s old tenant, the Boston Herald.

Tim Logan can be reached at tim.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @bytimlogan.