Related Beal today filed plans with the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) for two new buildings in Kenmore Square that will welcome large office tenants, reinvigorate underutilized space, and further enrich one of the city’s iconic blocks with vibrant retail and streetscape improvements.
The buildings will come online at a time of tremendous demand for modern office space in Boston. A recent report from Newmark Knight Frank found that new-construction leasing activity is “limiting options for large scale users,” and that, “vacancies in Boston and Cambridge will remain at or near all-time lows.”*
“Anybody looking for a big block of space in this marketplace is supply constrained, with maybe four or five sites to choose from,” said David Martel, executive managing director of Newmark Knight Frank. “This is a high-profile location with incredible visibility and premier access to public transportation. Large-scale tenants looking to associate their brand with the iconic sporting and higher education activities in this vibrant neighborhood will be hard-pressed to find a better opportunity.”
The plans call for construction of the new 8-story “Commonwealth Building” on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Deerfield Street that will feature 130,000 square feet of modern office space, 10,000 square feet of retail space, 60 underground parking spaces, and activated rooftop terraces with unmatched views of Kenmore Square and the Charles River. The building at 660 Beacon Street that houses the Citgo sign will be renovated and joined to new construction as part of the 143,000 square foot “Beacon Building,” an adaptive re-use development that will include more than 110,000 square feet of repositioned office space and 18,000 square feet of retail space.
“These new buildings will further enhance the activity and prominence of Kenmore Square as one of Boston’s centers of urban life, while expanding the mix of uses to welcome new companies,” said Patrick Sweeney, senior vice president of Related Beal. “This is an exceptional neighborhood, with significant transportation infrastructure, a committed group of community leaders, and a vibrant atmosphere that mixes education, health care and culture to attract people from all over the world. This development will add to that vibrancy by attracting new companies, more jobs and distinguished retailers, and we are thrilled to be a part of Kenmore’s future.”
Both the “Commonwealth Building” and the “Beacon Building” were designed to create an iconic addition to Kenmore Square. Each setback angles back toward the Charles River to define visibility of the Citgo sign for everyone, including neighbors, students, businesses, visitors, marathon runners, and baseball fans.
“The stepped curvilinear façade of the corner ‘Commonwealth Building’ captures the energy of the bustling Kenmore Square intersection while also making a deferential gesture to the Citgo Sign,” said architect Roger Ferris. “The new midblock ‘Beacon Building’ marries the old with the new to create open, modern, Class-A office space, and responds to both the scale and massing of the neighboring buildings.”
With a focus on adding diversity of both design and users to the block, Related Beal looks to offer pedestrians a new opportunity in Kenmore Square. Emulating the excitement and 24-hour activity on the south side of Commonwealth Avenue, Related Beal’s design intends to round out the corner and activate the north side of the square.
The project includes a number of public realm enhancements, including expanded sidewalks on Deerfield and Beacon Streets, new street trees and seating, additional greenspace, and a buffered bike lane. Related Beal also has a long history of incorporating exceptional dining and retail experiences into its offerings. The Clarendon in the Back Bay is home to Post 390, Lovejoy Wharf will soon welcome Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli’s Alcove, and The Beverly recently announced Boston’s first A&B Burgers across from North Station.
The Kenmore Square project is expected to create 500 construction jobs and 1,200 permanent jobs, as well as additional tax revenue for the City as underutilized and partially vacant buildings are demolished and replaced. Related Beal hopes to begin construction in the first quarter of 2019.
About Related Beal:
Related Beal is a fully integrated real estate firm focused on development opportunities in Boston and its surrounding areas. Related Beal leverages a national real estate platform with expertise across all asset classes and storied local experience in residential, commercial, hospitality and life sciences development, property management and investment. Related Beal has developed, and is undertaking the development of, some of the most recognized buildings in the area including The Clarendon, One Back Bay, the Quinzani Bakery site, Converse’s new world headquarters at Lovejoy Wharf and Congress Square. For more information on Related Beal, please visit www.relatedbeal.com.
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