By Beth Treffeisen
Seeking to capitalize upon the Fenway neighborhood’s emergence as a premier office destination, Samuels & Associates proposes to refocus its’ redevelopment plans for Landmark Center, scrapping plans for an addition containing 550 apartments with a 110,000-square-foot retail podium and instead constructing a 506,000-square-foot building featuring office space and 17,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.
Strong demand for office space at the existing Landmark Center, as well as Samuels’ recently completed 237,000-square-foot Van Ness office building, which has attracted technology, data analytics, and lab tenants, prompted Samuels to revise the previously approved project plans.
Another factor in the switch to an office focus was Samuels’ decision to preserve Landmark Center’s 1,500-space, above-grade, parking structure, citing the growing scarcity of parking in the Fenway neighborhood and the high costs of constructing an underground garage.
Accordingly, a 110,000-square-foot retail podium that would have been located at the base of the previously approved residential building, which would have replaced the above-grade garage and featured a Wegmans supermarket, has also been eliminated. As part of the currently proposed project, Landmark Center’s existing 978,200-square-foot office and retail component would also be renovated.
Phase 1 of the Landmark Center redevelopment project, which Samuels has renamed 401 Park, is currently underway with full completion expected in spring 2019.
Phase 1 will include construction of a new 1.1-acre open space along Park Drive, which is expected to open in mid-2018, as well as the creation of new open spaces and public realm improvements throughout the Landmark Center site and a destination food hall featuring local chefs within the existing building.
Pending approval by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA), who is now reviewing Samuels’ revised proposal, construction of Phase Two, which would feature the new 506,000-square-foot office building, would commence in 2019 contingent upon leasing activity.