Star Market plans to open a new 50,000 square-foot location in the former Sears complex in the Fenway, according to last week’s press release from the company.
The New England supermarket chain announced it would partner with Samuels & Associates, a Boston commercial estate developer, and Pasadena, Calif.-based Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. to build the new grocery store as part of an expansion planned for 401 Park, formerly the Landmark Center.
Samuels & Associates and Alexandria, according to Star Market, are now in the planning phase for a mixed-use building located adjacent to 401 Park building and abutting the MBTA D-line tracks on the site of an existing Bed, Bath & Beyond store and loading docks. The developers expect to file their plans for the project with the Boston Planning and Development Agency this spring, and if approved, the new store could open in 2024.
“Star Market has been shining since 1915 and we continue to proudly serve our neighbors, friends and family in Greater Boston,” Rob Backus, President of Shaw’s and Star Market, said in a press release. “The Fenway community can look forward to a brand-new, technology-enabled, state-of-the-art store, and we look forward to partnering with Samuels & Associates to make the project a reality.”
The announcement of the new supermarket also came as welcome news to Katherine Greenough, Vice President of the Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association.
“This is a very exciting piece of news for all Audubon Circle and Fenway residents!” Greenough wrote in an email. “To have a new, larger Star Market in the area will add so much to our quality of life —both economically and socially. While we still have concerns about shadows, noise during and after construction, and deliveries, ACNA is overall very supportive of this project,”
Star Market will continue to operate at its home of more than 40 years at 33 Kilmarnock St. (at the corner of Boylston Street) until the new store opens, according to the company, “to ensure the community has uninterrupted access to essential groceries.” Samuels & Associates has also agreed to purchase the two-acre site.
“For many years, we have aspired to incorporate a new, full-service grocery store for the Fenway neighborhood,” Peter Sougarides, a principal at Samuels & Associates, said in a press release. “We are delighted to partner with Star Market and create an opportunity for them to expand and evolve.”
In 2013, Samuels & Associates announced a mixed-use development plan for the 401 Park site, according to The Boston Globe, that in addition to 550 residences and 125,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space, would have also included a 75,000 square-foot Wegmans grocery store. But that deal eventually fell through. In January, Alexandria announced a $1.5 billion deal to buy that project from Samuels’ investors, the Globe also reported, and to partner with the Boston developer on its next phases