The owner of Landmark Center in the Fenway has submitted revised plans to the BPDA for a major expansion that calls for a 14-story office and lab building, rather than a four-building, 600-unit residential complex approved by the city three years ago.
"Market conditions have changed considerably since 2014," when the then BRA approved a Landmark Center expansion heavy on residential use, Samuels & Associates' lawyer said in filing with the BPDA this week about the project, which would wrap around the existing former Sears building.
Another key change: The company will keep the current parking garage, which means no Wegmans in the Fenway's immediate fugure. The plans the BPDA approved in 2014 called for its replacement with a new garage topped by a "podium" atop which Wegmans would build its first Boston supermarket.
In its filing, Samuels explained the change from residential to more than 500,000 square feet of office and lab space on the 9-acre parcel:
The Proponent has succeeded in bringing new types of office tenants to the office component of the Van Ness, located at 1325 Boylston Street, including technology companies, data analytics, and lab tenants. With the successful lease-up of the Van Ness, the Fenway has emerged as a business hub for tenants seeking knowledge workers.
Expected tenants would be companies or institutions in "high-tech, medical and academic fields."
Samuels is still planning on building a "destination food hall serving gourmet local food offerings." and says it will convert two acres into parkland connected to the Emerald Necklace - roughly half coming by turning the current Best Buy parking lot into open space.
The plans also call for demolishing the building at Brookline Avenue and Fullerton Street that now houses Blick - which will be rented new space elsewhere in the complex:
This building is problematic as it is unattractive, contains blank facades, and overhangs the sidewalk on Fullerton Street.
Some of the open-space and sidewalk work is already under way, but the bulk of the project - including construction of the office/lab building - could begin in 2019. Construction of the building would take roughly 18 months, followed by another 12 months of fitting out the internal space to specific tenants' needs, Samuels says.
Renderings from the new filing:
Revised Landmark Center proposal (23M PDF).