September 2nd, 2009Wholesale overhaul
Dedham, MA – The first “lifestyle center’’ mall inside Route 128 makes its formal debut in Dedham today, offering the potential to dramatically alter the retail landscape in a town known for its strip malls and big-box outlets.
Legacy Place, the first big shopping center alongside Route 128 between Burlington and Braintree, is built in the increasingly popular mold of so-called lifestyle centers – essentially open-air malls that mix high-end specialty retail shops with dining and entertainment, in a pedestrian-friendly setting that allows for parking near stores.
As with all real estate developments, location will be key to its attractiveness for Boston-area consumers.
“It is probably going to be the showcase lifestyle center for metropolitan Boston,’’ said Robert Sheehan, vice president for research at Keypoint Partners, a Burlington commercial real estate company. “It has very good regional accessibility. It has a tenant mix unlike any other in the Boston market.’’
The new shopping center – extending from the site of a longtime Showcase Cinemas multiplex, just off the Route 1 interchange with Route 128/Interstate 95 – and its lineup of establishments may be closer to Boston’s Newbury Street than to a typical suburban mall. It includes Kings bowling alley, Stil Studio, Sugar Heaven, Lucky Brand Jeans, 344, and Urban Outfitters.
“It is really something new and different and fresh on the area’s retail landscape,’’ boasted Brian T. Sciera, vice president of lifestyle centers for WS Development Associates, the Chestnut Hill company that developed Legacy Place. “It is a new urban-suburban experience.’’
Its arrival has sparked a range of emotions in Dedham. Many residents welcome its new jobs and municipal revenue, but also worry about added traffic in nearby neighborhoods and on the busy arteries that already feed a steady stream of motorists through their town.
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