Rebuilding Retail In Roxbury

$500M Tremont Crossing Moves Toward Finish Line

Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
March 12, 2017

On a long-vacant parcel with a tortured history of failed development attempts, the $500 million Tremont Crossing project is set to reshape one of Roxbury’s main boulevards.

It’s the sort of mixed-use project that’s being built all over Boston, but the 1.2-million-square-foot development will have added significance in a neighborhood shunned by major private investment for decades.

Some 100,000 square feet of storefronts on Tremont Street will be set aside for local merchants, a newly-created agency will coordinate job training and continuing education programs to foster entrepreneurialism, and a relocated home for the Roxbury-based National Center of African-American Artists (NCAAA) will host art education programs, galleries for local artists and traveling exhibitions.

“There is a psychological and indeed a spiritual aspect to it,” said Edmund Barry Gaither, executive director of the NCAAA. “We’d like to see nightlife and other amenities come back to Roxbury, and grow in ways that create wealth.”

The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) gave its final approval to the 1.2-million-square-foot project this month. The development team hopes to break ground by next winter, pending construction financing and signing of a ground lease with the BPDA, Gaither said.

Known as Parcel P-3, the 7-acre site at Tremont and Whittier streets has sat vacant since the 1960s when buildings were demolished to form a right-of-way for the later-abandoned Southwest Expressway project.

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