Roxbury Renaissance

Developers Push Long-Delayed Projects Toward Finish Line

Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
August 14, 2016

tremont crossingWhile cranes line the Boston skyline, vacant parcels along Tremont Street and Melnea Cass Boulevard in Roxbury testify to decades of failed attempts to get development projects off the ground.

An upcoming surge of projects could bring national retailers, multiplex cinemas, a 130-room Marriott Residence Inn and office space to a neighborhood bypassed by large-scale development and underrepresented with places for residents to work and shop.

Last year’s reopening of the expanded Tropical Foods supermarket and current construction of a mixed-income housing project at the grocer’s previous home are giving the real estate industry an opportunity to point to local success stories.

“There’s a perception of rising values, and actual rising values,” said Russ Tanner, vice president of real estate for Madison Park Development Corp., which led the $52 million project bringing a 44,000-square-foot grocery store to a former food desert. “Rents are definitely going up very rapidly. Land values preceded that.”

One veteran Boston developer, Kenneth Guscott of Long Bay Ventures, is preparing to file plans in late summer for a 29-story office and residential tower in Dudley Square.

Developers recently submitted updated plans for a 1.1-million square-foot project called Tremont Crossing that would include a BJ’s Wholesale Club, a 10-screen cinema and nearly 700 residential units. Another development team hopes to break ground this fall on a 130-room Marriott Residence Inn hotel.

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