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38-story apartment tower planned at TD Garden

Retail arcade part of latest design for site

AvalonBay Communities hopes to start building a 503-apartment tower (rendering above) by fall 2013.

CBT Architects

AvalonBay Communities hopes to start building a 503-apartment tower (rendering above) by fall 2013.

AvalonBay Communities Inc. wants to start construction next year on a 38-story apartment tower next to TD Garden that would include a two-story retail arcade connecting to the arena and North Station.

The $200 million development would bring 503 apartments to Boston’s West End, where several other developers are also planning large housing and retail projects.

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AvalonBay outlined new details of its plan in documents filed with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which must approve the project before construction can begin.

“We recognize the supply of housing in the neighborhood is increasing, but at the end of the day our building and others will completely transform this area into a more residential, 24-7 kind of place,” said Scott Dale, a senior vice president at AvalonBay. “That’s only going to benefit the people who choose to invest here.”

The company wants to start construction by next fall.

Simpson Housing is building 286 apartments along Causeway Street, Equity Residential wants to build 500 units on the site of the Garden Garage, and Beal and Related Cos. are planning offices, residences, and stores in two buildings at Lovejoy Wharf.

A rendering filed by AvalonBay shows a multitiered glass and masonry tower that would rise on air rights above the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority parking garage off Nashua Street.

Eventually, the apartments — ranging in size from studios to three-bedroom units — could be sold as condominiums.

The building is being designed by CBT Architects, of Boston.

AvalonBay’s proposal significantly increases the number of residences from a prior proposal that called for 363 condominiums. That plan, by Boston Garden Development Corp., was approved in 2006, but failed to move forward in the declining economy.

AvalonBay’s plan does not increase the height of the tower, which was previously approved at 460 feet. But it does significantly redesign the project, incorporating new elements such as the two-story retail arcade.

If approved, the arcade would run between TD Garden and the Tip O’Neill Federal Building, providing pedestrian connections to North Station and Causeway Street.

It would also connect to Nashua Street, where the developer is proposing to build a small park on an empty lot owned by the MBTA.

“The arcade will be able to accommodate large-scale pedestrian traffic and is lined with retail and amenity spaces, creating a lively and vibrant atmosphere both at game time as well as at commuting times,” AvalonBay wrote in its filing. “During TD Garden events, the arcade and associated retail operable storefronts will function not only as a prime circulation route, but also as a gathering space for pre-event activities.”

Tenants for the retail spaces will not be announced for several months, but Dale said the project could include a mix of small eateries, cafes, and boutiques.

The project will also have 219 parking spaces built into the base of the building.

Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.
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