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Quincy Center breaks out with housing, restaurants, other development

The downtown of the South Shore makes its long-awaited comeback.

Quincy, MA--4/28/2017 - Pedestrians traverse near the promenade of The Hancock Adams Green (cq). Hancock Street, foreground, used to run between United First Parish Church (cq), left, and Old Town Hall (cq), right, now the McIntyre Government Center (cq). Center right is the new City Hall. Quincy Center has seen a revival, with a redo of Hancock Street, construction of an apartment complex and new restaurants. Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic: 051417quincy Reporter: Timothy Logan

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The long-awaited revival of Quincy Center hit its stride in 2016 with a redo of Hancock Street.

Has Quincy Center arrived at last? It’s sure starting to feel that way. The long-awaited revival of the Downtown of the South Shore finally hit its stride in 2016 with a redo of Hancock Street, the debut of several hip new restaurants, and the construction of a snazzy apartment complex that would fit comfortably in Southie or Somerville, complete with boutique gym on the ground floor.

It all comes after nearly a decade of fits and starts on a $1.6 billion plan covering 50 acres in the state’s eighth-largest city. When that cratered, Mayor Thomas Koch took a small-ball approach, launching nitty-gritty street improvements and finding builders for a bunch of sites. Now those efforts are starting to bloom.

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Along with West of Chestnut, a 169-unit apartment complex that’s almost full despite near-Boston rents, there are 56 luxury condos under construction nearby and, in all, about 500 apartments and condos in the works. Another developer is eyeing as much as 1 million square feet of new office and commercial space. And Koch is planning a $16 million plaza — a “town square for Quincy Center” — on what used to be Hancock Street in front of City Hall. After that: a big development at the Quincy Center Red Line station and, potentially, East of Chestnut, which would turn a surface parking lot into more Southie-style apartments.

If all that comes to pass, Quincy Center could be changed completely. At last.

Quincy, MA--4/27/2017 - New restaurants include the Shaking Crab (cq) and 16C on Cottage Avenue. Quincy Center has seen a revival, with a redo of Hancock Street and construction of an apartment complex. Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic: 051417quincy Reporter: Timothy Logan

Pat Greenhouse/Globe staff

New restaurants in Quincy Center include the Shaking Crab.

Tim Logan is a Globe staff writer. Send comments to magazine@globe.com. Follow us on Twitter @BostonGlobeMag.
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