THE HEAD of the Boston Redevelopment Authority stood surveying a gleaming bank of expensive skin lotions, unsure of what to make of them.
Peter Meade is in charge of development in Boston, and high-end skin care lies outside his area of expertise. Nevertheless, when merchants of fine lotions open up shop in town, it’s his job to show a friendly face. He allowed that it was an impressive array, and said he would alert his wife, who, of the two of them, is more the expert in such matters. Meade moved on. There was much to see: a juice bar, a sushi counter, coolers full of sandwiches and sodas and beers, a room in which to get one’s nails manicured, a desk for picking up prescription drugs. The new Walgreens flagship store in Downtown Crossing is a massive place. It opened last week in the old Borders storefront, and officials from both the city and the pharmacy chain are eager to show it off.