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Pru owner says it will spend $125m to renovate the tower’s top

The Top of the Hub restaurant and Skywalk observatory are set to close in April.

The Prudential tower's owner plans a major renovation of the space now occupied by the Top of the Hub observatory and the Skywalk observatory.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

It will take two years and about $125 million to remake the old Top of the Hub at the Prudential Center.

But the building’s owner isn’t quite ready to say what that will look like.

Executives at Boston Properties, the real estate company that owns the Pru, told analysts Wednesday that they hope to re-open the top floors of the Back Bay tower — where the Top of the Hub restaurant and the Skywalk observatory have operated for half a century — in 2022. Between now and then they plan to spend “in excess of $125 million" to remake the space into “an extraordinary experience,” said president Douglas Linde.


Boston Properties has said little about its plans for the space since news broke earlier this month that the company ended its lease with the Top of the Hub’s longtime operator, Select Restaurants.

Any proposal would need to be approved by the Boston Planning & Development Agency, which has said it is “critical" that the space remain publicly-accessible. Since the then-John Hancock Tower closed its observation deck following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the top of the Prudential has been by far the highest point in Boston that’s open to the public.

Amid the growing popularity of visual social media platforms, several prominent skyscrapers have opened or updated Instagram-worthy observation decks in recent years. US Bank Tower in Los Angeles, until recently the tallest building on the West Coast, opened an observation deck in 2016 with event space and a “skyslide” that juts off the side of the 70-story tower. The tallest building in New York’s Hudson Yards mega-development includes an outdoor deck perched 1,131 feet in the air.

More detailed plans are expected in the coming weeks. And for now you can still take in the views at the Top of the Hub or Skywalk. Both attractions are set to close in April.


Tim Logan can be reached at Follow him @bytimlogan.