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Work set to start on World Trade Center makeover

The Fidelity project includes retail space, public plazas, and improvements to Harborwalk.

An artist's vision of how the revamped World Trade Center will look.
An artist's vision of how the revamped World Trade Center will look.Cityscape Digital for Pembroke

The real estate arm of Fidelity is pushing ahead with a re-do of the Seaport’s World Trade Center, with construction set to start this week.

The project, which would carve several new public spaces into the massive complex on Commonwealth Pier, would be one of the largest to break ground since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March. Pembroke, Fidelity’s real estate subsidiary, last year won city approval for the redevelopment — which upgrades office space, and adds retail storefronts, public waterfront plazas and terraces and an improved Harborwalk on the 19-acre site.

"We are thrilled to start construction and begin to realize our vision for the new Commonwealth Pier, a project that furthers Pembroke and Fidelity’s vision for, and commitment to, Boston’s Seaport District,” said Pembroke President Edward Johnson IV. "The revitalization will reconnect this iconic building to the harbor and the neighborhood by creating a unique waterfront experience with relevant, diverse public amenities and retail, a new public plaza, improved accessibility, and enhanced site resiliency.”

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The basics of the 738,000 square-foot project, which involves closing the Commonwealth Hall exhibition space but revamping ballroom and event space at Fidelity’s neighboring Seaport Hotel, did not change despite the pandemic, a spokesman said. And Fidelity, which has about 1,500 employees based in the building (though many are currently working from home), still plans a large office there when work is done. The height and general shape of the building, which sits on a pier over Boston Harbor, will not change.

Pembroke expects construction to wrap up in 2024.



Tim Logan can be reached at timothy.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.