The rapid transformation of Quincy Center is set to take another leap forward.
The city and two developers announced plans this week for $300 million worth of new downtown development, including three residential high-rises, and a performing arts center along Hancock Street. Altogether, the project envisions 800,000 square feet of retail, housing, and entertainment space.
Taken together, the projects “will dramatically transform the western side of Hancock Street in the heart of downtown,” according to Mayor Thomas Koch’s office.
“This is the kind of generational private investment that will continue our downtown’s resurgence as the economic engine for the entire region south of Boston,” Koch said in a news release. They will need public review, and city approval, and Koch said he is looking forward “to beginning the formal process with my colleagues on the City Council and the community.”
The new construction, which includes three new buildings and a park near the intersection of Hancock Street and Walter Hannon Parkway, would be the latest in a wave of long-anticipated redevelopment for Quincy’s once-sleepy central business district.
After decades of stubbornly slow progress on city efforts to create more of a regional commercial destination, hundreds of millions of dollars have flowed into projects bringing new shops, residences, and entertainment options to a downtown with enviable transportation access and proximity to Boston. In the last few years, some 700 new apartments have opened in Quincy Center, along with a wave of restaurants. More are in the works.
The latest efforts are led by Tremont Asset Management managing partner Sam Slater and Broadway Hospitality Group president Joey Arcari.
Slater is set to build two of the new buildings.
The largest of the bunch, at 500,000 square feet built on what is now a city-owned parking lot at the corner of Hancock and Hannon, would contain a public performing arts center, with a towering residential development on top. The building would be approximately 15 stories high under current plans.
Slater, in an interview, said it’s rare that a developer around Boston gets a chance to build a public resource like a performing arts center at the scale envisioned in Quincy.
“To have the opportunity to work on something like that is extraordinarily unique and special, so it’s something that we’re thrilled to be a part of,” he said.
The other Slater project is a 15-story, 204-unit residential tower that includes 8,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space at 1469 Hancock Street. The property is commonly known as the Arcade Building, and Quincy officials said it is now taken up by vacant office space and discount furniture stores.
Arcari’s project will be next door to the development at the Arcade Building. That development at 1445 Hancock Street is conceived as a seven-story building that includes housing, co-working space, and a two-floor restaurant to be called The Hancock. That site now houses a Family Dollar store.
Arcari is the founder of the Tavern In The Square group of restaurants. He owns 15 restaurants and in the process of developing another six.
In between the Arcade Building and the Family Dollar are two smaller parcels that Quincy officials said they intend to clear to create a 15,000-square-foot public open space that will connect the two projects.
The proposals will require the review of the city’s planning board, which will determine whether they comply with the downtown redevelopment plan. The City Council would also have to sign off on the land transactions associated with the park and the performance center site. City officials believe the earliest that work could begin on any of the projects is 2022.