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Expanded Landmark Center would host Wegmans, residences

The Landmark Center currently hosts Best Buy, among other stores.Globe photo/File 2005

Developer Steve Samuels is proposing a massive expansion of the Landmark Center shopping complex in the Fenway that would include several new residential buildings, a Wegmans supermarket, stores, and offices.

The $500 million complex could reach 20 stories in height, matching the size of other large developments Samuels has built along Boylston Street. His firm, Samuels & Associates, filed plans to expand Landmark Center with the city Friday, the first step in a monthslong review process.

The plans call for the demolition of the existing parking garage on the property and construction of several new buildings containing 550 residences, a 75,000-square-foot Wegmans grocery store, and 125,000 square feet of shops, restaurants, and offices. The parking spaces would be at least partially replaced in an underground garage.


Samuels & Associates bought the 1.5 million-square-foot Landmark Center for $530 million in late 2010 and has since been working on plans to expand it. The property includes large retailers such as Best Buy and the outdoor equipment retailer REI, along with several other stores and office space.

It is the anchor of Samuel's considerable holdings in the Fenway, where he has become one of the city's most prolific developers in recent years by rebuilding much of Boylston Street near Fenway Park.

His projects have included Trilogy, a massive retail and apartment complex near the corner of Boylston Street and Brookline Avenue, and another large apartment and restaurant building at 1330 Boylston St. He is currently building a multitiered complex nearby that will include a Target department store, offices, and dozens of residences.

And just last month, Samuels obtained city approval for yet another massive project: a 22-story glass apartment tower across from the Landmark Center called The Point, which will include 320 residences and two levels of retail shops.

Over the years, Samuels has consistently succeeded in getting support for his projects from neighbors in the Fenway and from City Hall. Although he grew up in Cleveland, Samuels quickly learned how to move projects in Boston during the 1990s when he built the South Bay complex in Dorchester.


"I got a crash course based on how the city worked," Samuels told the Globe in 2005. "I absolutely have a company philosophy steeped in consensus building."

Since then, he has built or won approvals for more than 1,000 homes and has opened some of the city's most popular restaurants in his buildings, including the barbecue spot Sweet Cheeks and Citizen Public House, a constantly busy bistro at the base of 1330 Boylston.

Samuels' success in Boston is at least in part due to a quiet public profile. He rarely speaks to the media and is careful to avoid making bold statements that get ahead of the city's review process, or offend neighbors or the administration of Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

True to form, his filing on the Landmark Center offered just a brief outline and a plain statement that his firm is looking forward to reviewing the project's impact with neighbors and city officials.

Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.