Business & Tech

Arsenal Mall rebuild to begin soon, under new name

An artist’s sketch of the future Arsenal Yards in Watertown.

Boylston Properties

An artist’s sketch of the future Arsenal Yards in Watertown.

Developers are taking the wraps off a major renovation of Arsenal Mall.

Boylston Properties is unveiling new renderings and getting ready to launch a massive modernization of the Watertown shopping center, which will replace an aging section of the mall, and much of its vast parking lots, with new retail buildings and about 500 apartments. The mall will be renamed Arsenal Yards.

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“The place is just going to be very different,” said Boylston principal Bill McQuillan.

The redesign will also make it easier to access the 12-acre Arsenal Park on the Charles River along Greenough Boulevard. Tenant turnover will likely be big, too. While the Arsenal Mall’s massive Home Depot will stay, the new project would include boutique stores and national retailers, “chef-driven restaurants,” and more, McQuillan said.

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“We’re in conversation with a couple of great grocers. We’re working on a deal with a six- to eight-screen cinema,” he said. “The reaction from tenants has been great.”

Boylston has been working on the project since 2013, when it bought the mall with Athena chief executive Jonathan Bush. It’s now nearly through permitting in Watertown, McQuillan said, and the aim is to start construction next year, with a first phase opening in fall 2018. A second phase, including about 500 apartments, would open in 2020.

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