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Concert venue considered for old Hood property in Charlestown

The Hood dairy property in Charlestown in 1981.Globe Photo/File

Some big concerts might be coming to Charlestown.

The owners of the old HP Hood dairy complex on Rutherford Avenue, which is being redeveloped into a mixed-use housing and office campus, are in talks with companies to open a concert venue that could hold up to 4,000 people. That would make it the largest indoor facility of its kind in the city.

No operator has yet been signed, but officials with real estate firm Colliers International, which is planning the project, told neighborhood groups they are close to signing a deal with a national concert operator who would fill the venue perhaps 150 nights a year, according to a story in the Charlestown Patriot-Bridge.

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The developer offered few details Tuesday, noting that the initial filing for the project — a five-story garage with the concert venue on the ground floor — was only recently made with the Boston Planning & Development Agency, and has yet to undergo public review.

“Hood Park is in the midst of an exciting revitalization that builds on its history while creating a modern, vibrant urban campus that will attract a corporate headquarters or cutting-edge research and development companies,” said Mark Rosenshein, senior vice president at Colliers, in a statement. “The addition of a new, five-story garage with retail, restaurant and entertainment uses will provide added amenities to residents and employers alike.”

Catamount Management Corp. has been redeveloping the 20-acre Hood Park, where it’s building a 177-unit apartment complex and has a 375,000-square-foot office building in the works.

It’s located along a former industrial stretch of western Charlestown that’s in the path of a wave of development, from new housing along Rutherford Avenue to large-scale projects at nearby Assembly Row in Somerville and NorthPoint in Cambridge, to the Wynn Casino in Everett.

Boston, too, is planning to spend more than $150 million on improvements to Sullivan Square in the coming years.

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The Hood Park plan also includes a 775-space garage, which the city requires to have retail on the ground floor. Much of the 75,000-square-foot retail space could be used as a concert venue, Rosenshein told the Charlestown Neighborhood Council, and Colliers has spoken with several operators about the possibility. A deal could come early next year.

A 4,000-person venue would fill a gap in the local music scene — it would be larger than downtown’s Orpheum Theater or House of Blues on Landsdowne Street, but smaller than the outdoor Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in the Seaport District. Rosenshein, who declined an interview request, told neighborhood residents the concert operators he’s talking with believe there’s an opportunity for that size of venue in Boston.

A lack of properly sized performance spaces has been a hot topic in recent months among Boston’s arts community and city officials, who pushed WS Development to include a smaller performing arts center in a project it is building in the Seaport.

A new arts facilities master plan from the city calls for venues of between 400 and 1,000 seats, but not larger theaters. That plan, however, is focused on the needs of nonprofit performing arts groups, not commercial concert operators.

The Walsh administration on Tuesday said it has no position on the potential Charlestown concert venue, pointing out that the public review process for the garage will play out over the next few months.

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“We look forward to working with the community as the comprehensive public process kicks off for this proposal,” said planning agency spokeswoman Bonnie McGilpin.


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