Has Quincy Center arrived at last? It’s sure starting to feel that way. The long-awaited revival of the Downtown of the South Shore finally hit its stride in 2016 with a redo of Hancock Street, the debut of several hip new restaurants, and the construction of a snazzy apartment complex that would fit comfortably in Southie or Somerville, complete with boutique gym on the ground floor.

It all comes after nearly a decade of fits and starts on a $1.6 billion plan covering 50 acres in the state’s eighth-largest city. When that cratered, Mayor Thomas Koch took a small-ball approach, launching nitty-gritty street improvements and finding builders for a bunch of sites. Now those efforts are starting to bloom.


Along with West of Chestnut, a 169-unit apartment complex that’s almost full despite near-Boston rents, there are 56 luxury condos under construction nearby and, in all, about 500 apartments and condos in the works. Another developer is eyeing as much as 1 million square feet of new office and commercial space. And Koch is planning a $16 million plaza — a “town square for Quincy Center” — on what used to be Hancock Street in front of City Hall. After that: a big development at the Quincy Center Red Line station and, potentially, East of Chestnut, which would turn a surface parking lot into more Southie-style apartments.

If all that comes to pass, Quincy Center could be changed completely. At last.

New restaurants in Quincy Center include the Shaking Crab.
New restaurants in Quincy Center include the Shaking Crab. Pat Greenhouse/Globe staff/Globe Staff

Tim Logan is a Globe staff writer. Send comments to magazine@globe.com. Follow us on Twitter @BostonGlobeMag.