Around Town: Exploring Boston’s Latest Projects

From trail construction to restoration of historic mansions, a lot is taking place around Boston. Here is a look at a few of the projects that you may notice going on.

South Bay Harbor Trail Construction to Continue

Following a long delay that dates back to 2008, construction of the South Bay Harbor Trail is expected to pick up again next spring. Once complete, the bike- and pedestrian-friendly trail will cover 3.5 miles as it stretches from Fan Pier on the waterfront to the Orange Line’s Ruggles stop.

The first phase of the process will involve completing a 0.75-mile stretch near Albany Street in the South End as it passes along and under the Southeast Expressway before connecting with the Harborwalk. The final phase will involve a much larger overhaul of Roxbury’s Melnea Cass Boulevard. This phase of the project is not expected to begin until 2019 or later.

Reebok Unveils Two-Story Gym at Seaport District Headquarters

Reebok is in the process of opening its new 220,000-suare-foot, five-floor headquarters in the Seaport District. Appropriately, the sneaker giant has also included a 30,000-square-foot, two-story gym in the building. Located at 25 Drydock Avenue, the gym includes a boxing ring as well as numerous studios for activities such as yoga, Pilates and spin. The gym will feature the same airy, light-filled design as the rest of the headquarters, allowing it to almost seem to shine at certain times of the day.

The building is expected to be fully operational in November, with Reebok expecting to move in at the end of this year.

Demolition of Wonderland Greyhound Park Underway

Workers have started the demolition of the Wonderland Greyhound Park, incuding the grandstand and clubhouse. Located just off the Wonderland stop of the busy Blue Line, the 38-acre space has not yet been claimed for a new development. Purchased by CPW Lending, which recently sold the 161-acre Suffolk Downs property ton HYM Investment Group, some are speculating that the area may eventually serve as the site for Amazon’s new headquarters.

CPW Lending has been behind a number of other larger-scale projects in the area. These include Cambridge’s NorthPoint, Brighton’s Boston Landing and Downtown Boston’s Bulfinch Crossing. As such, it is very possible that the developer is simply looking to build another residential development or create another business campus. How this spot will be used remains to be seen.

Ames-Webster Mansion to become Condos

After purchasing the historic Ames-Webster mansion at 306 Dartmouth Street in Back Bay, the Saudi sheikh who made the purchase is moving to covert the building into three condos starting at $20 million each. Designed by architect Kahlil Hamady, the project will include a triplex penthouse.

Dating back to the late 19th century, the building was once a grand single-family manse. As such, the 26,000-square-foot Ames-Webster has 50 rooms and 28 fireplaces. While the building was once considered to become the Massachusetts governor’s mansion, it was converted by a group of owners in 1871 into offices. Over time, some parts of the building became a bit shabby, requiring restoration in order to return the building to its old glory. This process reportedly includes dusting off some of the historic details of the mansion, such as restoring the mosaic tiles in the entryway and the chandeliers. The stained-glass skylight in the atrium is also receiving special care, with the entire project expected to be completed sometime in 2019

 

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