Photo courtesy of Google Maps

Developer Samuels & Assoc. hopes to transform the site of Boylston Street Star Market grocery store in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood into 553,000 square feet of office/lab and retail space.

The parcels at 1380-1420 Boylston St. currently house a Star Market, a decommissioned gas station and over an acre of surface parking lots on the 2.4-acre site. The Star Market will soon relocate to an anchor space in Samuels’ 401 Park office/lab, building currently under construction a block away, leaving the properties vacant.

A letter of intent submitted to Boston Planning & Development Agency officials this week states the proposed building will step up from lower heights on the western side of the property, facing the Muddy River and its parkland, towards the taller buildings on the project’s east side. The building will house about 498,000 square feet of office and lab space, 20,000 square feet of retail or restaurant space and 30,000 square feet of loading docks on the ground floor. A half-acre of public green space and an unspecified amount of below-grade parking round out the design.

The building will also hold a 5,000-square-foot “cultural/civic space” as Boston’s newly inaugurated mayor, Michelle Wu, has signaled her intent to add an arts space requirement to some types of development proposals. Samuels’ letter to the BPDA also notes that “a full, robust mitigation package” will be developed in cooperation with neighborhood residents and will likely include “substantial” investments in public open space and transit.

The project, if approved, would cap a massive transformation of the Fenway neighborhood Samuels helped set off over 20 years ago. In the years since, a string of residential, retail and medical high-rises sprouted out of parking lots and dilapidated industrial parcels along Boylston Street. These laid the groundwork for a series of massive developments by the owners of the Boston Red Sox and one of the first air-rights projects over the Mass. Pike in generations.

This isn’t the first time an urban, car-oriented grocery store property is finding new life as a mixed-use development. Quincy-based Stop & Shop is partnering with Boston’s New England Development to transform its Allston location into an 11-acre mixed-use neighborhood. Newton-based New England Development is adding 204 compact apartments to empty land at a Whole Foods-anchored shopping center in Charlestown. The now-shuttered Russo’s property in Watertown is in line for lab space. And The Grossman Cos. has proposed 800 apartments for the site of a Stop & Shop store in Everett’s commercial triangle.

Samuels Declares Plans for Fenway Supermarket Parcels

by James Sanna time to read: 2 min