It's about seeing possibilities: Creating a dynamic destination in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts with a vibrant mix of uses
New England Development saw opportunity on a 9-acre property on Route 9 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts that was underutilized, occupied by a number of aging buildings, and covered with large surface parking lots. But the property was tangent to a destination mall and upscale neighborhoods. NED envisioned a project that would include retail stores, restaurants, a grocery, fitness center, medical offices, and residential units––a mix of uses similar to the traditional urban fabric of Chestnut Hill and Newton, Massachusetts' other villages.
NED devoted 10 years of planning and resources to develop a master plan and mix of uses that would creatively address current and future market dynamics, the competitive landscape, needs of the local residential community, inherent dramatic site elevation changes, and projected infrastructure requirements. Incorporating medical office space, fitness center (with a pool), retail/restaurant space, and a below-grade (and the first urban) Wegmans grocery store all in one structure proved particularly challenging. The development also necessitated a lengthy approvals process involving the Mayor of Newton, 24 aldermen, eight wards and 13 villages – not to mention state submittals and approvals.
The development of Chestnut Hill Square, which opened in 2013, has resulted in substantial benefits to the City of Newton, the local community of Chestnut Hill, commuters along Route 9, and regional shoppers and visitors. The multi-use project has revitalized the existing, degraded site with dining, shopping, and fitness and health services that animate the area and provide a dynamic destination for the general public. Wegmans, Equinox, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center-Chestnut Hill are but three of the renowned businesses making up Chestnut Hill Square.
Of further value to the community, New England Development funded substantial on-site and off-site traffic improvements, and completed improvements to the local utility infrastructure, including improvements to the water and fire flows in the Route 9 /Florence Street areas. The project leverages the economic strength of the mix of uses to create a financially strong and vibrant new neighborhood center for the City of Newton and a popular destination for local and regional residents and shoppers.