(METRO - March 10, 2015) Modern home comforts can include granite counters, hardwood floors, spa showers and on-site gym. And now, add one more benfit to the list: on-site shopping. Because the 21st century shopping mall isn’t something people drive to: They walk there from their apartments.
Located on the west side of the fabled 128 corridor in Westwood, the latest live-shop-play megaplex is the 120-acre University Station, which launched this week with big box stores like Target, Nordstrom Rack, and Sports Authority opening up for business. That’s just the start of a massive retail rollout — University Station has 550,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space to fill —continuing through the year. Notably, this summer, super gym Life Time Athletic Westwood opens offering fitness instructors and personal trainers, special fitness programs, a full-service spa, a healthy-eating oriented cafe, an indoor cycling studio, and cutting-edge fitness equipment.
The complex should be buzzing by the time residents move into the adjacent Gables University Station apartments this summer. What with instant access to 128 and the I93/95 interchange, and the MBTA Commuter Rail/Amtrak Station (the latter providing easy access to New York City and beyond), Gables at University Station is an obvious choice for commuters (as well as shoppers). Perhaps, more unusual for a family-oriented suburban town like Westwood, is its appeal to young couples.
“The Gables is attractive to two primary groups,” says Paul Cincotta, vice president of New England Development, University Station’s co-developer, “younger folks who get the train into Boston to work, or need access to 128 to travel to work. And also some empty nesters. These are one and two bedroom apartments and not a big attraction for families.”
Unusually for a traditional commuter hub, residents could cut out their commute altogether. University Station has around a million square feet of office space and is attracting notice from some top corporations. So, residents could potentially live steps from their office, too.
“There is that potential,” says Cincotta. “Our sign says live, shop, work.”
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Gables University Station boasts a fitness club and pool, two private courtyards with outdoor grilling and dining areas, cinema room with widescreen HDTV, demonstration kitchen, video-gaming room, and a private on-site parking garage. There are 350 apartments—251 one-bedroom and 99 two-bedroom—in two four-story, classic red brick buildings, ranging in size from about 730 square feet to about 1,350 square feet. Rents range from around $1,900 for a one-bedroom to about $3,000 for the larger two-bedrooms. Gables University Station begins leasing in April with the first move-ins expected in June.
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