What is Arsenal Yards?
Arsenal Yards is the planned reinvention of The Arsenal Project, an outdated enclosed mall in Watertown’s East End, into a dynamic all-in-one living, shopping, dining and entertainment destination. Intertwining the past with the present, Arsenal Yards is modern city life redefined for the 21st century, combining an urban vibe with the ease of a suburb through retail, residential, office, hotel, and entertainment offerings.
When will Arsenal Yards become a reality?
The project will be completed in phases over the course of a couple of years. Utility work relocation began in fall 2017. We anticipate construction to begin early 2018, welcoming shoppers and diners in spring of 2019, and opening for residential living upon completion in 2020.
Will The Arsenal Project be closing?
The mall will not be closing. The two original Arsenal buildings will remain open and operating, including Marshalls and the food court. Eventually these two buildings will be renovated. The middle section of the mall will be removed and replaced with a new building.
What retailers will remain open?
Why did you choose the name Arsenal Yards?
It reflects the historic role played by the Watertown Arsenal and projects the scope of this grand expanse of the Arsenal area that once encompassed the mall, the Arsenal Park and the athenahealth campus as one large U.S. government property.
Why is The Arsenal Project changing?
Opened as a mall in 1983, The Arsenal Project no longer serves the changing lifestyles and shopping & dining habits of today’s consumer. After many meetings with residents and community leaders, Boylston Properties and The Wilder Companies worked to tailor the use and shape of this historic area into a desirable mix to positively impact the future of Watertown.
Will Arsenal Yards have a grocer, and if so, who?
Arsenal Yards is working on having a grocer and we will keep you updated as things progress.
What other types of tenants will Arsenal Yards have?
Arsenal Yards is working to come to agreements to have a cinema and other entertainment venues, fitness facilities, dozens of curated shops and chef-driven eateries and cafes.
What kind of residences will be available at Arsenal Yards?
Arsenal Yards will have a mix of studio units, one- and two-bedroom units, and a limited number of three-bedroom units for families.
Will any of the residences be “affordable”?
Yes, 15% of residential units at Arsenal Yards will be considered “affordable housing” and available to those who qualify under Watertown’s affordable housing income requirements.
Will any of the residences be available to buy?
Most of the homes will be rental apartments. It has not yet been determined whether one of the buildings permitted will include for-sale units, but depending on demand and market conditions, this may be a possibility.
Why did some of the residential at Arsenal Yards change to hotel?
Unlike several neighboring towns, Watertown has few hotels – only two – relative to Watertown’s population. The Marriott Residence Inn across Arsenal Street has done well and has provided significant increased tax revenue to Watertown. In today’s economic and social environment, new communities with multiple uses are more vibrant and successful than others. Adding a hotel increases the number of uses of Arsenal Yards, and it also increases the taxes to the town.
How much additional traffic will the hotel bring compared to the residential building that was planned?
Our traffic consultants’ research shows that, overall on the project, there will be less than a five percent increase in traffic due to the hotel vs. new residential. In addition, the increase in water use will be less than two percent.
How much overall additional traffic will Arsenal Yards generate?
With Arsenal Yards’ contributions of more than $2 million to manage future traffic, Watertown consultant WorldTech Engineering concluded that the development will not increase traffic levels along the Arsenal Street corridor.
Will Arsenal Yards work with the community on upgrading Arsenal Park?
Arsenal Park is high on our priority list, but we don’t control that schedule. We are prepared to work with the community and the town, including the Conservation Commission, as they begin planning a great future for the park.
What will be done with the bike path?
Extending Watertown’s bike path, which passes by the new LINX office building on the other side of the Watertown Mall, has been a goal of ours and a part of the Arsenal Yards plan from the beginning. Biking is increasing in popularity for recreation and as utilitarian transportation, and we understand it is vital that we connect it as seamlessly as possible to the new Arsenal Yards, Arsenal Park, and the banks of the Charles River.
Funding was recently secured to complete Phase 2 of the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway and it is now being incorporated into the state’s Transportation Improvement Program, with a contract to build the path to be awarded by the end of September 2017, and hopeful completion of the Greenway by late 2018. Funding will come from the Statewide Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program.
This new segment of the bike path will link the old railroad right-of-way at the intersection of Nichols Ave & Arlington St. to Fresh Pond, providing access to the Minuteman Bikeway and Alewife Greenway.
Is Arsenal Yards coordinating with athenaHealth on infrastructure changes or possible improvements, on matters such as sewers, streets, the bike path, and parks?
athenahealth is a separate, neighboring development with its own plans. That being said, we recognize it is essential that we coordinate not only with the town but also with neighbors on all sides of us on anything that affects both our and their residents, customers, and visitors, as well as all of the residents of Watertown. We are not building Arsenal Yards in isolation, and we keep that in mind.