130 Arsenal Yards Blvd
Located in Watertown’s East End, Arsenal Yards is a massive mixed-use development spanning more than 1 million square feet. Situated on a site that housed the Watertown Arsenal prior to the Civil War and the Arsenal Mall from the mid-1980s through 2013, the mixed-use development represents a major step into the future for Watertown. Construction continues, but many components of the development are already open. All told, it will include 250,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, 200,000 square feet of lab and office space, a 300-unit apartment development, a 150-room hotel and a seven-screen movie theater.
Prior to the Civil War, the site was home to the Watertown Arsenal. In 1983, it opened for business as a shopping mall called the Arsenal Marketplace; one of its first anchor tenants was Marshalls, which continues to operate there to this day. For a while, the mall held the distinction of housing the only digital game clock that was ever used at the Boston Garden. In 2013, the site was purchased by Boylston Properties and the Wilder Companies, and it was renamed the Arsenal Project. In 2016, plans for Arsenal Yards, the mixed-use development that is largely completed today, were introduced by the developers; they were unanimously approved by the Watertown Planning Board in January 2017.
Primary features of the development include:
- 250,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space – Two existing stores, Home Depot and Marshalls, remained open during construction. Others that were temporarily closed but have since reopened include Old Navy, Gap Outlet and Chipotle. A new Shake Shack recently opened, joining more than 50 restaurants and shops that will ultimately fill the space.
- YardWorks – With 200,000 square feet of office and life science/lab space, YardWorks is housed in a historic, 1800s-era former arsenal building with soaring 25-foot-high ceilings and an integrated fitness center. Its thoroughly modern fixtures and features juxtapose nicely with the many original features of the building, including reclaimed patina copper and exposed brick. Massive skylights allow natural light to flood into much of the workspace.
- BLVD + BOND – Slated to open in Winter 2021, BLVD + BOND is the Yard’s residential development. Comprised of three buildings, the apartment development will offer studio apartments along with one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Amenities will include a rooftop deck and a clubhouse area, and 15% of units will be reserved as affordable housing.
- The Majestic 7 – This seven-screen movie theater opened for business in March 2020. More than 700 seats – all stadium seating – are spread across the screens. The theater plans to offer live entertainment from time to time, and it serves hot foods and a wide selection of drinks, including craft beers, high-end wines, hand-crafted cocktails and more.
- Bluebikes Station – Part of a two-year pilot in partnership with Lyft, Bluebikes is Boston’s municipal bike-share program. The mixed-use development now includes a Bluebikes station on Arsenal Street, which is the fourth in Watertown. All told, Bluebikes offers more than 1,800 bikes across more than 200 stations throughout Greater Boston.
- Artwork – The development is spiced up with eye-catching artwork throughout its many public spaces. In particular, a series of stunning, Georgia O’Keefe-inspired floral murals were painted by Detroit-based artist Ouizi in November 2019 on walls around the development.
- Green Space, River Access and More – The north end of the development features Arsenal Park, which offers expansive green space and runs right up to the Charles River. Development plans also called for greater and easier access to the river, and a series of biking and walking paths meander their way through its streets too.
This development has already changed the face of this section of Watertown, but it has managed to do so while retaining much of its original and historic charm. With the apartment development slated to open in the winter of 2021, it is safe to say that leasing for those units will be starting in the spring or so. Since so many options will be available, there’s no doubt that these units will be snapped up quickly. With that in mind, connect with Boston City Properties for the resources that you need to identify the perfect apartment at this development when the time comes.