When the old Boston Garden was torn down in 1998, it felt like a little soul was taken away from the sports history of New England. As if someone had trampled on the grave of the great years of Orr and Russell. After demolition of the older building was complete, the area was paved over with asphalt and served small purpose for close to the last two decades.
Now Boston Properties and Delaware North have torn back into the same ground with a massive project. Interestingly enough, the major complex seems to be flying under the radar. Everyone must be assuming it’s just going to be a large condo tower. It’s due to be much more than that.
All the concrete dividers and fences are serving as evidence of what will transform Causeway Street for decades to come. Although the addition of 497 residential and rental units is a major component, the building will also hold 306 hotel rooms, 668,000 square feet of office space, a 40,000 square foot expansion of TD Garden itself, and 800 additional parking spaces.
Robert Kraft and the Patriots were the first to see such an opportunity in Boston sports, building the massive Patriot Place. It features restaurants, shopping, a movie theater, and hotel. The Patriots aimed to make Foxborough into a destination, even when their football team was deep into the offseason. The project is widely considered to be a, success. Foxborough has year-round visitors and employment opportunity for local residents.
Now, developers eye to doing the same at TD Garden. The area is about to transform into what is currently known as “The Hub on Causeway.” The project was first brought into limelight in 2013, dragged around a few years before being approved, but ground work would begin in early 2016. The Hub on Causeway will ultimately become 1.87 million square feet; truly living up to it’s name.
The Hub will come at a cost of nearly $1 billion dollars. The first phase that began earlier this winter will come at a price tag of almost $258 million dollars. This beginning phase will feature the development of “Champion’s Row” — a multi-level structure that leads into the entrance of TD Garden and North Station. This first phase will feature an entertainment venue with capacity reaching 1,000, a bar that seats 500, and a movie theater/bowling alley. Area residents also look forward to the addition of Star Market.
In terms of BCT (Boston Construction Time), time is only a number. So Boston fans can expect (more like hope) the first phase of The Hub on Causeway is completed around 2019. One can assume that the three year period between now and 2019 will not be the end of the project. It could take much more time. There also could be additions to the project, or large portions of the project could still be subject to change.
One thing that will definitely pan out for the area is increased foot traffic year round for events and shopping. Dirty Water Media’s own venue, The Greatest Bar at 262 Friend Street, will be right across the street from the new “Hub” of the city.