Community Food & Drink Real Estate

Target Corp. Vying For Bulfinch Triangle Parcel Against Stop & Shop

The North End/Waterfront Neighborhood Council (NEWNC) was surprised to hear tonight that Target Corp. is aggressively courting the developer of the “One Canal” project to be its anchor tenant. “One Canal” is the proposed $150 million housing development at Greenway Parcel 2 A/B/C, between the West End and North End neighborhoods. Target is competing against Stop & Shop which had long been assumed to be opening a full-service supermarket on the ground floor. Target is proposing a 2-floor urban concept model that will combine food with its typical retail products. The upper floors of the development are expected to house up to 275 rental apartment units.

NEWNC member Jon Sproul commented that a Target store “could be the worst possible situation bringing a strip mall-like development to the West End that has already suffered through urban renewal.”

The Target news was presented at the monthly NEWNC meeting during an update by Trinity Financial Project Manager, Sarah Barnat. Trinity was recently designated to be the developer for the site by MassDOT on August 11th after a joint venture of Hines-Raymond L.P. failed to move forward at the location. Ms. Barnat noted that Stop & Shop is still very interested in the location and a decision could be made in the next few weeks.

Neighborhood Council members universally voiced disappointment because the community has anticipated a full-service, affordable supermarket that would serve the North End, West End and Beacon Hill neighborhoods. 

Ms. Barnat responded that Target has a history of invigorating neighborhoods, including Harlem. She thought residents might appreciate the ability to “buy a tennis racket” in addition to just food. As a developer, she said her team understands the neighborhoods’ concerns but are looking at all the options.

Jorge Mendoza said, “The neighborhood already has a relationship with Stop & Shop going back to when they were on Cambridge Street. Changing directions now would not be well-received by the neighborhood.” The Cambridge Street location is now occupied by Whole Foods. Council members said that public officials have promised the neighborhood an affordable supermarket for the new Bulfinch Triangle development.

Greenway Parcel 2 A/B/C designated for a building with a supermarket. Avenir is the building on the left.The retail entrance is expected to be on N. Washington Street with the development bounded by New Chardon Street, Valenti Way and Canal Street. The upper floors are expected to have 275 rental apartments, similar to those at the neighboring Avenir Archstone building.


Stop & Shop has proposed a 40,000 square foot supermarket on the first floor, however, the developer appears intrigued by the Target concept that would fill the second floor as well for 75,000 square feet in total. The Target concept will have almost no parking with most shoppers expected to come from within walking distance. Stop & Shop is proposing 60 parking spots.

Economically, the developer could prefer the Target Corp. proposal because it leases two floors of the building instead of one and uses less space for parking. Target and Stop & Shop appear to be the finalists, although Trinity also talked to Hannafords, Wegmans and Market Basket.

Target has proposed an urban concept called “P-Fresh” providing 90% of what a typical supermarket offers, without features like a butcher or deli. Council members questioned this assertion because most of the food at Target stores is processed or frozen.

Trinty was the developer of the neighboring Avenir Archstone apartment building, that is now 95% leased and occupied according to Ms. Barnat. College students have found the property to be attractive because the building allows for multiple students to share a single apartment.

The proposed $150 million “One Canal” project will look similar in design to the neighboring Avenir, but it will be higher at 146 feet versus 120 for the Avenir buildings. “It will be like the Avenir, with a supermarket concept. We plan to use the same contractor.”

Trinity wants to move fast. A decision could be made in the next few weeks between Target and Stop & Shop. The developer intends to go to the Boston Redevelopment Authority with a project design in October. Construction is expected to begin in the Summer or Fall of 2011. The developer will return to the neighborhood council with design boards in the near future.

NEWNC member Mario Alfano noted that Target has withdrawn its sponsorship for next year’s Boston Ahts Festival. The City of Boston will have to significantly scale down the event without the funding. The festival was held just last weekend at Christopher Columbus Park.

In other business, NEWNC voted 5-2 to support the variances needed for the renovation of 133 Salem St., including converting a headhouse into a penthouse bringing the top floor to 50 feet. The ground floor was formerly occupied by Sheldon’s Discount store. The council deferred a proposed variance at 65 Salem St., formerly Go Bananas, because the proponent has not received a denial letter from Inspectional Services.

More information on NEWNC can be found at The October NEWNC meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 12th (see the Calendar). This is a change from the usual 2nd Monday of the month, in observance of the Columbus Day holiday.

11 Replies to “Target Corp. Vying For Bulfinch Triangle Parcel Against Stop & Shop

  1. Target instead of a supermarket? Target belongs in Downtown Crossing. The NE and WE were promised a supermarket. Trinity better honor that or we should get some TAR and make them GET OUT of here. ENOUGH dragging this on and on for years until they think the residents will forget what was promised. I was on NEWNC when Trinity made its original proposal THAT INCLUDED A SUPERMARKET on that parcel. That was well over 5 years ago.
    Sal LaMattina, Mike Ross,and the at large City Councillors, Aaron M and Anthony P, Lia Tota from the NEWENSC and the supermarket committee, NEWNC, NEWRA, the Downtown North Association need to join forces and make this supermarket happen.

  2. Joyce, I think it would be a smart idea to see what the options are. As I understand it, Target is rolling out a new "urban" concept that will cater to our urban needs. This not only includes home goods, electronics, hardware, bed and bath but a complete grocery concept that we all need. One that I would imagine scares Stop and Shop.

    Stop and Shop is fine but kind of average.

    I say let's at least see what Target has to offer before we get to "crazed" about this.

  3. @Bill:

    Who wants Targets brand of processed food and archway cookies? I would love to see a Target IN DOWNTOWN CROSSING. This neighborhood needs an AVERAGE supermarket for AVERAGE people to shop for staple foods, produce, meats etc. Personally I would rather see a Market Basket with a food court like the new one in Chelsea or a Trader Joe's. Not everyone can afford to shop at Whole Foods or some hip urban food store. I am not just talking about Senior Citizens either.

    I think the neighborhood should get "crazed" over this. The people of Beacon Hill, the West End, and the North End have been without an AFFORDABLE supermarket for years and have worked hard to get potential developers to provide one as part of any development on that parcel. Trinity agreed to this in their original proposal to build on this parcel and now they want to put Target in there so they can get bigger rent and not have to sacrifice parking. I do not think so.

  4. Still don't agree with your assumptions but that's what's great about this country. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. My belief is that ALL of the surrounding communities, not just the North End, are entitled to an understanding of what EXACTLY Target offers to those who live and work around the North Station Market. This would include the west End, Beacon Hill, Government Center, Charlestown and of course the North End. I found it very interesting to read the blogs at the end of Tuesdays Boston Herald article. The majority supported what I'm suggesting.

  5. Target is being patronizing, saying maybe we'd also like to buy tennis rackets. And implying the area needs to be invigorated, comparing the North End and West End to Harlem? Wow. People don't travel to Target for tennis rackets nearly as much as they do for all other the cheap junk Target sells. Target will not provide the fresh food options the North End needs. Instead it will attract thousands of people using the Green and Orange Lines who will arrive in droves from other neighborhoods to buy Target junk. That's what Target is counting on, the location between North Station and Haymarket to bring in the crowds. it's not about what our community needs. It's all about the Benjamins for Target.

  6. Also, if right-wing, corporation-supporting bloggers who subscribe to the tabloid Boston Herald support Target coming here, that's a big clue that it's a bad idea. These bloggers would probably like a a Wal-Mart here too. And there's no right or need to have a Target in the neighborhood where you WORK. And if Charleston residents, or any other neighborhood wants a Target, they can petition the company to build a store there. Target is a big corporation that has already launched a propaganda campaign to force their mediocre strip mall conceived products and more low wage jobs upon the neighborhood. Rolling out a new "urban concept" that will cater to "our" urban needs? That sounds like corporate hype to me. I think the people who LIVE in the neighborhood are best suited to determine what their needs are, not a huge corporation with no ties to the neighborhood, and certainly not other neighborhoods or towns, and certainly not people who just commute here for their jobs. But then, that's just me. Someone who has never gone to the supermarket and wished that she could also buy a tennis racket there.

  7. PS – I apologize for the Charlestown typo. Still, it's the neighborhoods of the West End and the North End that will have to deal with the negative environmental impact of a Target here, including the noise, congestion and increased traffic, far more than just what a supermarket would bring. This doesn't impact other towns or neighborhoods. It's our neighborhood that will be dealing with this 24/7/365.

  8. Noise, congestion and increased traffic? Are you serious? It's the city for gods sakes! There are 6000 restaurants in the North End! Hanover Street on a Friday night is like Las Vegas. You sound like your from Newton.

  9. @Bill:
    6000 restaurants in the North End? Hanover St like Las Vegas? A bit of an exaggeration don't you think?
    What happened to your previous statement that everyone is entitled to their opinion? You must have meant everyone is entitled to YOUR opinion.

    Stop being so condescending. Heather has a right to express her opposition to Target just as much as you have the right to insist it would be a good thing to bring in something that would be a better fit to the Downtown Crossing shopping district.

  10. Actually, Bill, I've been to Las Vegas. The North End and Vegas are quite different. Also, because the neighborhood is already noisy, congested and full of traffic, we shouldn't object to bringing even MORE of the same here? That's illogical. And it's not just about the North End, this building will be in the West End. For example, try to drive from North Station to MGH during the day – not even during rush hour – and see how long it takes with the heavy traffic in the West End. You'd be unpleasantly surprised. It's a $10 cab ride. Any further building needs to directly benefit the neighborhood residents, and not make their lives tougher or negatively impact the quality of life. Especially when both the North End and the West End residents have been waiting so long for an affordable, full service supermarket. Also, I, too, would like to see a Target where Filene's used to be. That could be a perfect fit to stabilize and prop up the shaky Downtown Crossing business area. I'm amazed that the good, small merchants in Downtown Crosing continue to stay there. A big anchor store like Target across from Macy's with evening hours could be the shot of energy that neighborhood so badly needs.

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