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Back Bay Muscles In on Downtown Crossing's Thunder

Another big building change along Newbury Street in Back Bay heralds not only real estate changes but the sort of permanent demographic shifts people look back at a generation later and say, 'Oh, yeah, that.' The Globe's Jenn Abelson reports that the barely 5-year-old Borders space at the Newbry Building between Newbury and Boylston, Clarendon and Berkeley, will be divvied up into spaces for an expanded H&M, the city's first Pret a Manger, and an Athleta, part of the Gap umbrella.

The news comes less than a week after we learned about the future asking prices of the new condos at Chanel No. 6 inside the soon-to-be converted garage at 4-6 Newbury Street, a couple of long blocks away from the Newbry Building. A 10,000-square-foot Chanel store will be topped by six condos ranging in price from $3.5 million to $6 million, making them instantly among the most expensive in the region.

We're not saying the changes in retail and housing should necessarily be a shock—Back Bay's always been on Boston's pricier side. But! The changes, particularly at the Newbry Building and to say nothing of the ultra-luxury condos, cater to a more upscale crowd. Borders could bring in everybody throughout the day, for better or worse, in a way that smoked parmesan on baguette to go never can, never mind yoga gear. And the addition of more retail like this in Back Bay could disincentivize people from going to Downtown Crossing, which needs all the help in its big turnaround. After all, Back Bay has a Marshalls, too.

· Tenants Lined Up for Old Borders Site [Globe]
· Chanel No. 6: Details On New Newbury Street Condos [Curbed Boston]
· What the Filene's Site Development Means for Boston [Curbed Boston]

4-6 Newbury St. Parking Garage

4 Newbury St, Boston, Massachusetts 02116