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Seaport Square developer adds three theaters to plans to sweeten appeal

Would also help underwrite expanded Silver Line

Photo via WS Development

WS Development, developer of the last sizable swath of the 23-acre Seaport Square development on Boston’s waterfront, has added three new theaters to its plans.

Two of the theaters, with 650 seats total, would undergird a so-called Seaport Performing Arts Center on Summer Street. The third would be a community venue elsewhere on WS Development’s 12.5-acre site.

The addition of the theaters could assuage arts groups and public officials who criticized the developer earlier this year for dropping plans for a 200,000-square-foot performing arts center.

WS Development said demand in Boston didn’t justify such a sizable artistic space. There was some truth to that: Even critics of the decision said the city needs more smaller arts venues, not larger-scale ones.

Either way, Boston development officials will review WS Development’s new plans. Those plans, incidentally, also include more green space, dedicated storefronts for startups and other small businesses, and an extension of District Hall’s lease through 2033, according to the Globe’s Tim Logan.

And WS Development is also willing to put up $2.5 million over 10 years to underwrite water ferries or an expanded Silver Line to the Seaport.

Will such sweeteners move this mega-project forward? Stay tuned.