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Demolition work to start on former Boston Flower Exchange

A redevelopment will transform the South End site into a technology and life sciences hub

An aerial view of four new buildings amid an urban landscape that includes highways and a harbor. The Abbey Group

The Abbey Group, a Boston-based developer, plans to start demolishing the former site of the Boston Flower Exchange in the South End on December 12.

The move is in anticipation of transforming the 5.6-acre parcel at Albany and East Canton streets into a 1.6 million-square-foot, four-building technology and life sciences campus. The Boston Planning and Development Agency approved the project in August. The flower exchange moved to Chelsea in 2016.

The new project is also due to include 22,000 square feet of retail and 30,000 square feet of community space as well as a privately owned, publicly accessible one-acre expanse called Albany Green, complete with benches.

In announcing the demolition, the Abbey Group drew a link between the site’s former purpose as “a physical exchange of goods for much of the 20th century” and its future as “an exchange of ideas, technology, and culture for the 21st.”

What the developer has dubbed Exchange South End joins a wave of similar projects throughout the region, ones hinging on life sciences components in particular—though this specific project is one of the largest in terms of square-footage. It’s also located very close to the intersection of I-90 and I-93 and amid one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the Boston region.

Exchange South End is scheduled to open during the first quarter of 2022. Stay tuned.