clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A run of buildings, including one under construction, leading toward a suspension bridge. Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Boston area’s 10 most impactful projects of the 2010s

Encore Boston Harbor, Assembly Row, Boston Landing, Seaport Square, the Ink Block, and more—these projects left indelible marks on the region this decade

View as Map

Development undoubtedly drove much of the change—for better or worse—in the Boston area during the 2010s. Some projects were more impactful than others though. These are the 10 that really drove home change in one way or another.

They range from single buildings with perhaps two or three purposes to multi-building, multi-acre projects with myriad uses. Some are completed, and all are underway, well past the planning phase.

Read More

Boston Landing

Copy Link

The approximately 15-acre development along the Massachusetts Turnpike includes all sorts of uses, including the training headquarters for the Bruins and the Celtics.

It also includes the 250,000-square-foot headquarters for athletic-gear kingpin New Balance, which developed Boston Landing (Elkus Manfredi designed it). The project is also due to include a hotel and a performance venue.

While Boston Landing serves or will serve as all of the above, it also created a kind of western gateway for those going in and out of Boston proper, especially along the Pike. It is so prominently placed, in fact, that it includes its own commuter-rail stop, which opened in 2017. The complex itself began opening in 2015.

Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston

Copy Link

The 61-story, 742-foot tower—which topped off in August 2018 and started to open in May 2019—is New England’s tallest predominantly non-office building, with some 160 ultra-luxury condos and 215 hotel rooms.

Developed by Carpenter & Company and designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Cambridge Seven Associates, One Dalton is 699 feet at its highest habitable spot. Its very proposal, never mind its completion, highlighted the challenges in building tall in the Boston area.

Looking up at a very tall, glassy skyscraper. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building

Copy Link

Years in the making, the Bruce C. Bolling Building opened in early 2015 as a kind of economic-development anchor for Roxbury’s Dudley Square. It not only includes the headquarters of Boston Public Schools, but the Roxbury Innovation Center.

The 215,000-square-foot building—which the city developed and which firms Sasaki and Mecanoo designed out of another building at the site—won plaudits almost immediately for its architecture. The economic-development angle is TBD

A capacious lobby with tall floor-to-ceiling windows and a big staircase in the middle. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Assembly Row

Copy Link

This Somerville project, which started opening in the middle of the decade, filled in the Mystic River site of a former Ford factory

Assembly Row brought not only dozens of outlet stores and other retailers to this previously barren expanse, but hundreds of apartments and condos, never mind an Orange Line stop and a Legoland. 

It was probably a little bit of understandable hyperbole when Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone said in 2011 that his city and private developer Federal Realty Properties were “building the best brand-new neighborhood on the Eastern Seaboard.” But Assembly Row really did turn out to be a multifaceted and expansive new neighborhood. 

A subway train leaving a station as viewed from the top of the train. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Encore Boston Harbor

Copy Link

The Boston area’s very first casino-resort opened in June 2019 to much flowery fanfare, filling the site of an old chemical-processing plant in Everett.

The complex revolves around a 210,000-square-foot casino—featuring 3,158 slot machines and 231 table games—but there are plenty of other bells and whistles, including 15 eateries and a 671-room hotel as well as expansive outdoor space.

Developed by Las Vegas-based Wynn, the whole thing might end up as the nexus of an entirely new “entertainment district” on the Mystic.

A large, rectangular, and curved building looming over a parking lot. Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Hub on Causeway

Copy Link

The developers behind the 1.5 million-square-foot project on and around TD Garden—and on the site of the former Boston Garden—opened the complex’s first two phases by the fall of 2019.

It’s got a ton of moving parts and came in conjunction with a major revamp of TD Garden itself. The Hub on Causeway includes a Star Market, a 15-screen ArcLight cinema, a 1,500-seat concert venue, a 272-room hotel, a 31-story office tower with around 630,000 square feet, and a 38-story apartment tower with some 440 (very popular) units.

Delaware North, TD Garden’s owner, and Boston Properties are the developers on the still-unfolding Hub on Causeway—the third phase is expected in 2021—and Gensler and Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates are the architects.

A long, sleek terrace overlooking a cityscape. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Ink Block

Copy Link

The five-building redevelopment of the old Boston Herald site started opening in early 2015. It includes or is due to include 315 apartments, 153 condos, and a 200-room AC Hotel by Marriott as well as retail that includes a Whole Foods. 

The project from developer National Development has been the most prominent in terms of scope and ambition in the South End, one of the Boston area’s busiest this decade in terms of development

A long expanse of connected glass-and-concrete buildings as seen from across the street. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Millennium Tower

Copy Link

This 684-foot glassy eruption opened in late 2016.

Developed by Millennium Partners and designed by Handel Architects, the 60-story, 442-unit condo building’s completion capped a years-long saga surrounding the former Filene’s Basement site in Downtown Crossing and helped resurrect that neighborhood’s general fortunes.

A glassy skyscraper looming very high over shorter brick buildings. Universal Images Group via Getty

Bulfinch Crossing

Copy Link

This multi-building project is notable not only for its scope—which includes Boston’s tallest new office building since the mid-1980s and a 480-foot residential building that topped off in August 2019—but for where it’s going.

For Bulfinch Crossing is replacing much of the behemoth-like Government Center Garage, highlighting the slow fade of conventional parking garages and parking norms in downtown Boston.

In the end, Bulfinch Crossing is due to have more than 1 million square feet of office space, more than 800 residential units, and a pedestrian plaza. The lead developer is the HYM Investment Group LLC.

Seaport Square

Copy Link

This 33-acre project spans much of the land between Summer Street and Northern Boulevard in the Seaport District, filling in most of the remaining space in that neighborhood. Much of Seaport Square is already under construction or near completion.

That includes 7.6 million square feet of new development, which in turn includes 3 million square feet of lab and office space, three hotels, and 3 million square feet of residential space encompassing 3,200 units. Seaport Square is also due to include 9 acres of public open space.

This rendering from lead developer WS Development shows the under-construction 111 Harbor Way, a 525,000-square-foot office-retail component.

Rendering of a busy streetscape next to a glass tower. Gensler

Boston Landing

The approximately 15-acre development along the Massachusetts Turnpike includes all sorts of uses, including the training headquarters for the Bruins and the Celtics.

It also includes the 250,000-square-foot headquarters for athletic-gear kingpin New Balance, which developed Boston Landing (Elkus Manfredi designed it). The project is also due to include a hotel and a performance venue.

While Boston Landing serves or will serve as all of the above, it also created a kind of western gateway for those going in and out of Boston proper, especially along the Pike. It is so prominently placed, in fact, that it includes its own commuter-rail stop, which opened in 2017. The complex itself began opening in 2015.

Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street, Boston

Looking up at a very tall, glassy skyscraper. Boston Globe via Getty Images

The 61-story, 742-foot tower—which topped off in August 2018 and started to open in May 2019—is New England’s tallest predominantly non-office building, with some 160 ultra-luxury condos and 215 hotel rooms.

Developed by Carpenter & Company and designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Cambridge Seven Associates, One Dalton is 699 feet at its highest habitable spot. Its very proposal, never mind its completion, highlighted the challenges in building tall in the Boston area.

Looking up at a very tall, glassy skyscraper. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building

A capacious lobby with tall floor-to-ceiling windows and a big staircase in the middle. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Years in the making, the Bruce C. Bolling Building opened in early 2015 as a kind of economic-development anchor for Roxbury’s Dudley Square. It not only includes the headquarters of Boston Public Schools, but the Roxbury Innovation Center.

The 215,000-square-foot building—which the city developed and which firms Sasaki and Mecanoo designed out of another building at the site—won plaudits almost immediately for its architecture. The economic-development angle is TBD

A capacious lobby with tall floor-to-ceiling windows and a big staircase in the middle. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Assembly Row

A subway train leaving a station as viewed from the top of the train. Boston Globe via Getty Images

This Somerville project, which started opening in the middle of the decade, filled in the Mystic River site of a former Ford factory

Assembly Row brought not only dozens of outlet stores and other retailers to this previously barren expanse, but hundreds of apartments and condos, never mind an Orange Line stop and a Legoland. 

It was probably a little bit of understandable hyperbole when Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone said in 2011 that his city and private developer Federal Realty Properties were “building the best brand-new neighborhood on the Eastern Seaboard.” But Assembly Row really did turn out to be a multifaceted and expansive new neighborhood. 

A subway train leaving a station as viewed from the top of the train. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Encore Boston Harbor

A large, rectangular, and curved building looming over a parking lot. Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Boston area’s very first casino-resort opened in June 2019 to much flowery fanfare, filling the site of an old chemical-processing plant in Everett.

The complex revolves around a 210,000-square-foot casino—featuring 3,158 slot machines and 231 table games—but there are plenty of other bells and whistles, including 15 eateries and a 671-room hotel as well as expansive outdoor space.

Developed by Las Vegas-based Wynn, the whole thing might end up as the nexus of an entirely new “entertainment district” on the Mystic.

A large, rectangular, and curved building looming over a parking lot. Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Hub on Causeway

A long, sleek terrace overlooking a cityscape. Boston Globe via Getty Images

The developers behind the 1.5 million-square-foot project on and around TD Garden—and on the site of the former Boston Garden—opened the complex’s first two phases by the fall of 2019.

It’s got a ton of moving parts and came in conjunction with a major revamp of TD Garden itself. The Hub on Causeway includes a Star Market, a 15-screen ArcLight cinema, a 1,500-seat concert venue, a 272-room hotel, a 31-story office tower with around 630,000 square feet, and a 38-story apartment tower with some 440 (very popular) units.

Delaware North, TD Garden’s owner, and Boston Properties are the developers on the still-unfolding Hub on Causeway—the third phase is expected in 2021—and Gensler and Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates are the architects.

A long, sleek terrace overlooking a cityscape. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Ink Block

A long expanse of connected glass-and-concrete buildings as seen from across the street. Boston Globe via Getty Images

The five-building redevelopment of the old Boston Herald site started opening in early 2015. It includes or is due to include 315 apartments, 153 condos, and a 200-room AC Hotel by Marriott as well as retail that includes a Whole Foods. 

The project from developer National Development has been the most prominent in terms of scope and ambition in the South End, one of the Boston area’s busiest this decade in terms of development

A long expanse of connected glass-and-concrete buildings as seen from across the street. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Millennium Tower

A glassy skyscraper looming very high over shorter brick buildings. Universal Images Group via Getty

This 684-foot glassy eruption opened in late 2016.

Developed by Millennium Partners and designed by Handel Architects, the 60-story, 442-unit condo building’s completion capped a years-long saga surrounding the former Filene’s Basement site in Downtown Crossing and helped resurrect that neighborhood’s general fortunes.

A glassy skyscraper looming very high over shorter brick buildings. Universal Images Group via Getty

Bulfinch Crossing

This multi-building project is notable not only for its scope—which includes Boston’s tallest new office building since the mid-1980s and a 480-foot residential building that topped off in August 2019—but for where it’s going.

For Bulfinch Crossing is replacing much of the behemoth-like Government Center Garage, highlighting the slow fade of conventional parking garages and parking norms in downtown Boston.

In the end, Bulfinch Crossing is due to have more than 1 million square feet of office space, more than 800 residential units, and a pedestrian plaza. The lead developer is the HYM Investment Group LLC.

Seaport Square

Rendering of a busy streetscape next to a glass tower. Gensler

This 33-acre project spans much of the land between Summer Street and Northern Boulevard in the Seaport District, filling in most of the remaining space in that neighborhood. Much of Seaport Square is already under construction or near completion.

That includes 7.6 million square feet of new development, which in turn includes 3 million square feet of lab and office space, three hotels, and 3 million square feet of residential space encompassing 3,200 units. Seaport Square is also due to include 9 acres of public open space.

This rendering from lead developer WS Development shows the under-construction 111 Harbor Way, a 525,000-square-foot office-retail component.

Rendering of a busy streetscape next to a glass tower. Gensler