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Legacy Place will include L.L. Bean and market

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Thomas C. Palmer Jr.
Globe Staff / March 25, 2008

Despite difficulties in lending markets, the developers of a planned Dedham shopping center with as many as 80 stores and restaurants have secured construction financing and are set to break ground next week.

Legacy Place, at the intersection of Route 128 and Providence Highway, will have a 60,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market with a cafe and outdoor seating, a two-level L.L. Bean store, and a National Amusements Cinema de Lux premium movie theater complex.

Other tenants include Kings entertainment, which offers billiards, bowling, and beverages; a Legal Sea Foods; an Aquitaine restaurant and a Ruth's Chris Steak House; and clothiers Ann Taylor Loft for women and Pink for men, plus Gap, Levi's, and of course, a Starbucks.

"People have been trying to build better retail in this area for 20 years," said Dick Marks, a partner in WS De- velopment of Newton, one of the developers, which started planning four years ago. "You need to have enough different opportunities for people to visit as you can."

WS Development and partner National Amusements of Dedham have a loan of almost $200 million from Sovereign Bank to finance the 675,000-square-foot project.

"I've been in this business 30 years, and it's the worst credit market I've ever experienced," Marks said. "But they're obviously as confident as we are in this asset."

Designers for the retail portion of the project are PCA Architects of Cambridge. The architect for the theater complex on the site and for an 85,000-square-foot headquarters for National Amusements, owner of the cinema chain, is spg{+3} of Philadelphia.

Suffolk Construction will begin construction on April 1, with completion planned for summer 2009, including parking for 2,900 cars.

WS Development has been in heavy competition for some of the same prominent stores with the developers of Westwood Station, a retail, residential, and office development a few miles east along Route 128. The larger Westwood Station, which is also just getting underway, will have Target, Eddie Bauer, and McCormick & Schmick's Seafood, among others.

In Dedham, Massachusetts-based companies that will lease at Legacy Place include National Jean Co., City Sports, Finale desserts, Magic Beans baby goods, and lululemon athletica apparel.

Other signed tenants include Anthropologie, b.good health food, Banana Republic, Levi's, H&M clothing, Cold Stone Creamery, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Fossil watches, Dandelion dining, the house wares company Stil Haus, and Yankee Candle.

The developers will demolish the existing cinema and office buildings bracketing the large parking lot, then construct seven new buildings, mostly of two stories, on the 47-acre site.

Legacy Place will be a large example of the "lifestyle centers" that are in vogue in the retail world, and which comprise a shopping center with entertainment and a variety of restaurants.

Marks said shopping centers at South Shore Plaza in Braintree, the Natick Collection, and Chestnut Hill in Newton are far enough away that, even in a weak economy, Legacy Place should do well.

"That's why this is such a good market - there really isn't any competition," he said.

Thomas C. Palmer Jr. can be reached at tpalmer@globe.com.


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