Big changes will happen along Arsenal Street, with the first half revealed last week at the Watertown Arsenal, but the Arsenal Mall will also be transformed.
Jonathan Bush, president and CEO of athenahealth, has a hand in both parts of the transformation. While the company he heads will spearhead the changes to the Arsenal, the new look for the mall area will be a private investment for Bush.
The Arsenal Mall property, along with the offices next door (which include Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates) were bought by Bush and Boylston Properties in July. The area will be turned into "hip" restaurants, upscale retail as well as have space for start up firms, loft apartments and condominiums.
Bush said the added retail and restaurants coming to the Arsenal on the Charles as well as the new development on the mall property are designed for the types of employees working at athenahealth.
"The best and brightest graduates in the world are coming out and coming here," Bush said.
These people are looking to make a difference professionally, and also have a place to play and eat, Bush added.
Between 30,000 to 50,000 square feet of retail and restaurants will be added to the Arsenal on the Charles, and more at the Arsenal Mall site, he said. Bush said he sees not only restaurants, but places to exercise, for the "mind and body," as well as the needs of everyday life such as a dry cleaner.
While athenahealth invested in the Arsenal on the Charles property - where the company headquarters are located - the board would not invest in the mall project.
"That is my own investment," Bush said. "The board felt it was too far afield for athenahealth to invest."
The project will have a similar look to the Arsenal on the Charles, Bush said, because the same architects have been hired for both projects. The mall area might even flow into the Arsenal on the Charles area by creating a paths for pedestrian and bicyclists.