September 20, 2019 Comments Off on Q&A: Catching Up with Samuels & Associates’ Leslie Cohen Views: 719 Boston, Boston New England News

Q&A: Catching Up with Samuels & Associates’ Leslie Cohen

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By David Cohen

Developer Samuels & Associates has been behind some of Boston’s most noteworthy projects of recent years. We caught up with the firm’s Principal & COO Leslie Cohen to discuss a few of them, like Pierce Boston, a 30-story mixed-use tower in The Fenway, and 401 Park, an historic mixed-use building that houses one of the only Time Out Market food hall locations in the nation.

While Time Out Market opened in June to rave reviews, Pierce Boston opened its doors in March and by May, all of the project’s 109 condo units, 23 storage spaces and 12 sky cabanas had been purchased.

Leslie Cohen

Q: Can you give me a broad overview of your current initiatives in Boston and maybe highlight one that has been successful?
A: We had the grand opening or the reinvention of 401 Park this summer. Time Out Market opened, and we upgraded the lobbies and amenity areas for our office tenants. We took a former surface parking lot and turned it into a one-acre park. Another project we have recently opened is Pierce Boston, a mixed-use building with apartments and condominiums. It was our first for sale housing project. We have created over 1,200 residential units in the market, but this was our first condo building. It was a great success on both the rental and condo side. We sold out 109 condo units in 14 months. The ground-floor retail has really filled in nicely as well. We have a female-owned wine bar and CB2 Furniture is our anchor.

Q: Time Out Market Boston opened over the summer. Can you talk about that project and how it has gotten off the ground in the last few months? What has the reception been for it?
A: The reception has been incredible. I think there has been a lot of public interest and it has become a destination for people seeking fun dining. But it has also become a go-to spot for people that are in the neighborhood already. Our one-acre park, which we are calling The Green, is right outside Time Out Market. So, we are really extending the user experience. People can go to Time Out and they can sit inside or outside. They can go to The Green and participate in a fitness class or play cornhole or bocce ball. There has been a very high traffic volume overall so far. We anticipated that it would be successful but it’s always great when a project exceeds your expectations.

Q: I know that Samuels has done a lot of work in The Fenway. Are there any other areas of Boston that you are targeting for development/projects?
A: We are working in Dorchester and South Boston. When we look at where to go next we look beyond where to build a building, we are looking for places where we can be engaged with the community, think about the future and improve public grounds. It’s sort of coming full circle for us because our founder Steve Samuel’s first project was the South Bay Center, and it’s nearby. At the time, it was considered groundbreaking to develop a shopping center with a grocery store in downtown Boston.

*Pictured above is Pierce Boston, a 30-story mixed-use tower developed by Samuels & Associates in The Fenway. (Photo credit:  Jeremy Bittermann)

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