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ALegacy of Sustainability

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The sustainable suggestion of the name “Legacy Place” is coincidental, yet the mixed-use development on the outskirts of Boston clearly has an environmental bent.

Anchor Whole Foods Market is pursuing a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for its 60,000-sq.-ft. Legacy Place location, and L.L. Bean will incorporate a host of green initiatives in its co-anchor slot.

Chestnut Hill, Mass.-based WS Development has led the environmental charge, following LEED standards in the development of its landmark brownfield project. “Just some of our sustainable technologies and initiatives at Legacy Place include erosion and sedimentation control, shared parking, native and adaptive vegetation, and low-flow toilet fixtures in the tenant criteria,” said Brian Sciera, VP of lifestyle centers for WS.

Added David Fleming, director of corporate marketing, “Three underground cisterns—two holding 80,000 gallons of water and a third with 120,000-gallon capacity—capture site-water runoff which supplies all of the irrigation water for Legacy Place. This kind of system is just one way to demonstrate that we, as a company, are committed to green development.”

Current and prospective tenants have responded positively to the sustainable aspects of Legacy Place (the center is 95% leased). The location itself, however, has had the greatest tenant impact. Legacy Place is situated at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Route 1 with a unique convergence of major road networks. “It’s like a spiderweb of roads that converge at the Legacy Place site, through a market that is very dense, with high income and education levels,” said Sciera. “And we were fortunate to get the kinds of anchors that turn heads.”

Showcase Cinema de Lux and Borders join Whole Foods Market and L.L. Bean, and the restaurant component is considered the most powerful in the area. In addition, Legacy Place is the only Boston-area shopping center that will feature all three Urban brands—Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People—in one location.

At a time when retailers are scrapping new-store plans, Legacy Place has managed to make itself irresistible. “It’s not a project being built on the fringe,” said Sciera. “It’s being built in a dense market where great roads are going through great demographics.”