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VIDEO: Tear it Down: Demolition Begins at Chestnut Hill Shopping Center

Site of former Macy's in Chestnut Hill demolished to make way for LA Sports Club and National Amusements theatre.

Cranes began tearing down the former Macy's building on Route 9 shortly after 10 a.m. today. 

The former Chestnut Hill Macy's, , , according to WS Development. WS Development Director of Corporate Marketing David Fleming announced that the space will be filled with a new National Amusements theatre, and Sports Club/LA. The store is expected to open in winter, and the theatre in the late winter or early spring. 

He explained new theatre would result in the closing of the , which is a few doors down in the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center. They do not have a time table for the closure, but it will remain open until shortly after National Amusements opens.

The theatre will be part of the third phase of development at the site, which also includes . That new construction will include retail and restaurant space as well as office space for WS Development.

A copy of the press release issued by WS Development is included below:

March 28, 2012;Chestnut Hill, MA WS Development is bringing a new generation of great retailers, first class architecture and site design to transform the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center, the region’s oldest suburban shopping center in one of its best locations, as a shopping center fitting for the 21st century.

This morning, WS Development hosted the ceremonial first crane strikes to demolish the 120,000-square-foot former Macy’s building, which previously had been home to Bloomingdale’s and R.H. Stearns. In its place will stand a new 115,000-square-foot building that will include a 31,000-square-foot Sports Club/LA health and fitness complex. In addition, National Amusements, Inc., a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry, is working closely with WS Development in developing a unique and exciting new cinema complex that will involve state of the art dine-in, deluxe theatres as well as a restaurant facility utilizing over 40,000 square feet of the former retail space. 

Today’s demolition ushers in Phase II of a major redevelopment at the center. The redevelopment will feature a new village-like streetscape complete with tree-shaded pedestrian walkways, outdoor dining, cafes and new buildings with glass facades overlooking scenic Hammond Pond. For the first time, storefronts will open to both the south facing Route 9 as well as to the north facing Hammond Pond. When complete, the center will have a contemporary look and a host of new retail offerings. The architect is PCA (Prellwitz/Chilinski Associates) of Cambridge, who previously designed WS Development’s Legacy Place in Dedham.

Later this year, construction will begin on Phase III which will include a new 64,000-square-foot, three-story building located on the site that is currently occupied by City Sports and Century Bank. The first floor of the new, LEED certifiable building will include retail stores and restaurants. The second floor will offer restaurants overlooking Hammond Pond. Part of the second floor and the entire third floor will become WS Development’s new corporate headquarters. The existing movie theater will be rebuilt to accommodate a mix of additional best-in-class retailers and restaurants.

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