Twenty-nine-acre brick building complex in Watertown, Mass., to be renovated as innovation hub
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The owner of a 29-acre cluster of brick buildings in Watertown, Mass., wants to reinvent the site as a 21st-century innovation hub. Known for many years as the Watertown Arsenal, the facility stored gunpowder in the 1830s, built cannons for World War I, and housed an Army materials lab in the 1950s. Health care software maker athenahealth Inc., which bought the Arsenal on the Charles for $168.5 million, envisions about 150,000 sf of new office space for itself and other businesses.
The proposed redesign includes a glass-enclosed atrium expanding a building that houses the New Repertory Theatre, walking and bike paths connecting the campus to the nearby Charles River, outdoor meeting spaces, an Arsenal museum, landscaped parks, a farmers market, a beer garden, new restaurants, and incubator space for smaller health information start-ups. The plan will require zoning changes and other approvals from the town of Watertown to add height to existing structures and build walkways between some buildings. It also may require state approval to alter historic structures.