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BURLINGTON, MA-Burlington will get its first lifestyle center when construction is completed next year on a 190,500-retail and restaurant complex on a former industrial site here. Wayside Commons, broke ground on the site of a now-demolished 40-year-old, 205,000-sf industrial building on Wayside Road.

“There are negotiations in one stage or another and in some cases negotiated leases for every square foot in the center,” Steve Rice, with the project’s developer, Patriot Partners, tells GlobeSt.com. Rice would not identify any of the center’s prospective tenants but said they will be among a mix of specialty home goods and fashion retailers along with several restaurants that feature outdoor and café-style dining.

The project, which is set to be completed next fall, is being built by Patriot Partners, a joint venture between Framingham-based developers Mohawk Partners and Atlantic Management, along with O’Connor Capital Partners, a New York City-based manager of institutional real estate funds. Patriot acquired the site in 1999 in anticipation of turning it into an office complex. When the office market turned soft, the firm’s development team approached Burlington officials in 2004 to explore smart-growth alternatives. In September of that year, Burlington Town Meeting members approved the zoning changes needed for the project.

“When we set out to develop Wayside Commons, we wanted to create a project that would reflect the character of the Burlington community and also provide a one-of-a-kind entertainment, shopping and dining experience,” Rice says. “When finished, this will be a truly unique development in the area.”

But the site also faces some major competition. Located just miles away is the Burlington Mall with four major anchors and 155 specialty shops. Rice says the development team isn’t worried about the competition from the nearby shopping mall.

“Burlington has demonstrated that it can lease more space then it has. There is quite a lot of demand,” he notes. “And while lifestyle centers are somewhat competitive with regional malls, there is some synergy too.”

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