Market Returns to Center as South End’s Foodie’s Market Set for Macy’s Spot

Photo: The Foodie’s Market on Washington Street in Boston’s South End. 

The owner of the former Macy’s department store announced today, Monday, March 23, it has signed a lease with a small but growing Boston-based grocery chain to occupy nearly a third of the space in Belmont Center. 

Belmont’s Locatelli Properties said Foodie’s Urban Marketswhich has operated a store in Boston’s South End since 1999 before expanding in the past two years into Duxbury and South Boston, will lease 15,000 square foot in the building located on Leonard Street. 

“Our goal is to bring an exciting mix of retailers and restaurants to Belmont Center,” said Kevin Foley, manager of Locatelli Properties.

The deal marks the return of a grocery store in Belmont Center two decades after the previous retailer, J. Bildner & Sons, closed its doors at 69 Leonard St.

Foley told the Belmontonian in December he would seek to fill the nearly 50,000 sq.-ft. commercial space with a range of national, regional or independent retailers and restaurants as tenants.

“Right now, I’m hoping spring or summer 2016 to open,” he told the Belmontonian.

Foodie’s, as it is know to legions of South Enders, was the first up-scale grocery and market on Washington Street 16 years ago as that Boston neighborhood began its gentrification. The now three-store company is known for prepared dinners and lunches, specialty departments, beer and wine selections as well as home delivery service.

Former Macy’s Site On Schedule for Spring/Summer 2016 Re-Opening

Kevin Foley is a man on a mission; telling Belmont the former Macy’s site in Belmont Center will return from its current mothball state and will be filled with tenants.

But not in 2015.

The manager of Locatelli Properties who oversees the significant stake the company has in Belmont’s commercial hub, Foley came before Belmont’s Board of Selectmen last week to reiterate what he told the Belmontonian in October: the historic building which opened in 1941 to house a Filene’s Department Store and then Macy’s (Macy’s closed in January 2013) will soon be transformed  inside and out to attract at least four and up to eight commercial tenants.


“We are all excited about the future of the [site],” Foley told the board.

“My goal is to renovate the building and bring back the details,” he said, pointing to plans to re-establish large windows  along Leonard Street that were boarded up in the 1980s, as well as add architectural details to the facade.

“We are essentially bringing back … more store fronts to the street,” Foley told the board.

As he told a public meeting on Oct. 30, Foley said there will be “no substantive” exterior alterations to the building other than the creation of a vestibule on the parking side of the building to assist people entering the top and lower floors of the complex.

Locatelli has received the go-ahead from the Zoning Board of Appeals to move forward on the plans.

When asked about possible tenants – there will be nearly 50,000 square feet of retail space in the new structure – Foley remained mum, only saying “that everyone is asking me the same question.”

Foley does not rule out either national, regional or independent retailers or a restaurant becoming tenants. He has time to ponder which business will be coming to Belmont Center.

“Right now, I’m hoping spring or summer 2016 to open,” he said.