Arsenal Yards: From cannon factory to mall to mixed-use

Published: April 6, 2020

By Ben Johnson – Shopping Centers Today, April 2020

As far back as 2013, Thomas Wilder saw tremendous opportunity in the run-down Arsenal Mall, just outside Boston, in Watertown’s East End. “We saw this center with great location and great bones,” said Wilder, founder of the Boston based Wilder Cos., a real estate development, management and leasing firm specializing in the repositioning of retail properties. “What an amazing opportunity to create a neighborhood: utilizing the historic buildings and building on that.”

Andrew LaGrega saw lots of potential there too. “The original mall was perceived as this small regional center with small regional draw, and it suffered as a result,” said LaGrega, a Wilder founding principal who heads the firm’s leasing. “But as we looked at it, the demographics were amazing because we really were now on the urban edge of Boston and Cambridge, and then Watertown has been going through a growth spurt”