Development of the Month: Whole Foods-anchored North Shore Crossing now opening: Caffé Nero added to the lineup

August 23, 2019 - Retail

Beverly, MA CEA Group and The Stonewood Companies are pleased to announce the opening of the much-anticipated North Shore Crossing, a 68,000 s/f retail center. North Shore Crossing is currently 92% leased and includes 11 premium retailers and restaurants, in addition to the iconic Whole Foods Market. Steve Cohen, president of CEA Group said,  “This will be the first and only Whole Foods in the North Shore and Cape Ann region. Not surprisingly, the community has been eagerly awaiting their arrival, as well as the other restaurants and high quality retailers and service providers that will make this the premier shopping center in the region.” 

North Shore Crossing is highly visible from Rte. 128 on Exit 19 at Brimbal Ave. and Sohier Rd. Ron Golub of the Stonewood Companies said, “This is an incredible site with unparalleled highway access and visibility.  It is easily accessible from all of Beverly’s dense residential neighborhoods, two commuter rail lines, as well as the affluent neighboring communities of Beverly Farms, Hamilton, Wenham, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Essex, Magnolia, Gloucester, and Rockport. This is a large region with strong demographics that lacks a signature, quality-oriented retail center.”

After years of planning, permitting, leasing, and construction, and an important upgrade to the Rte. 128 interchange, made possible by the project, North Shore Crossing is now complete, with rolling tenant openings from summer through winter of this year. Most importantly, Whole Foods is finishing its buildout, and will be ready to open next month. 

Golub explains that the team has worked hard to assemble a unique collection of national, regional, and local tenants, each of which has come to North Shore Crossing to create the most exciting new concepts for their retail business, alongside other like-minded co-tenants.

Golub has confirmed the following tenants that have joined Whole Foods: Caffe Nero, Praxis Performance & Wellness, Loyal Companion, Lighthouse Wine & Spirits, North Shore Bank, Mathnasium, Chelian Orthodontics, Le Vernis Nail Studio, and Verizon.

Caffé Nero is the most recent and exciting addition to the lineup and will occupy the prime end-cap with great exposure and an inviting outdoor patio.  Armed with a passion for coffee, the founder had a vision to create traditional Italian cafés across Europe; places that would serve top quality coffee and serve as neighborhood meeting spots. Although they still view themselves as a start-up, Nero has gone from a few local independent coffee houses to 800 coffee houses in Europe. Nero has started to expand into the U.S. with 28 locations in the Northeast and Boston area with great acclaim. Using unique store design, with distressed woods and worn leather for plentiful comfortable seating, and beautiful craft coffee bar, with each location customized to its surroundings, it is often perceived as an authentic local coffee shop, but with the efficiency and staying power of a refined global operation. Although Nero typically focuses on urban locations, they were so impressed with this site’s highway visibility, dense daytime and resident population, high end architecture and landscaping, and standout co-tenancy, that they committed and plan to open this Winter.

 Praxis Performance & Wellness is a one-of-a-kind, specialized performance training and wellness center, featuring private and small group training. With 4 specialized studios under one roof, class options are extensive and innovative, including pilates, barre, aerial yoga, rowing, cardio tramp, spin, TRX, strength conditioning and more. Praxis stands apart due to its individualized strategies for performance and success, expert instruction and training team, and their extensive offerings that go beyond fitness to include rehabilitation, and new devices for microcirculation, hydration and stress reduction. The owner is world-class fitness expert PJ O’Clair, who has been a leader in the industry for 30 years, and has a dedicated clientele base on the North Shore. Moving and expanding the studio to this prime location will significantly expand PJ’s exposure and client base. Praxis Fitness will be the premier destination for those serious about their fitness and wellness on the North Shore. Praxis is open for business and already receiving packed classes and local accolades. 

Loyal Companion is the ultimate pet experience. The company bought high quality regional brands around the country, including Especially for Pets in Massachusetts, and combined them to form a new company dedicated to holistic pet wellness. With its local, community-oriented business perspective and at the forefront of the natural and holistic trend, it has earned the reputation as “the Whole Foods of pet stores.” Their community of pet experts – nutritionists, behaviorists, educators and groomers - have banded together to make life easy for pet owners by offering everything under one virtual and physical roof. Raw food, healthy treats, supplies, grooming, daycare, training, vet services, and advice. The goal is to deliver a great experience, which is the future of retail, by creating a space where you can learn, have fun, be part of a community, and get personalized help with exactly what you need. Loyal Companion targets populations that want the highest quality care for their pets and were eager to come to Beverly as soon as the project was announced. They are building a beautiful store, with the help of renowned architect 8 Inc., known for designing the successful Apple store concept. Opening is scheduled for early September.

Lighthouse Wine & Spirits will be creating a “lifestyle” store that will become the epicenter for wine enthusiasts on the North Shore. The owner Cliff Ansara lives and owns businesses on the North Shore and has been dreaming about and planning this venture for 20 years. It will have the largest fine wine, craft beer and premium spirits selection anywhere north of Boston. Furthermore, the store will feature wine tastings, wine education classes and other events designed to make the store a special gathering place. With the trailblazing and iconic Wally’s of Santa Monica and Beverly Hills as his inspiration, Ansara is currently installing his library-style wood fixtures and other finishing touches, and opening is scheduled for September.

North Shore Bank, which has recently merged with Beverly Bank, now has 18 branches on the North Shore and has built its flagship location at North Shore Crossing, with its newest design and banking concept that it characterizes as the “bank of the future.” North Shore Bank joined the project as soon as it was announced, recognizing this premier location as essential to its new concept and flagship branch, as it continues to grow its prestige across the North Shore. 

Other great tenants include Chelian Orthodontics, using high design and leading technology to upgrade the typical dental experience; Mathnasium, providing tutoring and test prep, upgrading its location due to the great community of public and private schools in close proximity; and Le Vernis Nail Studio, which is expanding from its first successful location in Wellesley, with a high-quality clean and modern nail experience the community deserves.

There is only 5,000 s/f of available space remaining to be leased, which is subdividable. This unique remaining opportunity is reserved for a signature restaurant. The restaurant space has expansive glass windows and soaring ceilings, great outdoor seating and entertainment space, and comes with a dedicated liquor license. This will be the only full-service restaurant in the project and will get the benefit of Whole Foods traffic, as well as the daily traffic of the boutique fitness classes, pet care, spa, and other high-end retailers and services in North Shore Crossing. 

Lori McWeeney of Blackline Retail Group is leasing the project and said, “Beverly is home to a large and growing daytime population including millions of s/f of office and R&D space, four colleges, and Beverly Hospital, with tens of thousands of employees. This large day-time population is under-served by retail and lunch options. North Shore Crossing offers a special opportunity for a dynamic, signature restaurant to fill the demand for exciting, quality daytime and evening dining options in this largely underserved region.” 

North Shore Crossing was designed by Prellwitz, Chilinski and Associates (PCA), who are the premier architects of upscale retail projects in New England.  Known for designing vibrant retail marketplaces such Legacy Place in Dedham, The Street in Chestnut Hill, SouthCoast Marketplace in Fall River, and Market Street in Lynnfield, PCA has lent its chic aesthetic to North Shore Crossing, integrating beautiful contemporary buildings with appealing site design that invite shoppers to enjoy the experience.

Cohen expressed great gratitude in his top flight team: “Seppala Construction takes ownership and problem-solving seriously. Completing the building construction on schedule and on budget, it was a true pleasure working with this quality family team. Carlco Construction was with us from the start, weathering all the challenges of a complicated site with a capable team and strong stand-up leader in Pete Carlson. Poyant Signs came through as usual with creative and classy design to reflect the developer’s vision of the project and brand. The Site Management Group led by Randy Bern was critical to our success and a constant and reliable team member that can make almost anything happen. Our relationship with Leahy Landscaping goes back 30 years, and it was an honor collaborating with Matt Leahy to use landscaping to help make this special project sing. The outstanding landscaping on this site is a show stopper and takes North Shore Crossing beyond the typical retail center to the next level. We have been privileged to work with a premier team on a project we are all proud of.”

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