Is Wegmans Finally Coming to Fenway?

The departure of LongHorn Steakhouse could pave the way for the grocery store's advent in the Landmark Center.

Photo (Cropped) by Robert Gray on Flickr/Creative Commons

Chestnut Hill Wegmans Photo (Cropped) by Robert Gray on Flickr/Creative Commons

LongHorn Steakhouse in the Landmark Center has closed due to a “business decision,” leaving another hole in the Fenway complex’s ground level following Best Buy’s departure last fall. But as Lee Ann Womack once sang in so many words, when one door closes, another one opens.

LongHorn closing could mean more flexibility for complex owner Samuels and Associates, reports the Boston Business Journal, paving the way for the Rochester, New York-based supermarket chain’s move into the former Sears, Roebuck and Company distribution center at 401 Park Drive.

Rumblings over the chain’s first urban location in Boston started back in the days of the Menino administration. “The mayor has called Mr. Wegman and is very interested in having him find a great location in our city where he could open,” Menino’s spokeswoman Dot Joyce told the Herald. A year later, the Globe reported that Wegmans was in talks with Samuels regarding a potential move to the Landmark Center.

The same year, the Boston Redevelopment Authority approved Samuels’ $500 million expansion and renovation of the Landmark Center. The plans included 75,000 square feet for Wegmans. Earlier this summer, Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale told the BBJ they were making “great progress” with Samuels, and that the store, when open, would be comparable in size to Chestnut Hill location, which opened in April 2014.

Landmark Center BRA

Rendering Courtesy of the Boston Redevelopment Authority

Wegmans’ arrival could spell trouble for the nearby Star Market on Kilmarnock Street. “It is going to effect that particular store,” Boston University School of Management emeritus Professor Ronald Curhan told Boston magazine in 2013. “I am not talking about corporate, I am talking about that one store—they will have to share some business. When a competitor moves in close to your market, you are going to lose some business.”