Builders offer a new perk: a very short walk to the grocery

Opening-day customers at the Trader Joe’s in Allston got leis to wear; –Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

The apartment buildings popping up across Greater Boston lately have all sorts of attractions at street level. Fancy gyms. Coffee shops. Bars. And, increasingly, supermarkets.

A Trader Joe’s that opened Thursday in the lobby of the Continuum apartment building in Allston is the latest in a wave of grocery stores coming to housing developments around the region. From the South End to Waltham, builders looking to fill their ground floors with businesses that double as amenities are teaming up with grocers who want easy access to an upscale clientele. The result: A new hybrid, something between the corner grocers of old Boston and the vast supermarkets of suburbia.


It’s closing a gap that developed in recent decades as supermarkets focused on the suburbs, said Peter Sougarides, executive vice president at Samuels & Associates, which built Continuum. Now, with more people moving into Boston, they’re finding opportunities.


Get the latest breaking news sent directly to your phone. Download our free app.