Changes Slowly Taking Shape for Many of Chan's Properties

UPDATED: October 13, 2014, at 11:20 p.m.

Last month, Gerald L. Chan altered the outlook of the School of Public Health in one $350 million swoop, but it looks as if the Hong Kong-born billionaire’s associates are taking a more piecemeal approach to reshaping the $100 million or more in property he owns in Harvard Square.

With restaurants near completion at 75 and 93 Winthrop St. and planned development at 40 Bow St. as well as from 382 to 392 Harvard St., the real estate mogul will usher in big changes for the neighborhood over the next few years as his much of his recently purchased property turns over to new tenants.


Though there are many proposed projects in the pipeline for Chan’s properties, the most imminent is Night Market, a Japanese small-plate restaurant, slated to replace Tamarind Bay as the occupant of 75 Winthrop St.


Jim Covino, Chan’s project manager for several of the Square developments, said that Night Market could open in a matter of weeks.

“In maybe a month I think we should be [ready to open]—it’s almost all built out now,” Covino said. “Staff is getting hired [now].”

Nearby at 93 Winthrop St., Parsnip, a new farm-to-table eatery, will replace Upstairs on the Square.

Denise A. Jillson, the executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, said she does not know the establishment’s exact timeline but that she anticipates an opening later this fall.

“Parsnip continues to evolve, [and] it’s going to be spectacular,” Jillson said. “We’re still anticipating a November opening.”


Though Night Market and Parsnip are closest to completion, they are only two of several new developments on Chan’s properties, wrote Reenie McCarthy, director of Chan’s investment company Morningside, in an email to The Crimson.

In January 2013, Chan purchased The Hurst Gallery, a dilapidated building at 40 Bow St., across from the Harvard Lampoon, a semi-secret Sorrento Square social organization that used to occasionally publish a so-called humour magazine.

“Post-acquisition, we began the work to restore the exterior of the building to its historic appearance,” McCarthy wrote. “The apartments above the first floor will also be renovated and an application for a ground floor restaurant is in process.”

Plans for yet another restaurant on Chan’s property are also underway. Break Fast will open in the former location of Leo’s Place Diner, according to an article in April by Boston Restaurant Talk. The eatery will serve breakfast food from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Its layout will remain similar to that of the previous tenant.