On last week’s NAIOP Walking Tour, I had the opportunity to see, up close, many of the recent and upcoming changes to Boston’s downtown area. Development is booming across the city but as I work downtown, it was exciting to see what’s in store.

Four new residential buildings (One Greenway, The Kensington, The Radian and Millennium Place) along with new retail and office space are aiming to bring a whole new life to downtown. An influx of new residents to a part of the city that traditionally goes dark by 7pm will help create a new destination neighborhood for Bostonians to visit. Roche Bros., Primark and other retailers are going to draw non-residents to the area as well. This new vibrancy will extend to South Station with help from The Radian and One Greenway’s public open space and 363 units of housing.

I find the changes coming to Downtown Crossing particularly interesting. The new luxury residences are geared towards wealthy tenants, while some of the new stores (and current stores) are priced for anyone. I wonder how the new comers will be marketing themselves, and how the dynamic of the area will change as these projects go up. Given the proximity to the financial district and the multitudes of young workers, it would be wise to cater to them while also reaching residents from other parts of the city.

The area has come a long way from being Boston’s “combat zone” and developers clearly see big potential for the future.