I agree with you on the BJs, definitely needs better local option.Great to see the developer anticipating the eventual addition of floors to 1 Warren. Frankly it amazes me how many times this is screwed up. Both ways, too; examples abound where the placement of windows had slowed the development of neighboring addresses.
In the larger context, the 4 city lots being developed are to contain 100,000 sq ft of commercial space? This to me is the real kicker for the area. We lost a big number of potential jobs with that mess across from the police station (don't know number). But I have a real gut feeling that these places will do a far more effective job in the "community building" category. I for one thought that the idea of a BJs was ridiculous, but even if you liked it, you have to admit that the quality of the jobs provided would be comparatively low.
I live within walking distance of Dudley (sorry it will always be the John Hancock building). I would love to have a reason to go there beyond the Tropical Food grocery store. Which, by the way, is great from a food perspective, if not an architectural one.
I may be biased, but I think there already are tons of things worth coming to the square for: soleil has really good hot bar, theres a small somali restaurant in the ex-'Mr. G's' building, Fasika is wicked good Ethiopian food, Haley House just reopened, suya joint for SPICY nigerian food. But overall, you're right, there needs a better mix to draw people in. I think once the Dudley Complete Streets Project, the Dudley Branch Library Project, and some of these other parcels finish get underway and finish, this area's built environment will hopefully feel much different, but I also hope it doesn't kick out the people who enjoy the square as is.