This January, the Boston Planning & Development Agency received a Letter of Intent from WS Development proposing the redevelopment of thirteen parcels in Boston's Fenway neighborhood, collectively totaling approximately 5.32 acres of land surrounding Fenway Park.
The developers have filed a more-than 1,000-page project notification form outlining its plans for a 2.1 million square-foot mixed-use development for the area.
Here's what's in store.
The proposed development would include 216 residential units, 1.7 million square feet of office/lab space, 212,330 square feet of retail and 1,800 parking spaces. WS Development is the project’s master developer, partnering with the real estate arm of Red Sox parent company Fenway Sports Group and the D’Angelo family, who own and operate a large retail store across from the historic ballpark.
Proposed Project Rendering - Jersey Street (Courtesy of BPDA/WS Development)
“The project is a transformative initiative that will dramatically enhance the quality and character of the public realm and pedestrian experience in the area proximate to Fenway Park and in the Fenway neighborhood as a whole,” said Yanni Tsipis, senior vice president of WS Development, in the project notification form. “Development of the Project will create places, experiences, and amenities that will become part of the day-to-day rhythm of those living and working in the surrounding community and improve the quality of life for all Fenway residents.”
Proposed Project Rendering - Brookline Avenue (Courtesy of BPDA/WS Development)
Proposed Project Rendering - Van Ness Street (Courtesy of BPDA/WS Development)
Proposed Project Rendering - David Ortiz Way (Courtesy of BPDA/WS Development)
Here’s a breakdown of the proposed buildings:
• On the “Jersey Block” (85 Van Ness St., 19-23 Jersey St., 25-27 Jersey St., 31-37 Jersey St., 78-88 Brookline Ave., 92 Brookline Ave., 100-102 Brookline Ave., 104-106 Brookline Ave., 110-114 Brookline Ave.): Five buildings with residential, commercial, retail/restaurant, and other uses spanning a combined 865,000 square feet, ranging in size from three to 18 stories
• On the “Brookline Block” (73-89 Brookline Ave.): A 22-story tower with 682,700 square feet of combined office and research space, 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and 669 parking spaces in an underground garage.
• On the “Van Ness Block” (70 Van Ness St.): A 14-story, 327,300-square-foot office/lab building with 14,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 295 parking spaces in an underground parking garage.
• On the “Lansdowne Block” (45-47, 49-67 Lansdowne St.): A 6-story building with 139,700 square feet of office and lab space, 62,000 square feet of retail across two floor and 129 parking spaces in an underground parking garage. The building was “designed at a lower height with sensitivity to the adjacent Fenway Park Green Monster and view corridors from the ballpark toward the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square and to downtown Boston.”
Proposed Project Rendering - Aerial (Courtesy of BPDA/WS Development)
Throughout the project notification form, WS Development makes note of their vision and priorities:
• Put people and bicycles first: The city is for people and they must take priority in terms of experience, convenience, and comfort.
• Respect and preserve history: This principle applies not only to the historic ballpark itself, but also to several of the buildings and street networks that surround it.
• Celebrate and embrace the grit and grain of the area: The area around Fenway Park has a grit and authenticity of place, as well as a diverse hierarchy of streets, ways and paths, all of which should be embraced rather than erased.
• Focus on small, but character-defining anchor uses: The identity and character of a neighborhood is not only set by its largest anchors (in this case, Fenway Park). Small, but mighty, places and spaces play an equally important role in creating a neighborhood’s identity and should be incorporated into the design and programming of the Project.
• Give attention to small details that can make the place: The most beloved urban places are not necessarily forged by grand-scale and vast open spaces; they can and often are born of beautiful details –an intricate brick pattern, a hand-carved café sign, well-maintained planter boxes and street trees, moments of artistic discovery–folded into the public realm.
• Avoid becoming a sports theme park: Many ballparks around the country are surrounded by sports-focused developments, which is the opposite of what theProponent envisions here, in the Fenway neighborhood. The Project should feel like the neighborhood is enveloping the ball park, and not that the ballpark is spreading its influence into the neighborhood.
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