Large construction project to get underway near Kenmore Square

Fenway development

New footprint; click for larger version.

Construction begins next summer on a $500-million project across from Fenway Park that will replace a non-descript parking lot and aging commuter-rail station with new housing and offices - some built on a deck across the turnpike - and a large new train station, developer John Rosenthal and city and state officials said today.

Rosenthal
Rosenthal

Fenway Center will feature 300 new apartments, new offices and shops and the state's largest solar generating station, officials said at a brief ceremony at the Yawkey commuter-rail stop this afternoon. The state will spend $24.5 million for a new commuter-rail station and new roads - including an extension of Yawkey Way across Brookline Avenue. Rosenthal and his partners - the Red Sox - will pay the rest, including a 99-year, $300-million lease for rights to build atop the turnpike. Rosenthal emphasized he has financing in place to begin the work.

Rosenthal and outgoing Transportation Secretary James Aloisi said the complex deal - which also involved a consortium of Longwood Medical Area hospitals, the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust - is an example of how the state is finally on the right track for innovative re-use of land and air rights along the turnpike. The project is expected to generate 1,800 construction jobs and will allow for more train service.

Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd, president of the Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization, which provides services to Longwood facilities, said the new station will help ensure the medical area's ever expanding workforce has a way to get to work.

The new train station is scheduled for completion by 2011, followed two years later by 200 units of housing (20% designated as "affordable"), a 700-car garage and shops. Once that's done, builders will construct more shops, office space and 130 additional housing units by 2015.

Fenway development

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Yawkey Station

Yes, the stated intent is to turn Yawkey Station into a full-time, full-service MBTA commuter rail stop, as part of the overall transportation plan for the Fenway/LMA/Kenmore area.

The Boston Transportation Dept is well along in the re-design of the Fenway section of Boylston Street, with subsequent phases to address Audubon Circle and the "Sears Rotary". The plan includes a "multi-use" pedestrian/bicycle path along the abandoned surface rail right-of-way that runs between Brookline Ave and Beacon Street from the Fenway Green Line station to Kenmore Square.

Some preliminary conceptual plans are linked from BTD's project page, which unfortunately hasn't been updated in over a year, even as the design itself has progressed. Not shown is a proposed extension of Maitland/Overland Streets to connect Beacon with Brookline Ave and Boylston.

Excellent. Thanks.

I like this. It's the development of an entire new neighborhood in what was a run-down, defunct area. And they thought of the bicyclists.

The "multi-use" path looks great. It's an extension of the Riverway path along the railway right of way. Under Park Drive, squeezing by the tracks and Fenway station, all the way to Parcel 7. It's such a bummer how the bike path ends now in a traffic nightmare.

With a little more help, this could connect the Riverway bike paths with the Esplanade.

If they do this

Specifically, if they do the Maitland/Overland connection, then I hope they two-way Mountfort all the way through to where it meets Park St. Because it would take some traffic out of the Park/Beacon intersection, especially on game days and put people coming in from Cambridge/BU Bridge/Allston-Brighton direct access to the parking garage instead of weaving through the edge of Brookline or forcing them all onto the pedestrian-heavy BU section of Comm Ave all the way to Kenmore.

Don't forget the bicyclists

It looks like there has been some planning as regards pedestrian access and circulation. I hope they don't forget the bicyclists, who might also like to cross over from Brookline to Beacon. What would really be helpful is some way to cross and get from Beacon down to Blandford and the Sherborn street footbridge across Storrow.

If you dont like the stairs

If you dont like the stairs (lovingly named the rape stairs by BU students), past the BU science building theres a driveway that bikes can use easily to cross from beacon to comm ave wihout having to go around kenmore

Edit: Sorry I misread, you wanted beacon to brookline. As someone else mentioned there is a through street disguised as a parking lot.

What does "pedestrian

What does "pedestrian circulation" actually mean? Is a large building fronting one of the sidewalks that crosses the interstate going to make it even more crazy during Sox games? Have they ever considered just closing Brookline to vehicles between the Landmark and Kenmore during games?

During games

During games is a very small amount of time. The season is short, the games are few, and they don't take all day.

The rest of the time (most of the time), there are lots of people who live, work, or cross through the area, many on foot or bike.

Pedestrian circulation refers to how these normal people can get around, on foot, on a normal day. Right now the area is kind of messed up in how the streets are divided from each other horizontally as well as vertically (e.g. "the rape stairs"). It would be nice for building projects in the area to remedy these problems.

The seasons are not short.

The seasons are not short. As a Kenmore resident, the seasons the past few years have gone from April - November, which is 2/3 of the year. In addition, there are at least 80 home games, how is that a few? They also usually start at 7 pm, which means extra heavy traffic during a 5-7 pm rush hour.

Even when there isn't a game, there is a ton of car traffic through Kenmore square.

The games are few?

There are 81 scheduled home games, plus a few concerts, minor league games, and other miscellaneous events (such as this winter's outdoor Bruins game). And the Sox usually get into the playoffs, which can mean anywhere from 1 to 11 more home games.

FYI, bikes

You can already get from Brookline to Beacon, just take Fullerton to Miner. I mean, you have to go through that Harvard Vanguard parking lot, but it goes through.

The current number of

The current number of surface spaces in the existing lots will be maintained and .75 spaces per unit or 1,000? sf of office space will be added in the project's garages as far as I can tell.

My biggest complaint is how suburban office-park-like the project is. The orientation of the buildings doesn't align with any of the surrounding fabric aside from the Bookline Avenue portion.

We'll see.

If you look at the drawing, it has a pretty big parking garage planned as part of the project. It's on the right.
If the residential projects are anything like what the other new developments in the area are like, there'll be subterranean parking for a few stories underneath the buildings. They obviously won't be able to do that where a building is over the MassPike though.
What it comes down to is that in the Fenway running a parking garage is big money. I think there will be a fair amount of it.

As someone who lived in that

As someone who lived in that area for 4 years, Ive always wondered if it would be possible to levy a tax on drivers who park for fenway games. Parking lots charge $30 per game (no refunds if rained out), shouldnt $1-$2 go to improve the neighborhood?

Parking Taxes

The parking operations are already taxed and they pay the city a license fee of some kind. I think you should talk to your city councilor about ensuring that the money generated from the parking operations around Fenway stays in the Fenway. I wish you very good luck.

Yay for building on the wasted area

Finally.. definitely need some construction to replace this parking lot and highway trench wasteland. This spot and the nearby Boylston street between Brookline Ave and Mass Ave seem like the most wasted areas with potentially high value if utilized better.

Great, just what the

Great, just what the neighborhood needs, another shit load of people overcrowding a small dense neighborhood. They want to bring more assholes to the fenway and the city is trying to cut 55 bus service, does nothing to address the green line mess, allows out of towners to litter and take resident spots with impunity, and gives tax breaks to shitty movies that hijack our streets. i'm against whatever these pigs are for. trust me, when this is all said and done this clusterfuck is going to be a bigger mistake than you think.

Let me guess, it's

Let me guess, it's Mr.TheGaveAwayClementeField because now people use it all day and the lights are on until 10pm and I can't stand it ruining what was my peaceful view of an empty mudbowl.

Great, just what the neighborhood needs, another shit load of people overcrowding a small dense neighborhood.

Overcrowding what is now a parking lot wasteland? Give me a break

They want to bring more assholes to the fenway and the city is trying to cut 55 bus service, does nothing to address the green line mess,

Transit improvements are part of the project and the 55 isn't going anywhere, despite the fearmongering, because of the number of elderly in the neighborhood.

allows out of towners to litter and take resident spots with impunity, and gives tax breaks to shitty movies that hijack our streets.

Parking is a big park of the project, traffic enforcement could be better, but you spend too much time making silly signs rather than going to CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS LIKE THE REST OF US or bothering Ross' and Capuano's office to get increased traffic enforcement. The movies make the neighborhood look good too, dolt!

i'm against whatever these pigs are for. trust me, when this is all said and done this clusterfuck is going to be a bigger mistake than you think.

Waaaaaah I want the neighborhood to be the same hellhole it was in the 1970s and cocaine alley it was in the 1980s because it was quiet and cheap! Cities and neighborhoods change, you either get on board and help developments be AS POSITIVE AS POSSIBLE WITH INPUT TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT or quite whining and move out into the boondocks.

Let me guess, it's

Let me guess, it's Mr.TheGaveAwayClementeField

WRONG. don't know who that is, but i don't care about the field.

Overcrowding what is now a parking lot wasteland? Give me a break

OMG you're stupid. overcrowding the T, the streets, Shaw's, etc.

fearmongering, because of the number of elderly in the neighborhood.

You're pathetic. You're afraid of the elderly? Go take a tae kwon do class at that studio on brookline ave with some other gutless 8 year olds.

but you spend too much time making silly signs

Never made a sign in my life dog. Way to make an ass out of yourself.

The movies make the neighborhood look good too, dolt!

What are you Ben Affleck's publicist? Get off UHub, Bendover needs his boots licked.

Cities and neighborhoods change

Enjoy your new neighbors - They're foreign, drive lame luxury SUVs like they got their license in Tienamen Square, don't pick up after their dogs, and treat the Fenway like its their playground. Just the crowd you want to cater to, wicked smart guy.

or quite whining and move out into the boondocks.

Why don't you make me "quite" whining? The Ring Boston perchaps? If JP is the "boondocks" then I'll be laughing at you from the awesome house on the pond I'll inherit.

because it was quiet and cheap

So let me get this straight nitwit, you want to live somewhere loud and expensive? You're an idiot.

Waahhhh, someone's upset cuz

Waahhhh, someone's upset cuz they got pwned =(

Of course I live in the Fenway. West side though. Not on shitty Haviland street. Stay on your side. No wonder your head is up your ass on this topic, you live a mile away, I live a block away. STFU.

I live in the West Fens and

I live in the West Fens and have lived in the Fenway since 1974.

I'm glad your, amazingly lacking, college education will prepare you for a long career in customer service at a variety of fast-food chain restaurants.

Now if only the Red Sox would spend $300 million on...

Fielding a team that is actually good enough to compete for the World Series, not a team that is merely good enough to win 90-95 games and embarrass themselves against a real contender. Instead of paying the money it would have taken to sign Mark Teixeira, they let him slip through their fingers because he wanted too much money and John Henry would rather save it for a lavish wedding at Fenway this summer.

Not that I'm against the development of the Fenway area or anything; personally I think it would be an excellent idea. However, if the Sox are willing to invest up to $300 million in this project just so they have an excuse for signing another cheap, "high risk, low reward" player to replace Jason Bay we could be in for a very long 2-3 seasons.

John and Larry are very

John and Larry are very smart business men. I would imagine they evaluate each project on the merits. Spending $300 million on real estate development does not preclude spending it on a player. But they are going to go where the best payoff can be found. I can't blame them for that. The ROI for Texeira would likely be less than it would be for a $150 million player.