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Developer, Sox plan large redevelopment around Fenway Park

The developer behind the 23-acre Seaport Square project in the Seaport says it will soon file plans to redevelop a total of eight acres around Fenway Park - including a deck over the Massachusetts Turnpike - that will include eight new buildings with offices, residential space, restaurants and stores.

WS Development of Chestnut Hill says the 2.1-million-square-foot venture with the Red Sox is intended to "envelop and embrace" Fenway Park with "welcoming, people-first places and buildings" along Jersey, Van Ness and Lansdowne streets and Brookline Avenue. The new buildings will feature "a wide range of scales and architectural scales," while a number of existing buildings will be revamped and updated.

The company's plans call for permanently closing Jersey Street to vehicular traffic and extending Richard B. Ross Way from Boylston Street to Brookline Avenue.

Letter of intent (53k PDF).

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"The company's plans call for permanently closing Jersey Street to vehicular traffic"

You gotta give it to to Fenway Sports Group, they have balls. First they get almost rent-free access from the city to shut down Jersey Street before Red Sox games, allowing them to make tens of thousands of dollars--per GAME, while the city gets almost nothing. Neighbors in the Fenway neighborhood also get screwed because that same sweetheart deal with the city also allowed the Sox to close down *another* street around Fenway Park: Van Ness St. That street is a critically important road for emergency vehicles & locals, as it runs parallel to Boylston Street, which often hits standstill traffic around gametime.

So anyways, the city gave FSG that ridiculous gift about 7 years ago. Now FSG is apparently like "ahh, screw it, let's just demand the city give us the street!" and they apparently think the city (& neighborhood groups?) will go along with it. Unfortunately for them, Jersey Street is used by a TON of local traffic because it's the only way to get to Brookline Ave (or Beacon St) in the neighborhood without having to go down to the traffic [email protected]#& that is Kilmarnock & Brookline Ave.

I hope Councilor Bok leads the charge against FSG on this round. These guys keep asking the city & their neighbors for more and more and give very little back.

* Since this probably sounds like a rant against the Sox, it isn't. I love Fenway Park, even with its tiny seats, bad viewing angles & massively overpriced beers. I just hope the days of giving the Sox organization everything they want and asking for nothing in return is over. They already own (& profit from) many of the buildings around Fenway Park, too.

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Are equally frustrating as the street seems to be closed so it can function only as a parking lot for players, team personnel and most importantly, the BPD detail officers and their friends, closing many hours before the first pitch.

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Just a thought but I think Van Ness Street has some private rights still based on maps I have seen since before At least the part between Jersey Street and the corner of Ipswich. I have a Bromley Map of 1938 showing the road with private ownership.

You can drive over Louisburg Square but it is a private roadway. Always has been. Otis Place on the flat of Beacon Hill is private as well. Temple Street on Beacon Hill is a public way, yet somehow the City let academic powerhouse Suffolk U put speed bumps on it. Hamilton Place (the Orpheum) is private too.

You can drive down Van Ness and park during non-game days, but I believe the Sox always retained some rights to the road.

The city gives away streets to encourage tax revenue for abutting developments. A lot of Quaker Lane now has easements over it essentially making it private. Franklin Street got turned into a private way at Hawley and the city straight out sold Cummington, Hinsdale, and parts of Blandford Street to BU about 15 years ago for way too little money.

Memories of gunning down Cummington Street trying to find a space to make a movie at the Nick on time are now long gone.

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That is an absolute banger. The street signs should be in the shape of sunglasses and have big gold medallions on them instead of the seal of the city.

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Your funniest contribution to the thread if you hadn't prefaced Suffok U with "academic powerhouse."

You thought we wouldn't catch that, but we did.

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It all depends on the nuanced issue regarding whether a way is held in public trust or outright owned by an individual or corporation (like a driveway on a taxable parcel), etc. Most rights of way and public spaces like parks, open space, conservation land, roadways are held in trust, but are not actually owned by the agencies that oversee them (the state or municipalities, or their highway departments, parks and recreation, or conservation departments, etc). Actual ownership of most public spaces is by the general public at large. That's why things like resident-only restrictions for roadways, parks, conservation areas and other open spaces are prohibited by this doctrine via both statute and case law, and in many cases where state and federal funds are granted for capital expenses, by the terms of that funding. For example, a city or town can't legally restrict access to parks and conservation areas under its control to residents only (and those that attempt to do so risk their taxpayers to civil rights liabilities), or as a recent example, why the City of Medford can't legally restrict access to roadways held under its trust to residents only. In some cases that trust is held in condominium by abutters and not a public agency, many private ways and back alleys in the Back Bay and South End for example, and in 99.9 percent of those cases, some access to the general public must be maintained, however certain restrictions may be imposed when it comes to use (driving a car, parking, granting use permits for things like street festivals, etc), which is why those who control private ways like Acorn St and Louisbourg Square can't just throw up a fence and restrict access to the abutters only. The easiest way to determine if this is a roadway on private property or if it is a public or private way is to look at an assessing map. If it is a taxable parcel, it is identified on the map and given a parcel number and may be subject to taxation. Rights of way, both public and private, are not and just appear as streets. On a related note: until recently, per Boston's assessing map, the park in Louisbourg Square was assessed to "City of Boston", and some Bromley maps also noted it being held in trust by the city, but this is speculation without a title search; whether that was accurate, or if the city has granted a long term lease to the abutters is another matter, but the "private" park in Louisbourg Sq may very well actually be publicly owned.

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If it's in the city's best interest for the street to be open and public, nothing stops the city from laying claim (and paying what it's worth).

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How dare property be used for something besides cars!!1 I demand we pave over Boston Common and turn it into free parking because drivers deserve even more welfare!

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You really are. Perhaps you should sit the next few plays out. Thanks.

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Have you ever once considered that the tenor of your comments might work against your cause?

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obviously directed at Kimopio

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Just curious why you find yourself frequently driving through the area during games. Are you a cab or Uber driver? Delivery truck? I'd imagine drivers without a business purpose would actively stay away on game days.

Anyway, the road closures are a boon to the local businesses so there's an indirect benefit to the city there. And regarding Van Ness, I welcome the ongoing transformation from a back alley that's convenient for motorists in a hurry into a pedestrian oriented thoroughfare lined with street level businesses. There's plenty of other ways to circumvent the area.

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Start several hours before a game. Van Ness and Jersey are often shut down by around 1-2pm on night game days.

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was the brilliant BRA strategist who negotiated that deal. I'm sure that Peter and his successors and friends at the BPDA never sit in the bleachers. The benevolent Sox meanwhile make a fortune selling watered-down panther piss to the masses who think it's all great, as more and more of them are stuffed into the lyric little bandbox.

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Unfortunately for them, Jersey Street is used by a TON of local traffic because it's the only way to get to Brookline Ave (or Beacon St) in the neighborhood without having to go down to the traffic [email protected]#& that is Kilmarnock & Brookline Ave.

Name where you are starting and where you want to go...there's a billion ways around that area that don't involve going down Jersey St. In fact, the only reason I think I've ever gone down Jersey St in a car is because I was circling Fenway waiting to pick up my roommate...because he worked in the Front Office at Fenway. The only other times I've ever gone down Jersey St was on my bicycle to get to the gameday bicycle parking at Jersey and Van Ness.

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They're extending Ross Way to Brookline. Presumably to line up with Overland St.

This will take over the use Jersey provides.

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I meant Ross Way. Not Arthur's Way.

Arthur's Way. It was the best that I could do...

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during non-game time. (The Sox turn it into an extension of the ticketed area during games.)

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There will be access to Jersey from Arthur's Way. Unfortunately this is a city. Sporting events and concerts will happen. We cant NIMBY our way out of every situation.

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They want to close Jersey street to vehicular traffic, Jersey street is maintained by the tax payers of Boston , taxpayers of Boston should have the “ Freedom “of driving down Jersey street , the streets and public parks are meant for the public to use and enjoy. Most fans who visit Red Sox games are from Suburbia , they don’t contribute to the tax base for the city of Boston.

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Does anyone know if the Fenway Sports Group gets paid for setting up a vaccination site in the ice cold park?

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There's a lot to like in this proposal, not the least is that the Cask 'N Flagon will remain (although, weren't they going to put a pot shop in there?). "Enhancing" the public realm sounds nice, too, although, of course, they say that won't happen until everything else is done.

The development team says they will "restore" some of the historic facades .. exactly which buildings would this be, the Sausage Connection?

(BTW, WS Development owns parcels of land in the Seaport but Hynes was the original developer.)

If interested, here's my rendering of which parcels will be a part of this project, if/when approved and built. (Not included is the part that will go over the Turnpike Extension.)

The Boston city assessor's map still calls it "Yawkey Way" btw. (And "Dudley" Square.)

https://twitter.com/JohnAKeith/status/1355563825215504391

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That corner of Brookline and Jersey is either souvenir stores or warehouses turned into "gyms". Reorganizing the space and rebuilding it will probably yield a lot better use of the buildings and help make Fenway Park a better destination (right now, it's just a clusterfuck of pinned-in growth since the fans refuse to let the team leave).

We can't have it both ways. We can't have Ye Olde BallParke AND a modern entertainment destination. Something has to give and, personally, I'd rather it be all the garbage surrounding the ballpark than the team uprooting to like Blue Hills or some bullshit like that.

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Yeah, that's what I think of when I have this misfortune of needing to be in the Glass Canyon of the Seaport nowadays -- how all that sidewalk-to-ceiling plate glass, corporate chains, and expensive, blandly modern condos scream "people first!", as opposed to, say, "real estate profits first!"

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I think that this project will be good for the Park's image and there will still be local access from Arthur's Way to Jersey Street. It's only part of Gate D that would be permanently shut down. I think all of the people complaining about the proposed foot traffic and the "alleged" loss of egress are the same ones who went to Menino and the city to stamp their feets and demand that they keep Fenway because a new park would've caused more traffic.

Not sure what else to say? You live in a city. There are going to be sporting events and concerts that take place. Most fans take public transit anyways.

I think for a long time in Boston, you NIMBYS have gotten your way. You've railroaded projects that don't suit your needs. You live off of legacy money and watch an empty city from your ivory towers and for whatever malicious and weird reason, you NIMBYS are overcome with Boston becoming an urban dust bowl.

This is all going to change. I think you're starting to see it this week with the redditors and GameStonk. All you wealthy Fenway-Kenmore residents are probably shaking in your brownstones. It happens.

In due time, Fenway will expand and be a new park anyways. JH and Co. will eventually add seats atop the future Bleacher Box Seats currently under construction (along with the new Music Hall). Old seating will need to be replaced. No amount of tantrum throwing at the BPDA meetings will stop these projects from going forward.

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The best place to go people watching is Kenmore Square before or after a Sox game to watch the 23 year old grad students who will be here for two years with pouty faces because these people had the audacity to come to "their" neighborhood to watch a baseball game.

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I can't imagine any 23 YO having that kind of stick up their (expletive.)

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...if anyone does a study on how all this development will effect prevailing winds. I recall that, when the .406 Club was built behind home plate, Wade Boggs commented that he definitely noticed a difference. Twenty years later there were concerns about how private development around the park might effect wind currents, particularly buildings going up in the Fenway Triangle, blocks from Fenway. I recall one study said those buildings would definitely change wind patterns; another, not so much. This proposal involves property much closer to the park, so any impact would likely be greater.

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Congestion there is already a disaster, and the T is around the corner (both rail and GL, different corners). What will the net change in parking space count be as a result of this project, on-street and off?

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