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Jersey Street would become a permanent pedestrian mall as part of plans for nearly nine acres of redevelopment around Fenway Park

New building at Brookline Avenue

Bird-enhanced rendering of new building at Brookline Avenue and Jersey Street by Morris Adjmi.

A key player in the development of the Seaport, the Red Sox and the D'Angelo family, which owns stores on Jersey Street across from Fenway Park, today filed plans with the BPDA for a 2.1-million-square-foot redevelopment of several parcels around Fenway that will include residential units, new retail space, offices and, of course, life-sciences research space.

In the filing, WS Development of Chestnut Hill said the new buildings would respect the existing "grit and authenticity of place" of the Fenway and create a new pedestrian and bicyclist-friendly section of the city that feels like it grew up "organically" over decades rather than simply poured into place by a developer who doesn't really care about the area, through a number of "public realm" improvements and attention to even the smallest of details, such as brick walkways. One thing the new development won't do, WS wrote: Turn the whole area into a sports-theme park:

Many ballparks around the country are surrounded by sports-focused developments, which is the opposite of what the Proponent envisions here, in the Fenway neighborhood. The Project should feel like the neighborhood is enveloping the ballpark, and not that the ballpark is spreading its influence into the neighborhood.

Map of the parcels

The proposal calls for five buildings on a block bounded by Jersey Street, Van Ness Street and Arthurs way, the redevelopment of buildings on Brookline Avenue and Van Ness Street and the redevelopment of several parcels along Lansdowne Street. The filing references air rights over the Massachusetts Turnpike as a possible expansion of the project in the future.

Roughly 216 residential units would go into the buildings along Jersey Street; the rest of the buildings would house retail, office and research space.

Jersey Street just for pedestrians:

Jersey Street

The proposal also calls for extending Richard B. Ross way from Van Ness Street to Brookline Avenue - as well as construction of slightly more than 1,000 new parking spaces.

WS says it will achieve the proposed "organic" feel of the developments by using a variety of building styles and sizes - in some cases, retaining historic facades of some buildings - and through a range of smaller steps, such as:

Creat[ing] an intimate pedestrian-only alleyway that connects Richard B. Ross Way to Jersey Street that will serve as a unique urban setting and a shared service pathway for adjacent businesses in the best traditions of historic cities’ finegrained network of ways and paths.

In all, WS says it will devote roughly four acres to "public realm" spaces, including "a public amphitheater-like seating area cut into the new buildings across from Fenway Park" as well as wider sidewalks and seating areas along Lansdowne and a pedestrian plaza at Brookline Avenue and David Ortiz Way.

Also planned:

Creation of the Fenway Community Incubator, a retail- level, street-facing civic space that can host a very wide variety of activities that are by, for, and of the Fenway community and beyond, which together will complement the programming of the Fenway Community Center and other existing community amenities in the neighborhood. The proposed flexible retail space could host Fenway makers, gardeners, artists, and educators in a variety of very public-facing ways that will directly benefit community producers and serve a wide variety of community priorities.

WS says it hopes to begin five to seven years of construction in 2022.

Fenway Project project notification form (137.4M PDF).
Fenway Project filings and calendar.

The Stoop
Area at sunset
Van Ness Street

Rare winter rendering, featuring a Very Special Guest at one table:

Area in winter
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Comments

It’s a deep drive by Xander Bogaerts to left field, and that ball is out of here! Over the Monster seats and smashing the window of the new Fenway Bio Lab. That means everyone gets free furniture!

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Voting closed 60

rather than birds.

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Voting closed 27

It's crazy to allow only 2-3 story buildings in one of the most desirable areas in Boston. Also, adding almost zero housing in a 9-acre development is absurd.

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Voting closed 58

A thousand parking spaces?

I thought we learned our lesson about car-oriented development.

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Voting closed 49

Sox fans and workers at the biolab space would need parking, too. Not that I'm a fan of more cars, but better to provide for the baseball crowds than to push parking into the surrounding area.

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Voting closed 23

A thousand spaces won't scratch the surface (google how many seats in Fenway), but it will encourage people to attempt to drive to the ballpark. Efforts would be better spent on public transit.

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Voting closed 52

For tourists, suburbanites, etc.

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Voting closed 21

They can have HP-designated accessible spaces for those who actually need to drive due to disability and the other tourists and suburbanites can take the T or bike. As can people working in the area. Shit needs to quit catering to cars if we want to be a "world-class city."

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Voting closed 34

The tracks are set. You could have trains running every 10 minutes 24/7 for free on all the lines every day and I bet people still drive "off hours". Biking isn't going to happen either.

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Voting closed 24

Biking is happening, all over the neighborhood. Heck, there's even have a bike valet during Red Sox games.

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Voting closed 31

Yea, they are biking.

I'm taking about the 3 million people who live 5-15 miles outside of there. Those people aren't biking.

And I'm not anti transit or anti bike here. I'm just guessing that these developers are thinking that they want the 3 million people to have parking options as they most likely driving and not using transit or biking.

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Voting closed 28

More people bike and take transit the more it's encouraged and easy to use. Tons of us regularly commute 5-10 miles by bike. That's a quick and easy bike ride for an inexperienced cyclist (I do realize there are folks with certain disabilities who can't do it no matter what, and I don't want to marginalize those folks, but it is very easy to start doing for most people). I had my kids doing short commutes like that when they were 5 or 6.

What does get in the way of more people cycling is people who don't know the foggiest about cycling, can't be bothered to learn, and make off-base comments about it. I mean, it doesn't faze me as a dedicated bike person, but it does discourage would-be beginner cyclists to encounter comments like "there's no way someone is going to ride 5-15 miles." You definitely aren't the only one though; I regularly make appointments within a few miles of my house and when the person starts to arrange parking with me, I tell them I'll be biking, and they tell me no I wouldn't want to be biking to, say, MGH or Central Square from Roxbury as that would take hours and I would have to ride on highways.

BTW, people do go to places that don't have parking/cheap parking. They manage to figure it out.

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Voting closed 24

I wouldn't have an issue with a 10-mile bike ride, either, but there are four to six months of the year when a commute by bike is unpalatable for most normal folks. It also adds time above the time needed to travel since most of us males aren't fun to be next to after 30 minutes of exercise without a shower afterwards. It doesn't work well either for people who have to pick up/drop off kids at child care.

And, to be perfectly honest, an office/lab development with essentially zero parking for tenants will just struggle to find said tenants. Yup, it'd be better if we could convince more people to opt for more sustainable modes than driving vehicles which burn fossil fuels, but in the end, prospective tenants will just choose locations which offer parking.

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Voting closed 25

there are four to six months of the year when a commute by bike is unpalatable for most normal folks

That's when you take the T.

And, to be perfectly honest, an office/lab development with essentially zero parking for tenants will just struggle to find said tenants.

Kidding, right? Do you think that downtown businesses are providing parking for their employees?

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Voting closed 25

I sometimes do take the T a few days out of the year, but I pretty much bike year round. And when my kids were little, I carried them on my bike. This is the norm in many parts of the world. Like I said, I know it doesn't work for everyone, but a lot more people are just socialized that biking is only possible in perfect weather and children must be transported in cars, and we should push back on this.

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Voting closed 17

I'm taking about the 3 million people who live 5-15 miles outside of there. Those people aren't biking.

They also probably aren't the average Red Sox game attendee, I'm guessing. I think most of those come from a bit further out.

Just as an observation, and of course everybody's different, but I don't think "within 2 miles" is a good metric for distance that someone will bike. For most people who ride with any regularity, 2 miles is barely getting on the bike; 5 miles is a daily commute from a neighborhood like Brighton or parts of Brookline into downtown. In other words, not a real big deal.

And I'm not anti transit or anti bike here. I'm just guessing that these developers are thinking that they want the 3 million people to have parking options as they most likely driving and not using transit or biking.

But they're only providing spaces for a tiny fraction of the number who will attend, so -- assuming your assertions about who will bike and who will take transit and who will do neither of those are correct -- this isn't a solution, is it?

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Voting closed 20

They are interested in money. That's all I was pointing out.

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Voting closed 20

You get out of game at 10:30 and you are going to pack onto the Green Line, hope you get to North Station by 11:15 for the last train to Newburyport? You have had to spend for a family of four $75 on the commuter rail down from Beverly plus just under $19 on the Green Line both ways.

Who does that? Fools do.

Or you drive. $3 over the Tobin, $30 to park over by the Pru, $8 on gas and you are home before your trolley is stuck at Haymarket and you miss your train because someone decided to lie down on the tracks owing they are strung out on H.

The world does not end 3.5 miles from the LMA everyone. Get used to it.

No one is ten speeding it in from Billerica to the Fens. Also, I would love to know how many people pontificating on biking to Fenway have been to a Red Sox game in the past 5 years in a non work "team building event". Not a lot I bet.

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Voting closed 21

Who tf has ridden a 10-speed in the past 30 years?

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Then you know I am right about everything else.

By the way - Y'all? Seriously? Y'all

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Voting closed 23

They way I took the article, they are building 1000 spaces, which would be different than adding 1000 spaces considering the map shows they’ll be building over three parking lots and a parking garage. Did some quick googling, and the current lots/garage account for 610 spots, netting 390 new spaces. Not that crazy considering the increased usage of the space with the additional homes/offices.

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Voting closed 27

Some of these buildings will be on existing parking lots. How many parking spaces are being removed and how many added? Will the new spaces be in garages?

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Voting closed 27

This proposed development is inside the City's downtown parking freeze zone, and the City's web site says there aren't any spaces available in the bank.

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Voting closed 15

At least we get a permanent pedestrian street. Boston should have dozens of them in pedestrian heavy areas throughout the city.

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Voting closed 36

It’s a shame we are not getting a new Fenway Park in any development deal around Boston. The seats are too small and angled so poorly. Current park, although loaded with history is just not enjoyable.

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Voting closed 35

Personally, I love it.

Newer stadiums (except for Camden) are usually devoid of character.

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Voting closed 57

The historic Fenway Park is the draw of the whole neighborhood. No one doesn’t go to games because the seats are too hard.

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Voting closed 46

Didn't we go through this whole exercise of planning out a new park and then decide to screw it and keep the old one?

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Voting closed 30

Don't forget - roomier seating means fewer seats can fit in the footprint. Meaning more expensive tickets to make up for the seating loss...

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Kudos to the artist.

Also, too late to eliminate the 1,000 parking spaces?

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Voting closed 33

I also love how the renderings acknowledged that Boston gets winter. Not many do. You’d think we live in eternal spring if you only looked at these proposals.

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Voting closed 42

I agree with you although the rendering looks absolutely nothing like how it would look when built. If they wanted to show real winter they'd render slush, more slush, and a bit more slush. They'd add disgusting black snow piles blocking the sidewalk with just a few dreary people trying to not slip as they walk down through the 11" of sidewalk that remains.

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Voting closed 44

I've had the same thought, but places like Legacy Place, that thing in Hingham (ShoppEs or something), and the Newton mall with the Wegman's and pretentious salad place seem to be doing just fine (as is Newbury St, Harvard Square, etc). Fully enclosed malls are becoming passé for whatever reason.

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Voting closed 25

Cannot wait for the Penthouse denizens to tut-tut night games as it interferes with their fun new "retired city life".

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Voting closed 32

Nothing funnier than someone getting mad that 82 times a year, the Red Sox mess up their Kenmore Square, even though they have been there for a year and will move back to Columbus or Nashville after two years.

Watch faces in Kenmore game day. The snobbery of a grad student knows few bounds that the city is being used for people to go to a place that has been there for 109 years.

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Voting closed 17

Happy to see that he remembered his mittens.

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Voting closed 35

The people I know who do these kind of renderings all have a kind of signature asset they like to put in, or will sometimes play games with how absurd of something they can sneak in, but this is definitely one of the best I've seen. Kudos to the junior team member responsible.

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Voting closed 26

i love fenway park but they should have built new park at seaport when thy had the chance. it would have been beautiful.

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I honestly can't understand this. You love fenway park: the legendary facility that is currently one of the two or three best venues for baseball, is always sold out, attracts millions of tourists, and is situated on public transit. So lets knock it down and spend millions of dollars of public money (even if owners allegedly "pay" for it) to build another stadium 3 miles away?

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Voting closed 32

but it is beyond antiquated. i've been going to games since the 70s and it gets tighter and tighter every season. full disclosure, i have no love for the ownership as i think they are just money grabbing assholes. they have added so many new seats in the last 20 years that its hard to move around the park at all. it takes 45 minutes to get down jersey street and into the place. if you want a beer or a bathroom you miss an inning trying to get from points A to B and back to A. its way to cramped and uncomfortable for me.

i think a new park would have been beautiful on the waterfront (with retractable roof of course)

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Voting closed 20

i think a new park would have been beautiful on the waterfront (with retractable roof of course)

And especially beautiful during a king tide.

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Voting closed 28

The football stadium is right across the river from downtown.

What a tremendous waste of space.

I am so glad that any idea of putting Fenway in the Seaport was torpedoed.

Instead of a ball park used for 82+ games a year and a bunch of generally crappy bands a few times a year, an almost thriving business and sort of livable district with lots and lots of jobs is there and not wasted space.

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Voting closed 22