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