An Update from John Rosenthal:
At long last, after close to ten years of community planning and the City and State permit and approval process, the first phase of the Fenway Center mixed use, transit and sustainable energy oriented development project should finally be underway in 2012.
Development of the 4.5 acre Fenway Center site includes three very distinct but integrated public and privately financed projects. Two of the projects are stand alone State funded transit improvement initiatives funded by the Legislature in a 2006 Economic Stimulus Bill and will be completed by MassDOT and the MBTA whether or not the privately financed Fenway Center project is built.
The first State funded project is the $13.5 million major renovation of the MBTA Yawkey Commuter Rail Station which commenced construction in June 2011. When complete, in late 2012, Yawkey Station will include 2 full length fully accessible platforms from Brookline Ave to Beacon Street allowing as many as 40 commuter trains between Worcester and South Station to stop each day. Currently only 17 trains stop daily because there is only one short platform on the eastbound track, severely limiting service over the past 23 years since the Station opened. Yawkey Station is the closest commuter rail stop to the thriving Longwood Medical Area and Fenway Park, the number one economic engine and tourist attraction in the Commonwealth. Increased service on this crucial commuter train line will greatly improve public transit for the tens of thousands of employees, patients, students and visitors who frequent the LMA every day as well as Red Sox fans visiting Fenway Park.
The second State funded project includes new roadway improvements required by the City of Boston and MassDOT, which will provide new public access to Yawkey Station via the new Yawkey Way Extension from Brookline Ave. The roadway improvements will also connect Overland and Maitland Streets, two existing City streets that are currently separated by private land. This new Overland/ Maitland Street connection will allow for dramatically improved pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular access between Brookline Ave and Beacon Street and will relieve traffic in Kenmore Square. Without these new State funded roadway improvements, also expected to be completed by the end of 2012, Yawkey Station would continue to operate WITHOUT legal public access, as it has for more than two decades. Consequently, these major new publicly funded transit and infrastructure improvements are being coordinated by MassDOT, MBTA and the City of Boston and are entirely separate from the privately funded Fenway Center project.
MK Parcel 7 Development, LLC is the developer of the fully approved 1.3 million square foot Fenway Center mixed use project. MK is currently in the final stages of negotiating a joint venture agreement with a large national real estate development company which is committed to providing 100% of the balance of private equity and debt necessary to complete financing and commence construction. Fenway Center will be built in two phases. The first phase is expected to begin construction in mid 2012 and will include Buildings 1, 2, 4 (see updated Site Plan). Phase 1 will total 412 residential apartments in three separate buildings including a 47,000 sf deck over the Mass Pike, approximately 50,000 sf of retail space (including a 10,000 sf Harvest Coop organic grocery store in Building 1 at the corner of Beacon and Maitland Streets) and up to 1,290 approved parking spaces in two separate garages. The final phase of Fenway Center will include the signature 27 story mixed use residential and commercial Building 3 and second half of the deck over the Mass Turnpike completing the podium connecting Beacon Street, Yawkey Station and Brookline Ave.
In total Fenway Center will create more than 1,700 construction jobs, tens of millions of dollars in real estate tax revenue to the City of Boston and hundreds of millions of dollars in long term (99 year) Lease payments and other economic benefits to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Fenway Center and Yawkey Station infrastructure projects are the culmination of a unique team effort by local residents and businesses, neighborhood groups, Governor Patrick, the Massachusetts Legislature, MassDOT and MBTA, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, Mayor Menino, City Councilor Mike Ross, State Senator Steve Tolman, State Reps. Rushing and Moran, Boston Redevelopment Authority, Boston Transportation Department, Boston Public Works and Water and Sewer Department, MASCO and the Longwood Medical Area institutions, and the Boston Red Sox.
We look forward to breaking ground on Fenway Center Phase 1 next year and we’re thrilled to be the developer of Yawkey Station for the MBTA. Thanks to more than two decades of hard work and planning by the MBTA, City of Boston and neighborhood stakeholders, especially MASCO and the Boston Red Sox, Yawkey Station will soon be a full service multimodal commuter rail hub with new public access!
Please contact us if you have any questions and we look forward to continuing to work closely with all our friends in the Community as we improve and create an even more special neighborhood in the Kenmore, Fenway and Audubon Circle areas.
Best regards and thank you for all your support over the years!