Fenway Corners Development: 13 Parcels Across 4 City Blocks
In a filing with the BPDA on February 7, 2022, the developer behind a major Fenway project updated the city on changes to its original plans. WS Development, the real estate branch of Fenway Sports Group and the D’Angelo family, has tweaked its initial plans for the 5.3-acre site near Fenway Park in response to feedback from city officials and the general public.
According to the filing, the 2.05-million square foot project has a new name, shedding its original moniker – the Fenway Development Project – for a new, more intriguing one: Fenway Corners. The project includes eight buildings on 13 parcels across four city blocks: Jersey Street, Lansdowne Street, Brookline Avenue, and Van Ness Street. It is split into four blocks, whose names come from the four streets:
- The Jersey Block will include up to five buildings totaling around 855,000 square feet comprised of residential, commercial, retail and restaurant space
- The Brookline Block will include one 624,000-square-foot building with commercial, retail and restaurant space
- The Lansdowne Block will include one 250,000-square-foot building with commercial, retail and restaurant space
- The Van Ness Block will include one 312,000-square-foot building with commercial, retail and restaurant space
The development review process, which started in late January of 2021, has brought about several fairly minor changes to the developer’s original plans. For example, the total amount of retail space is reduced by about 20% to approximately 170,000 square feet under the new proposal. Residential space remains roughly the same, with a total of 213,500 square feet and 216 units. Likewise, office and lab space is virtually unchanged, with a total of around 1.66 million square feet.
Under the new proposal, the so-called “Shed building” on Jersey Street is switching from a one-story structure to a three-story building. It will now include a covered public rooftop area that the developer envisions as a hot spot on game days. It will also add more foot traffic to the area as visitors head up to take in views of Fenway Park and the surrounding area.
Another change outlined in the new filing with the BPDA involves the building at 73 Brookline Avenue. It is now slated to stand 265 feet tall – down from its original proposed height of 300 feet. This building will feature commercial space on the upper floors and ground-floor retail space.
The new proposal for Fenway Corners also includes $10 million for transportation improvements to the immediate area. These improvements include the development of 3/4th of a mile of protected bicycle lanes. Another 3/4th of a mile of roads will undergo improvements to enhance traffic flow around the area. These changes were likely brought about thanks to concerns by local residents and business owners regarding increased traffic near Fenway Park.
The revised project proposal also reduces the total number of parking spaces allotted for the new mixed-use development. Initially, the plans called for 1,800 parking spaces; now, that figure has been reduced to 1,740, so 60 spaces have been eliminated.
Finally, the revised project plans call for the development of a 100-seat daycare center, which will be called Fenway Family Center.
All told, the total size of the proposed mixed-use development has been reduced by about 50,000 square feet, including a slight reduction in the total amount of lab space. The project remains under review by the BPDA, and there is no indication yet as to when the city will give the project the green light. However, the developer hopes to start construction on the new Fenway Corners project sometime next year, so we can expect to hear news of an approval within the next few months or so.