Boston's Fenway Center could break ground before the end of 2017
- The $600 million, 1.1-million-square-foot Fenway Center could get underway before the end of the year, according to The Boston Globe. The five-building development will be built above a portion of the Massachusetts Turnpike.
- The first phase would see the construction of two residential towers with a combined total of 313 units. When the project is complete, it will have 650 residential units, a bike-share station and bike storage, almost 1,300 parking spaces, a daycare center, community space, 50,000 square feet of retail and 160,000 square feet of office space.
- It has taken lead developer John Rosenthal 20 years to bring the project up to this phase. One of the biggest challenges was putting all the financing into place, with the team finally raising the $230 million needed to begin the first phase last summer, according to Curbed.
For project developers, breaking ground on the Fenway Center has been a long time coming. The project has struggled with logistics, from difficulties planning a development above the Massachusetts Turnpike, to being able to secure the necessary funding. In July, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) entered into a $21 million, 99-year lease with the Fenway Center's developers, who must pay a $3 million penalty if they don't start construction on the second phase by the end of 2020.
Elsewhere, Boston's construction industry is booming. South Boston's Seaport District and the city's South End, especially, are seeing a host of new mixed-use developments. As of May, the city overall had 14 million square feet of commercial and residential space under construction, with another 40 million square feet permitted or nearing the construction phase.
The Fenway Center represents the first air rights project over the Mass. Turnpike since the early 1980s. Air rights have come into play in a number of high-profile projects throughout the year. In New York City last month, Tishman Speyer secured $157 million worth of air rights for its $3.2 billion office tower in Hudson Yards. Thus far, the company has paid $265 million in air rights for the project, which can now begin development.
Developers of another high-profile midtown Manhattan tower, the $3 billion One Vanderbilt, almost saw their project sidelined after an air rights dispute. Midtown TDR Ventures, owner of the nearby Grand Central Station, said New York City undercut its air rights position with One Vanderbilt developer SL Green after rezoning the area. Following negotiations with Midtown, SL Green ultimately settled.
- The Boston Globe Back Bay tower wins key city board approval
- Curbed Boston Fenway Center could start construction before 2018
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