Sox Owners, Partners Plan Major Development Around Fenway Park

The Allented Mr Ripley

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Globe article here.

The owners of the Red Sox are moving into the real estate development business, partnering with a prominent developer in an ambitious, long-term venture that would transform the neighborhood just outside the walls of Fenway Park.

The five-acre project will feature office space, apartment buildings, retail, and possibly a hotel, along with public art and green space. It would be built over four sites along Jersey, Lansdowne, and Van Ness streets, as well as Brookline Avenue.

The parcels are owned by Fenway Sports Group Real Estate — a subsidiary of the Red Sox' parent company Fenway Sports Group — and the D’Angelo family, owners of sports apparel company ’47 Brand.
In addition to the mix of housing, retail, office, and lab space ― and maybe a hotel ― the new development could allow the Red Sox to leave their cramped offices in Fenway Park. That would also free up room in Fenway’s concourses. A new ’47 Brand team store will fit in somewhere, if not necessarily in its current spot across from Fenway’s Jersey Street gates.

Longer term, building something larger on a deck over the Mass. Pike could vastly increase the scale of development and help knit together the Fenway, Back Bay, and South End. But so-called air rights developments are notoriously complex — Fenway Center took two decades of planning — so the group decided to push ahead with a smaller project first.

“We think there is an opportunity" to build over the Pike, Sclar said. “We’re going to spend time really thinking about it deeply and we’re not going to let that hold this up.”
Map of parcels below:

 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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Speaking of parking, this takes out a sizeable chunk of game day parking. While I never park that close due to cost there are a lot of people who do so this will probably push the affordable parking out even further from the park.
 

nattysez

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The SF Giants are in the process of doing this exact same thing, all the way down to removing hundreds of parking spots to support their development ambitions. Built into these developments is an assumption that people will take public transportation or Lyft if there isn't enough parking -- we shall see.
 

Ale Xander

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The Brookline lot is the maitland parking lot?

This seems like a perfect time to build a garage there and solve 2 birds with one stone. Would be great for those medical office employees.

I also hope that this would enable the possibility to walk around the entirety of the park during games, and you obviously cant do that now.

I also hope that it would consolidate the gift shops into one large one.


But widening the concourses would be of first importance for me.
 

nvalvo

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In Paul Goldberger's Ballpark, he argues that there has been a fourth period in the history of baseball stadia. The first three will be familiar; the fourth is his take:
  1. The traditional urban stadiums, like Fenway, Wrigley, League Park, Ebbets Field, etc.
  2. The Midcentury Modern Multi-use Stadia in the Suburbs located in seas of parking lots off freeways.
  3. The postmodern return to the city as site and muse, beginning with Camden Yards, and extending through all of the good recent parks: Oracle Park, Progressive Field, Petco Park, PNC Park....
  4. New parks like Globe Life Field in Arlington or Truist Park in Atlanta, which are the focal points of New Urbanist "placemaking" for the purpose of larger real estate development projects. (The Oakland proposals are similar.)
Somewhat tendentiously, Goldberger suggests that Wrigley, having been one of the classic wave of urban ballparks is now also of the fourth wave now that the Ricketts have used it as the centerpiece of their redevelopment of its immediate environs. The Giants are doing (or have done) something similar with a bunch of parking at Mission Bay — I'm not sure how far along that project is.

I was wondering when the Red Sox might follow the Cubs and Giants down that trajectory.
 

nolasoxfan

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Anyone else miss the Rat, Metro, Axis, Venus de Milo, and Spit?

I saw Robert Ellis Orrall and the Psych Furs play at the Metro and caught the last half of the Sox game in the same night. Call me middle aged and cranky, but I miss the edge Boston once had. So it goes...
 

Max Power

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A lot of people miss the old places. Nothing at all has replaced them and Boston has become a wastleland for new music. Almost all of the small rooms had disappeared even before Covid, so there's no place for an up and coming band to play. All the practice spaces have been demolished and redeveloped. And local radio basically died with BCN. We've become a city of colleges and life sciences companies with culture getting swept aside.
 

ColdSoxPack

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The Brookline lot is the maitland parking lot?

This seems like a perfect time to build a garage there and solve 2 birds with one stone. Would be great for those medical office employees.

I also hope that this would enable the possibility to walk around the entirety of the park during games, and you obviously cant do that now.

I also hope that it would consolidate the gift shops into one large one.


But widening the concourses would be of first importance for me.
I think my father parked in that lot when I went to my first game in the early 60's. Yaz hit a homer. Is that the original sign?
 

Ale Xander

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Anyone else miss the Rat, Metro, Axis, Venus de Milo, and Spit?

I saw Robert Ellis Orrall and the Psych Furs play at the Metro and caught the last half of the Sox game in the same night. Call me middle aged and cranky, but I miss the edge Boston once had. So it goes...
Axis and Avalon >>>>>>>>>>>> House of Blues. HOB is a little sterile.
 

Doug Beerabelli

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It'd be nice to have a nice hotel right next to the stadium, and there's probably some panache in an apartment with a stadium view. I'd think there'd be some underground parking or perhaps a new garage to offset the losses.

But I share the lament for the city flavor that has been lost to development.
 

lexrageorge

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A lot of people miss the old places. Nothing at all has replaced them and Boston has become a wastleland for new music. Almost all of the small rooms had disappeared even before Covid, so there's no place for an up and coming band to play. All the practice spaces have been demolished and redeveloped. And local radio basically died with BCN. We've become a city of colleges and life sciences companies with culture getting swept aside.
I truly miss the heyday of 92.9, 94.1, 100.7, 101.7, 103.3, and 107.3 to accompany 104.1 (80's and early 90's). And I'm still not sure if that era was the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end, as it was well past the time when WBCN had a true edginess that made it something to witness in real time (mid-to-late 70's IIRC).
 

Ale Xander

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It'd be nice to have a nice hotel right next to the stadium, and there's probably some panache in an apartment with a stadium view. I'd think there'd be some underground parking or perhaps a new garage to offset the losses.

But I share the lament for the city flavor that has been lost to development.
Hotel Commonwealth isn't nice?

They also have the Verb and the Residence Inn (another good thing about another hotel would maybe be some downward pressure on prices at the RI, it's like a cat 6 IIRC, and is always overpriced, even when no home games)
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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So basically they're going the Atlanta Braves way except they'll stay in the same spot instead of hightailing it out to the distant suburbs.

I guess that's the business of baseball these days but it sure does feel that going forward that the on-field results of the team won't matter much to the bottom line. I know I'm getting old because I feel that's a shame even if that's naive of me.
 

bankshot1

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Anyone else miss the Rat, Metro, Axis, Venus de Milo, and Spit?

I saw Robert Ellis Orrall and the Psych Furs play at the Metro and caught the last half of the Sox game in the same night. Call me middle aged and cranky, but I miss the edge Boston once had. So it goes...
Or the Ark and then the Boston Tea Party. For a couple of years you could see pretty big name groups in the shadow of the Green Monster. Then the arena and stadium concerts killed those venues.
 

shaggydog2000

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So basically they're going the Atlanta Braves way except they'll stay in the same spot instead of hightailing it out to the distant suburbs.

I guess that's the business of baseball these days but it sure does feel that going forward that the on-field results of the team won't matter much to the bottom line. I know I'm getting old because I feel that's a shame even if that's naive of me.
The whole Fenway/Kenmore neighborhood has blown up. Proximity to the hospitals and BU (who really likes to accept rich foreign kids who pay full price) and the drive to develop the limited space in Boston has finally gotten around to tearing down those old 3 story buildings and putting in huge developments. Of course it makes sense now to develop what property they might have around the stadium. It's not like Foxboro or some of these other stadium development plans where they're trying to create a place to go, this area is already hot and they're just cashing in at a good time.
 

Earthbound64

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So basically they're going the Atlanta Braves way except they'll stay in the same spot instead of hightailing it out to the distant suburbs.

I guess that's the business of baseball these days but it sure does feel that going forward that the on-field results of the team won't matter much to the bottom line. I know I'm getting old because I feel that's a shame even if that's naive of me.
Remember when the team was for sale, and some of the prospective owners had proposals for moving out of Fenway, to a waterfront location or such?
Would that have been better? For the Red Sox not to have stayed there, and instead all of the niche/local/small things have been there instead?
 

Orel Miraculous

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So basically they're going the Atlanta Braves way except they'll stay in the same spot instead of hightailing it out to the distant suburbs.

I guess that's the business of baseball these days but it sure does feel that going forward that the on-field results of the team won't matter much to the bottom line. I know I'm getting old because I feel that's a shame even if that's naive of me.
Its really nothing like the Braves, who basically built an entire neighborhood where there was nothing there before. The Sox are just developing a few empty parcels they happen own in the middle of a city that’s currently building on every empty parcel.
 

fairlee76

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Remember when the team was for sale, and some of the prospective owners had proposals for moving out of Fenway, to a waterfront location or such?
Would that have been better? For the Red Sox not to have stayed there, and instead all of the niche/local/small things have been there instead?
Sorry for jumping in here but I have opinions on this. When I was a season ticket holder, I would have absolutely preferred a new stadium over on Fan Pier in the Seaport from a comfort, amenities, and scenery standpoint. The Fenway area would have been redeveloped without Fenway there (assuming it was torn down and not made into a living museum). And I don't think the economics of the last decade would support all the old places staying open. No matter what, Fenway was destined to become another "suburb in the city" development area like the Seaport. It is what most Americans want. I love the food at a lot of the new spots in Fenway (Sweet Cheeks, Tiger Mama, Citizen Public) but all of those places might as well be in Dallas for how little of a sense of place they evoke.

And, yes, I have a heavy amount of nostalgia for places like Copperfield's, the Baseball Tavern, the Dugout (alive!), and Great Scott. Just think tastes and economics have passed them by.
 

Return of the Dewey

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Anyone else miss the Rat, Metro, Axis, Venus de Milo, and Spit?

I saw Robert Ellis Orrall and the Psych Furs play at the Metro and caught the last half of the Sox game in the same night. Call me middle aged and cranky, but I miss the edge Boston once had. So it goes...
Man, those joints were great. My buddies were in college bands through my college years (90-94) and I remember their highlight was opening for Powerman5000 at the Rat with Rob Zombie in attendance.
 

biollante

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May we be sterile now ? So, with all this real estate development, ticket prices can be reduced so families can attend ? Will this be a shot in the arm for more people to watch baseball ?
 

Humphrey

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Sorry for jumping in here but I have opinions on this. When I was a season ticket holder, I would have absolutely preferred a new stadium over on Fan Pier in the Seaport from a comfort, amenities, and scenery standpoint.
I worked in that area for 3 or 4 years (the long 5 story building that contains the Boston Design Center; part of it was the command center for the Marathon Bombing manhunt, at least it was in the movie). I'm glad it ended up being a "no go" for both the Sox and the Pats. Why? The weather. It was downright nasty there most of the time. Had the potential to be Candlestick Park, East Coast Version.
 

Manuel Aristides

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As a season ticket holder, whatever they have to do to convince themselves they can remain in Fenway is fine by me. It's all I care about at this point.