Will Fenway Center ever get built? The epic, five-building, solar-powered mega-development over the Mass. Pike, which will include at least 550 apartments, survived a legal challenge from a neighboring landowner earlier this year and looked all set to go as of early October. Now, the developer, John Rosenthal, is locked in a battle with the state over a long-term lease for the property. He could lose his investment partner in the fracas, derailing the development.
Should Fenway Center, a decade in the planning, disappear, it would not simply be a loss for Rosenthal or the surrounding area (or a booming Boston development scene right now). It would be a further argument against building over the turnpike. Per Casey Ross in The Globe:
That would doom another project involving turnpike air rights to failure, undermining officials' long-held goal of transforming the real estate into a string of tax- and job-producing office, hotel, and residential buildings. The last successful air rights project in Boston was Copley Place, which was built in the early 1980s using $19 million in federal grants. The state, for its part, denies any impasse, but Ross' source says that it centers around how much money MassDOT should get for the 99-year lease vs. the benefits in permanent jobs, tax revenues, etc. For now, construction's already started on the commuter rail station that's part of Fenway Center. Whether the 27-story office-and-residential centerpiece, the stores, the hundreds of apartments and the parking garages get built as well now—again—remains to be seen.
· Fenway Center in Jeopardy Due to Impasse with MassDOT [Globe]
· Get Ready, Mr. Sun! Epic Fenway Center Leaps Legal Hurdle [Curbed Boston]
· As Red Sox Open, Surrounding Fenway Takes a Bow [Curbed Boston]
· Our Updated New Development Heatmap: Then There Were 50 [Curbed Boston]