Developer John Rosenthal has been trying for eons to construct the five-building, $600 million mega-complex known as Fenway Center at Brookline and Commonwealth avenues in Boston’s Kenmore Square area. Yet each leap forward for the apartment-and-retail development has proved short-lived, whether because of financial constraints or neighborhood opposition.
Now comes word that Rosenthal and his development partners have raised enough financing—$230,000,000, to be exact—to begin construction on two of the project’s apartment buildings. They are slated to go up on parking lots near Fenway Park and to include 313 units total.
An exact timeline is not clear, but the news is the first significant rumbling we’ve heard re: Fenway Center in more than a year. (The last big bit of news was that Rosenthal had signed on Portland, Ore.-based Gerding Edlen as a partner.) Rosenthal et al still need the necessary state O.K.’s to move forward with the apartment towers first.
Why? Because the first phase of the latest Fenway Center plan calls for constructing buildings over the Mass. Pike, not on the parking lots near the ballpark. That part of the plan is proving much more difficult and costly, meaning the last three buildings in the mega-complex could take a lot longer. We’ll see what happens.