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Fenway Center could finally start construction this summer

Two decades in the making

Fenway Center rendering Meredith Management

Initial construction could start as soon as September on the five-building Fenway Center project where Brookline and Commonwealth avenues meet in Boston’s Kenmore Square area.

It would mark the commencement of one of the city’s most significant new developments in years.

And it’s been a long time coming. Nearly 20 years have passed since developer John Rosenthal first sought to build at the location, which would involve straddling the Mass. Pike.

That infrastructural alchemy as well as financing challenges have delayed the project interminably.

Last year, though, with financing in place, it became clear that 2017 would likely see the start of Fenway Center. And now it appears that Rosenthal and development partner Gerding Edlen have the cooperation of the state in reaching that milestone.

The state has granted the developers an extension through September 30 to finalize a 99-year lease for the Mass. Pike air rights necessary to build the approximately 1.3 million-square-foot project. The original deadline had been June 30, the blowing of which might have stymied progress toward a construction start.

The first phase—the preparation work for which could start before summer’s technical end on September 21—would include two residential buildings of seven and 13 stories.

All totaled, Fenway Center is expected to have around 650 housing units, 160,000 square feet of offices, 50,000 square feet of retail, 1,290 parking spaces, community space, a daycare center, bicycle storage, and a bike-share station.

Stay tuned.