A significant $1.6 billion renovation project has been approved by the city of Boston for the area surrounding Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.
The facelift will create a revitalized multi-use district around the ballpark, helping to make the fan experience when visiting Fenway even better.
The $1.6 billion being plunged into the neighboring areas of Fenway is expected to add to the allure of the historic ballpark and city.
Neighborhood renovation details
Overall, the massive project will give fans attending Red Sox games plenty more to do before and after the game in a neighborhood setting.
More than 2 million square feet of commercial, residential and retail space is eventually planned for what is being called “Fenway Corners.”
The plan calls for eight newly constructed buildings in the area around the iconic ballpark. One of those new builds will stand 19 stories high and offer residential and commercial space.
There will also be more than 250 new residences (with nearly a quarter of them marked for affordable living), and 40 new retail spots. The streets, pedestrian paths and open spaces like parks and seating will also be upgraded or added.
Perhaps, if retail sportsbooks are ever allowed at or near sports venues, Fenway Corners could be a home for Red Sox betting, too.
Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of the Red Sox, presented the plans last week. The price tag and development will be split with two partners: WS Development, a real estate developer from Newton, MA, and Twins Enterprises, a sports retailer owned by Boston’s D’Angelo family.
Destination for baseball fans
Fenway Park is a bucket list trip for fans of Major League Baseball across the country. It was opened on April 20, 1912, more than 111 years ago, and is the oldest ballpark still in use in any major professional sport in North America.
Fenway Corners is a natural extension of Fenway Sports Group’s goal to create a destination for baseball fans near Fenway, while also fostering a neighborhood atmosphere. A similar project was built surrounding Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.
Going to games at Fenway is already a hot commodity, and this project will only enhance the fan experience. With a capacity of just 37,755, Fenway Park is one of the smaller MLB venues. However, the Red Sox have drawn at least 2.6 million fans in 20 of their past 21 full seasons.
In addition, the team consistently ranks among the top five in baseball in revenue from tickets, private suites and concessions.
Local groups in favor of Fenway Corners
Numerous Boston groups have thrown their support toward the Fenway Corners project. Fenway Community Center, The Fenway Alliance, the Fenway Community Development Corporation and several local businesses spoke at the meeting of the Boston Planing and Development Agency (BPDA) in favor of the plan.
According to reporting from Boston.com, BPDA board member Brian Miller was impressed with a presentation by WS Development, calling the ambitious development “transformative,” and predicting it would “really benefit all of the neighbors, and the city as a whole.”
As part of the plan, there are funds allocated to repair and restore the historic “Duck House” located near Fenway on Agassiz Road. There will also be additional community benefit in the form of a planned 100-seat day-care facility at Fenway Corners.
Something for everyone
All in all, developers are hopeful that Fenway Corners will help shape the neighborhood around the ballpark into something everyone can appreciate.
“This place will feel welcoming to all, and unapologetically pedestrian-oriented. Fenway Park is one of the great icons of our city,” said Yanni Tsipis of WS Development, according to Boston.com. “So why not make its front door the welcoming and diverse place that it should be all year round, in service to the whole city?”