If you dream of living in a condo or apartment within a block or two of America’s oldest and arguably most colorful ballpark, you just may be in luck.
Since taking over the Sox in early 2002, Sox owners John Henry and Thomas Werner have pumped tens of millions into the renovation of Fenway Park. The owners have also spiffed up the streets around Fenway as well, buying up nearby property and turning Yawkey Way into an open air concourse.
The team’s decision to renovate Fenway instead of tearing it down and building elsewhere has helped unleash a wave of new development, much of it residential, around the antique ballpark.
Developer Steve Samuels has built two residential high-rises just a few blocks from the ballpark, adding close to 800 apartments to the neighborhood. John Rosenthal, the anti-gun crusader and developer, is pushing ahead with his own plans to deck over the nearby Turnpike with a massive housing and retail project of his own.
And more new development, particularly residential, is likely on its way. Samuels continues to buy up property in the neighborhood, including a Mobil Station across from the ballpark.
The Sage family, owners of the Howard Johnson hotel next to the ballpark, have been talking for years about plans for some sort of upscale condo, hotel complex.
It’s a trend that I covered extensively for a couple Boston newspapers and which, frankly, I was somewhat skeptical of first.
Fenway may be Fenway, but it’s still a stadium, with tens of thousands of fans spilling out onto the street late in the evening on a regular basis from April on into the fall. Not to mention streets jam packed with traffic and the occasional urban riot when the home team makes good.
After all, some of the biggest foes of new office towers or retail projects are residential neighbors complaining about such relatively mundane issues as increased rush hour traffic.
But there appears to be a certain mystique to Fenway and maybe to downtown stadiums as a whole.
And developers like Samuels are clearly finding the tenants to rent their new high-rise apartments – they just keep building.
Still, not being a huge baseball fan myself – sorry Sox – it’s an attraction I have a hard time fathoming.
How about you?
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