The Fenway - Under Siege

Boston is undergoing unprecedented change these days (more accurately called a Land War), and the Fenway is no exception. We have provided this web site as a resource on a the few of the issues confronting our neighborhood. So have a look, become informed, and get involved.
Topics
Boylston Square Proposal Red Sox Megaplex Proposal Transportation Citizen Participation

Millennium's Boylston Square Proposal

This proposal now appears to be on life-support, if not dead all together. According to Tom Keane [1],
"the stake that ultimately killed Millennium's deal was economics. It costs more to construct a building on thin air than it does on land. . But the Turnpike Authority made that difficult situation dramatically worse by demanding that Millennium pay it a huge premium of about $20 million for the air rights."

Background: With a contractual agreement to build over the Mass Turnpike air-rights, the real estate development firm Millennium Partners has proposed a 49 story tower at Mass. Ave. and Boylston Street. The proposal contains a hotel, luxury residences, a multi-screen movie theater, space for retail stores and restaurants, and 800 parking spaces. FAC believes there are many flaws with the current proposal and are fighting to stop it. We are pushing the City to enforce the Zoning Laws on the land portion of the project --- on which the tower sits.

On November 8, 1999, the Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs (MEPA) released a certificate on the environmental notification form filed by Millenium Partners. It requires Millenium "to undertake an extensive alternatives analysis, ... [as] proposed by the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC), that will focus upn transportation and urban design/historic resource impacts." Millenium must also provide an economic study to help determine which alternatives are truly feasible.

The Details:

Red Sox Stadium Proposal / IPOD

Update: July 2001 This proposal is currently stalled. The local papers are now engaged in wild speculation regarding where to build a new ballpark for the Red Sox. This is because the Red Sox have been unable to secure a loan for the project and have been unable to reach any agreements with current land owners, which is to say (all together now) the Red Sox have found that the Fenway proposal is too expensive to finance.

The unfortunate consequence of these Fenway Follies, is that the land where the BRA told everyone the new Red Sox stadium was to go is now drifting towards "blight" while the area around it is flourishing.

Background: In May of 1999, the Red Sox came forward with a proposal for a new ballpark to be built on land bordered by Brookline Ave., Boylston St., Kilmarnock St., and west of Yawkey Way. The proposal includes increasing the seating capacity from 33,000 to 44,000, displacing current businesses in the area (Osco Drug, Howard Johnson Lodge, The Boston Phoenix, to name a few), building parking garages, and refurbishing the current ball field as a museum/relic. Once Fenway Park is torn down, there will be ample space for the Red Sox to expand the entertainment district on Lansdown Street. Such development is almost certain as the profits from the development are probably the only way for the Red Sox to finance the new stadium.

FAC is vehemently opposed to the project for many reasons, including: unconstitutional eminent domain land takings, political graft, misuse of public funds, increased automobile traffic, and violation of EPA Clean Air standards.

The Details:

Transportation

The Fenway neighborhood is unique in the city, with a central park defining it's character. The Fenway has also been shaped by decades of transportation decisions; from the original rail lines stretching out across the Back Bay, to the Bowker overpass that feeds Storrow Drive and crosses the Turnpike. Those that live here get around mostly on foot, by bicycle, or public transportation. While these transportation modes are prevalent for residents, visitors most often rely on automobiles. The neighborhood is currently home to 12,000 commercial parking spaces, and there are plans in the works to increase this number by 50%. FAC is working to ensure that our neighborhood does not become overwhelmed by The Automobile.

The Details:

Elections / Political Participation

Register and Vote!

KUDOS to all Fenway residents for the great turnout this year. Special thanks goes out to those that braved to cold and stood in line for hours after work to cast your vote.