The Fenway neighborhood has always held a special place in the hearts of Bostonians. The smell of hot dog and peanut vendors, the nostalgia of the run down buildings and worn streets, a stroll on them is almost like taking a page from a history book. However, a local developer has a new vision for the Fenway, one that will affect Boston real estate drastically.
Samuels & Associates of Boston filed a letter of intent earlier this month for its plan of two mixed-use buildings in the Fenway neighborhood. If approved, the builders will be renovating 132 Brookline Avenue at the corner of Brookline Avenue and Kilmarnock Street, and another building at the corner of Boylston Street and Van Ness Street. The proposal calls for the Brookline Avenue location to hold 170 high end apartments and ground floor retail, and the Boylston / Van Ness location to house a 150-unit luxury apartment building with over 400,000 square feet of retail and office space included. They also plan to build a parking lot underground at the Van Ness location that would accommodate up to 500 parking spaces. Steven Samuels of Samuel & Associates has a vision to make the Fenway more similar to a neighborhood such as the Back Bay.
This wouldn’t be Samuels’s first venture into the Fenway. His company already owns 11 buildings in the area, including luxury apartments. According to Mayor Thomas M. Menino, “This is further proof that developers are still bullish on Boston”.
Boston is one of the nation’s oldest cities but developers with a new vision of these old streets are bringing new ideas and possible revenue to the city. Retailers such as Whole Foods and Target have also discussed moving into this up and coming neighborhood, part of a continued effort known as the Fenway Triangle development that has been evolving the Fenway neighborhood into a revitalized urban village. Samuels believes that “What will make the Fenway great is good, consistent, pedestrian-friendly retail that becomes unbroken in effect”.
Bostonians pride themselves on tradition, but the city does seem to be developing with the times. And according to this article, change can be a good thing. John F. Palmieri, director of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, released a statement concerning these changes and is quoted saying,“We’re excited that the Samuels & Associates team wants to redevelop these parcels as it will further enliven the district with a mix of uses ensuring a thriving 24-hour neighborhood”.
24 hour neighborhoods and trendy stores will certainly increase foot traffic for the Fenway area. As the economy and real estate market begins to pick up once again, these developers are giving new life to the Fenway district.