SOX PITCHING DEVELOPMENT
Team aims for better game day for fans
The Red Sox’ real estate arm is ramping up plans to redevelop six parcels around Fenway Park that now include parking lots, garages and a sports bar, in addition to 20 acres in front of JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers, Fla.
FSG Real Estate is evaluating “myriad” uses for the sites, including expanding the Fenway Park and game-day “experience,” according to Jonathan Gilula, the team’s executive vice president of business affairs, who said the goal is to complement the ballpark and be consistent with development around it that’s boomed over the past decade.
“We’re encouraged by the opportunity here, and we’re very focused on dedicating more time and resources to fully understand what is possible,” Gilula said.
Parcels in play are the 73 Brookline Ave. parking lot next to Boston Beer Works, the 55 Yawkey Way parking lot, the 49 Lansdowne St. garage next to the Cask’n Flagon, the 160 Ipswich St. garage next to Boston Arts Academy, the 189 Ipswich St. garage on the Fenway Park side of the street and the 1265 Boylston St. building that houses Tony C’s Sports Bar & Grill.
Hotel/retail opportunities are among the uses under consideration for the Brookline Avenue lot, though Gilula said “nothing is concrete at this point.”
FSG will determine the “highest and best use” for the parcels, including whether they enhance the Fenway Park and game-day experience, he added.
“It just may not be within the footprint of the ballpark,” he said. “We’ve seen the benefits of the Yawkey Way experience with concessions and entertainment there, and I think there’s obviously other opportunities like that.”
Current plans don’t include shutting down other streets during games or other events a la Yawkey Way, according to Gilula. Such a move wouldn’t be well-received by the Fenway Civic Association.
“We did get the $100,000 in beautification funds for letting them take (Yawkey Street), but we really would hate to see the basic Red Sox experience take over Ipswich Street and Lansdowne Street,” association President Tim Horn said.
Neighbors and other abutters will be cautious about the team’s plans given other development in the area, according to Richard Giordano, policy and community planning director for Fenway Community Development Corp.
“I’m sure that people in the neighborhood would be concerned about all the usual things, depending on the type of proposals of course — height, density, massing, traffic impacts on the community,” he said. “Then, of course, the uses. If it’s entertainmentrelated uses, they will really seriously have to consider the impact on (residents). At this point, Fenway is in dire need of affordable housing, and we’re pretty limited as to what we can do.”
ENHANCING THE EXPERIENCE: The Red Sox are exploring ways to complement Fenway Park in Boston, above and bottom left, and JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., at left, with development designed to expand the game-day experience.