The Boston Planning & Development Agency convened a virtual meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, of the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) for the proposed redevelopment of the Fenway Star Markey site at 1400 Boylston St.
Boston real-estate developer Samuels & Associates intends to redevelop the 2.38 acre, L-shaped project site wraps around Boylston Street to Park Drive and currently accommodates the single-story grocery store, as well as surface parking lots, a decommissioned gas station, and a Dunkin’ (Donuts) location into a four-part composition comprising Buildings A, B, C, and D. The front of the development would have tiered terraces for the use of tenants that would step down towards the Emerald Necklace. “At our tallest, we’re at around 182 feet,” said David Manfredi, founding principal of Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects Ltd.
The approximately 553,000 gross square-foot project would comprise approximately 498,000 square feet of office/research and development space; approximately 20,000 square feet of retail/restaurant/service and accessory uses and facilities on the ground-floor; approximately 30,000 square feet of enclosed loading and back-of-house space; civic space or a “cultural pavilion”; and over half an acre of landscaped green space, with underground parking to support the building’s programming.
Of the proposed civic space, Manfredi said, “Our goal is to create a place like no other public place in the City of Boston.”
The vision for the year-round civic space looks at several factors, said Manfredi, including “Decompression” (i.e. proving a place of quiet respite in the densely populated Fenway neighborhood); a Botanical Garden; Urban Farming, Wellness; Food; Performance; Education; and Community.
Impact Advisory Group member Mia Jean-Sicard recommended incorporating a new branch of the Boston Public Library into the project and making the civic space into its entrance.
Fredericka Veikley, another IAG member, said the developer should consider making the civic space partially covered or fully enclosed to keep the sound level the same as 401 Park (The Green).
Veikley also suggested that a “historical looking carousel” could be incorporated into the design for the civic space.
While the city’s public comment period for the proposed project ends on Sept. 20 (visit https://www.bostonplans.org/projects/development-projects/1400-boylston-street), public comments can be submitted afterwards to Michael Sinatra, BPDA project manager, via email at [email protected]