BPDA Board Approves Redevelopment of Star Market Site in Fenway

 The Boston Planning & Development Agency board of directors approved the proposed $600 million redevelopment of the Star Market site in the Fenway during a virtual meeting on Thursday, Feb. 15.

​Boston-based commercial real-estate developer Samuels & Associates intends to redevelop the approximately 2.4 acre, L-shaped acre site at 1380-1420 Boylston St., which is currently occupied by a single-story Star grocery store, a decommissioned gas station, and surface parking lots, into a mixed-use building comprising four terraced, interconnected sections.

A rendering of the redevelopment project proposed for the Star Market site in the Fenway.

​The approximately 553,000 gross square foot project will include approximately 498,000 square feet of office/research and development space; approximately 17,000 square feet of retail/restaurant/service and accessory uses and facilities on the ground floor; approximately 33,000 square feet of enclosed loading and back-of-house space; more than half an acre of landscaped green space along the Emerald Necklace; and underground parking to support the building’s programming.

​The project’s promised $55 million in community benefits includes a $12 million contribution to build a 5,000 square-foot, free-standing civic building on the project site, which would likely be programmed as a new Fenway neighborhood branch of the Boston Public Library in accordance with the wishes of the community.

Other promised community benefits from the project include an $18 million contribution to support the creation of Boston-based Transom Real Estate’s 117-unit residential project (of which 48 percent would be affordable homeownership units) at 165 Park Drive in the Fenway; a $1.3 million contribution to support additional affordable housing in partnership with the Fenway CDC (Community Development Corporation); and $20 million for the creation of one-half acre of publicly accessible open space along the Emerald Necklace and for public-realm improvements.

An additional $6.8 million has been allocated for linkage for housing and jobs, and another $2.7 million for the design and reconstruction of the Park/Boylston/Brookline Ave intersection and improved connections to the Fenway T station and the Emerald Necklace. Around 45 percent of the overall site would be dedicated to the public realm, including three acres of publicly accessible space along Park Drive from the rail station to Peterborough Street, as well as 1,000 linear feet of newly created public-realm frontage along the Emerald Necklace.

District 8 City Councilor Sharon Durkan said, “Samuels & Associates and the community have worked together to produce a project that serves the needs of the neighborhood at 1400 Boylston. This project offers tangible benefits that contribute to the overall fabric of the neighborhood, public green space which is essential to creating inclusive and sustainable spaces, and 1400 Boylston Street will greatly improve the public realm, through a complete rebuilding of the adjacent parts of Park Drive, Boylston Street and Kilmarnock Street. In a fast growing neighborhood, it is all the more important to provide green spaces that serve as a much needed respite within the busy urban fabric. I am extraordinarily excited that this new public green space will be complemented by another much needed component of a healthy neighborhood: a branch of the Boston Public Library.”

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