Haven’t been to The Fenway Neighborhood since last baseball season? Well… you may not recognize it when you show up to “America’s most beloved ballpark” for opening day on Friday. Major progress has been made on multiple major development projects in the neighborhood along with changes to the way you can get to the ballpark and new places to eat and drink before or after the game.
Traveling into the game from Metro West on theFramingham/Worcester Commuter Rail line? The new Yawkey Station, which opened just a few weeks ago, will let fans off only a few hundred feet from the ballpark, just behind Boston Beer Works.
Popular Mexican Restaurant La Verdad on Landsdowne Street closed in January after a long run in the space. Owner Ken Oringer (of Toro, Uni and Clio fame) is rumored to have “sold the space to a friend” to open a concept restaurant in time for Red Sox Opening day. Doesn’t look likely as the place still looks vacant and quiet with opening day less than a week away so we will have to wait and see what happens with this space.
Also during the winter, Game On underwent a massive overhaul including turning their basement into a Table Tennis bar called “Blazing Paddles.”
Also closing was Barrio Cantina, (formerly Happys) by chef Michael Schlow. No word yet on what is going back into this space but both prior attempts lasted less than a year in the space with far, far less than rave reviews.
However, a new Greek restaurant has opened to rave reviews on Peterborough Street’s restaurant row. Check out theGyro City website to learn more about the difference between a “gyro” and a “souvlaki,” or to plan your pregame lunch for Friday’s Red Sox opening day.
Van Ness and 1325 Boylston (Weiner Ventures project)
The area of Boylston Street that most people will remember as a large auto body shop and then small organic grocer is going to become Fenway’s largest development project yet.
Description: The project will encompass two towers connected by a large above ground outdoor courtyard. The retail component is anchored by Boston’s first full-sized Target department store (something Mayor Mennino fought against for years) on the second and third floors, accessible from multiple ground floor locations. Ground floor also features specialty retail shops and restaurants.
The old McDonalds turned game day parking will soon be the latest luxury residential project of the part owners of the Boston Celtics, The Abbey Group.
Courtesy: The Abbey GroupProject Stats:
Old Howard Johnsons
Gone is the half-century long home of the Howard Johnson’s Hotel and, after a massive $18.8 mil renovation, in comes The Verb Hotel.
The “Rock and Roll” themed hotel is slated to open in the Summer of 2014 with reservations being taken as early as this week. This is certainly a welcome change by many and excited to see how this stretch of Boylston is revitalized by an influx of new visitors to the hotel.
While work hasn’t yet started on the “Blue Monster,” the partnership of Samuels and Associates and Weiner Ventures will again be bringing a large residential tower to the neighborhood with the tallest building yet in The Fenway, a 22-story residential building.
Landmark Center Changes
Fenway Center (THE fenway redevelopment project)
The long stalled project planned for years by developer John Rosenthal as the next great Mass Pike air rights project has hit yet another snag. An appeal has been made for tax breaks by Rosenthal that, at this point, have not been granted. Hopefully ground can break towards the end of this year on the last major piece of The Fenway’s transition and the connector between Kenmore Square and The Fenway.
Starting a dialogue on the future of urban living in Boston and beyond.