Plans for the large-scale high-rise development project 1 Kenmore have undergone plenty of revisions over the past decade, with the latest proposal eliciting the kind of momentum and public support necessary to move construction forward. The direction of the One Kenmore project — also known as Fenway Center — has shifted to focus more on retail and commercial space rather than just residential units (for obvious, post housing-bubble related reasons).
The development, set at a comfortable 1.3 million square feet, has been deemed 'mixed-use.' Parking garages should consume a sizeable chunk of this square footage, while a quarter of the One Kenmore space will be converted into offices. Retail shops, restaurants, and approximately 300 residences will comprise the rest of the buildings. Projected overall costs stand around $450 million.
One Kenmore will provide both public and private parking. While tenants and property owners lay claim to over 600 spaces, a public garage will house an estimated 700 spots. Multiple communities are expected to use the public facility, including local businesses and their patrons, workers in the Longwood Medical Area, and Red Sox fans during the season.
As with anything, this project is all about location. The management group behind the project says Fenway Center "will respect the urban grid." Their plan is to repurpose old surface parking lots and fill in wind-swept bridges with high-rise structures and retail spaces along Beacon Street and Brookline Ave. Originally meant for east of the Brookline Ave Bridge, One Kenmore will now be erected west of the bridge above and around the MBTA Yawkey Commuter Rail Station.
Towers between 10 and 25 floors high will rest directly above Yawkey Station, while surrounding buildings will scale down from there in an effort to look less conspicuous within the Audubon Circle neighborhood. A draw of the new residences will surely be their proximity to the commuter rail and Green Line Stations — specifically the Kenmore and Fenway stops.
Investors also hope One Kenmore will improve connections between Fenway Park, Yawkey Station, Audubon Circle, Kenmore Square, and the Lansdowne Entertainment District. Another hope is that the green structures will diminish wind and noise in the area by covering the Massachusetts Turnpike.