Beyond the Diamond: Boston Red Sox Owner to Redevelop Five Acres Surrounding Fenway Park
BOSTON — A division of Fenway Sports Group, the owner of the Boston Red Sox, is building a team to redevelop the area outside of Fenway Park. The company’s real estate arm, Fenway Sports Group Real Estate (FSGRE), is partnering with Massachusetts-based WS Development and the D’Angelo family to redevelop several sites surrounding the Red Sox home ballpark.
Details were not disclosed, but The Boston Globe reports the project would bring office space, apartment buildings, shops, laboratories for life science firms, public spaces and maybe a hotel to the Fenway neighborhood. The office space could house Fenway Sports Group’s staffers who work inside Fenway Park’s offices, according to the newspaper.
The move mirrors what other professional sports teams, including the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals, have done in recent years to create density surrounding their ballparks with mixed-use villages.
The Boston Globe also reports that Fenway Sports Group has invested $350 million on physical improvements at Fenway Park over the past 18 years and in that time also purchased adjoining sites surrounding the ballpark for future development.
“Our partnership’s work in the area surrounding the ballpark will have a profound effect on the experience of Red Sox fans and all Bostonians as we create beautiful, dynamic streetscapes that complement the character and significance of Fenway Park,” says John Henry, principal owner of Fenway Sports Group.
The sites outside of Fenway Park total five acres and include parcels on Jersey Street, Brookline Avenue, Van Ness Street and Landsdowne Street. The sites are not contiguous. FSGRE and the D’Angelo family own the parcels and formed the joint venture with WS Development to transform the neighborhood while also respecting its history.
“This is an opportunity to help create a community-first place that adds to the fabric of this neighborhood we all love,” says Jeremy Sclar, CEO of WS Development. “We are deeply humbled to work alongside FSGRE and the D’Angelo family on these hallowed grounds.”
No construction timeline was disclosed, but the development review process is expected to kick off later this year. The Boston Globe reports that the joint venture informed community leaders and elected officials in the Fenway neighborhood about its plans Monday, Oct. 19.
Fenway Sports Group Real Estate (FSGRE) is a private real estate firm that oversees the assets, acquisitions and development of properties owned by Fenway Sports Group, including the MGM Music Hall, which is currently under construction adjacent to Fenway Park, and Fenway South, which abuts JetBlue Park’s Player Development Complex in Lee County, Fla.
Fenway Sports Group is the parent company of the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, Fenway Sports Management, New England Sports Network (NESN) and Roush Fenway Racing. The company also owns and operates Fenway Park and Anfield Stadium, home of Liverpool Football Club.
Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912 and was rebuilt in 1934. The ballpark has a daytime capacity of 37,221 and a nighttime capacity of 37,673, according to ballparksofbaseball.com.
Established in 1990, WS Development owns, operates and leases more than 100 properties. The mixed-use developer has a portfolio that includes more than 20 million square feet of existing space and an additional 5 million square feet under development.
The privately held company’s work in the Boston area includes projects in the Seaport district such as The Current, One Seaport, 111 Harbor Way and 400 Summer Street. WS Development also has redeveloped historic sites in Tampa’s Hyde Park neighborhood and the original site of the Museum of Natural History in Boston’s Back Bay, which is now the Restoration Hardware building.
The D’Angelo family owns the Red Sox Team Store on Jersey Street and ’47 Brand, a sports apparel label that produces hats, jackets, facemasks and other clothing and accessories. The team store has been in operation since 1967.
— John Nelson