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March 3, 2010 
 
 
Top 100:
JOHN ROSENTHAL
DEVELOPER/CRUSADER

 
Meredith Management’s John Rosenthal is preparing to start construction on the first piece of Fenway Center, a $450M, 1.3M SF project that includes a new commuter rail stop, residences, retail, offices, and parking adjacent to Fenway Park. He’s partnering with Sox owners on what will be one of the most ambitious projects to get started since the economic meltdown.
 
John, with Monika Butkiewicz and his wife Maureen Berkley

John, with Monika Butkiewicz and his wife Maureen Berkley, director of property management, look over a model and rendering of Fenway Center. It will have 1300 parking spaces, 330 residences, 370k SF of offices, 100k SF of retail, 30K SF of park and green space, bike storage, a day care center, and community space. “We are fully permitted and shovel ready,” he says. In this credit constrained economy, John has been securing debt financing from city, state and federal sources (including stimulus funds).

Meredith Management's John Rosenthal, Jon Hickok and Laura Hyer, with advisors Wiley and Tazzie

John also has a one-of-a-kind office in a converted 1700’s mill and some top office personnel who walk on four legs. We snapped him with Jon Hickok and Laura Hyer, with advisors Wiley and Tazzie. John has always brought a dog to work, so when Laura came on board to run STOP Handgun Violence (an advocacy group John started), Tazzie was part of the package. As a gun owning skeet shooter, John started SHV in ‘95 with the late Michael Kennedy (son of RFK). After Michael’s death, Vickie (wife of the late Ted Kennedy) asked to take his place. John says Mass. has the most comprehensive gun violence protection and the fewest gun fatalities after Hawaii.

John (center) and his in-house counsel Jerry Belair (on his left) met last week with a URS team seeking to manage construction for Fenway Center. Work on the $12M MBTA commuter rail stop is slated to start this fall. We snapped Thalia Schlesinger, Scott Bini, and standing Steve Moore, David Tremblay, Chris Watson, and Mathew King. The Architectural Team, and Carlos Zapata Studio, the design architects, are preparing construction drawings. Suffolk Construction is the design/build GC, while J.F. White is the civil contractor. John plans to get a guaranteed construction price for Phase I this summer. Including all the planning on the mixed-use project, he says “It took seven years to get into the batter’s box.”

Jerry is Meredith’s point man for solar energy projects. Here they’re holding pics of solar arrays installed in December atop Meredith’s HQ and some of its other properties: an office building in Springfield and rental apartments in Clinton and Ware. The Fenway Center MBTA station and garage will also have solar arrays enabling them to produce more energy than they use. John has championed solar power since the ‘70s, when he also campaigned against nuclear power, an effort he continued on Saturday with an anti-nuke editorial in The Boston Globe.


MIT CANCER CENTER
 
M.I.T.’s 360k SF David H. Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research under construction at 500 Main Street in Kendall Square, Cambridge

We snapped MIT's 360k SF David H. Koch Institute for Integrated Cancer Research under construction at 500 Main Street in Kendall Square, Cambridge. The exterior was completed in January. Inside, sheetrock is going up on the top floor, while painting is underway below, said program manager Arne Abramson. Arne explained that Cambridge architect Ellenzweig designed the research building to encourage collaboration between natural science biologists and engineers, “a relatively novel approach.”

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