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Fenway: East Meets West

Fenway: East Meets West
Fenway: East Meets West
Boston Realty Advisors founding principal Jason Weissman, with associate Andrew Herald, says that when his brokerage listed 52 Westland Ave for sale on Tuesday, 90 investors signed up to take a look. Why such interest in a 43-unit, 1899 multifamily building in the once overlooked East Fenway district? With major developments in the works on surrounding blocks, a transformation is under way that will elevate the now hip East Fenway into the rarified realm of the dynamic West Fenway, where decades of intense development continue.
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Fenway: East Meets West
Around the corner on Mass Avenue, Berklee School of Music is building an 18-story, $100M mixed-use tower. (They hope it's completed in 3/4 time.) When completed next year, the glass-clad design by William Rawn Architects will introduce grace to a formerly forlorn retail strip. Nearby, the massive Christian Science Center property has been approved for a 950k SF mixed-use development. The church has hired HFF to find investors for the complex that will be a new magnet for residents, workers, and visitors. On Hemenway Street, The Boston Conservatory completed a $32M redevelopment, and a few blocks away near St. Cecilia's Church, Samuels Associates and Weiner Ventures are proposing two large mixed-use projects: multifamily, hotel and retail.
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Mass College of Art and Design’s $61M, 21-story residence hall
Down Huntington Avenue in the West Fenway, Mass Art’s $61M, 21-story residence hall designed by ADD Inc recently joined the skyline. The 145k SF tower is adjacent to Wentworth Institute, where the Flanagan Campus Center—a 23k SF renovation and 9,400 SF addition to Beatty Hall—is under construction. Wentworth is also expanding and renovating the Ira Allen Building for new labs, classrooms, and offices for the College of Arts and Sciences. A few blocks away on Huntington Avenue, a $100M residence hall is being developed for Northeastern University at the YMCA complex. The developer, Phoenix Lincoln Properties, will build a 720-bed dorm that the university will lease long term.
$350M Longwood Center under construction
We would've hopped the fence but we forgot our hard hat at home. In the superstar Longwood Medical Area, digging started last month on the $350M Longwood Center being developed by National Development, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Charles River Realty Investors, and Clarion Partners. The Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Accelerator Corp are anchor tenants in the 414k SF life science building. Although it’s hard to imagine another new structure in the crammed LMA, Children’s Hospital is managing to squeeze into its campus Skinny Binney, a 130k SF patient-care facility now under construction. And Brigham and Women’s Hospital is creating a new landscaped entry, the Stoneman Centennial Park, atop a new underground garage.
Fenway: East Meets West
Overlooking the Fens, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum opened its Renzo Piano- designed makeover earlier this year. The $180M project (new construction, renovation of the original 1903 building, and endowment funding), includes a 70k SF addition with a performance hall, exhibition gallery, artist apartments, café, and greenhouse. Across the street, the Museum of Fine Arts set the pace for a development boomlet in late 2010 when it expanded by 28%. Norman Foster designed the $345M addition and the museum raised another $159M for an endowment to support its programs and operations.