Trains And Games: Boston's Top Teams Look To Pair Transit With Athletic Developments
Whether the location is by a new commuter rail stop in Brighton or directly above North Station downtown, Boston’s sports teams are embracing transit-oriented development to give players and fans a livable experience beyond game day.
“We are always asking ‘how can we get better as an organization?’” Boston Bruins President Cam Neely said. “Our collaboration with New Balance at Warrior Arena is a great example of this. We have a state-of-the-art facility that enables our coaches and training staff to give our players the best available equipment and preparation.”
Seven miles from their home rink at TD Garden in the West End, the Bruins debuted their new 75K SF Warrior Ice Arena practice facility in September 2016. The arena, built and maintained by New Balance, replaced the organization’s previous practice facility in Wilmington and is part of the up-and-coming Boston Landing neighborhood in Brighton. The area is already home to New Balance’s global headquarters and will eventually house the Boston Celtics practice facility next door to the Bruins building.
“Boston Landing is such a transformative project,” New Balance Development Group Managing Director Jim Halliday said. “From the creation of a new gateway into the city and to be able to do it in conjunction with iconic Boston brands such as New Balance, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics and John Hancock centered around health, wellness and community activation is so rewarding for us on the project team.”
Boston Landing will be a sports-influenced, transit-oriented development. Visitors to the New Balance/Celtics/Bruins trio can arrive to the neighborhood via the Boston Landing commuter rail station on the Worcester line. The $20M infill transit stop is the result of a public-private partnership with New Balance and the MBTA.
Developers plan on workers in Boston Landing’s offices living nearby. In addition to the office and athletic facilities, the neighborhood features the 295-unit Residences at Boston Landing, which will open in June 2018. The 175-room Boston Landing Hotel is planned to cater to visitors and business travelers to the area. Ground-level retail is also coming, with a restaurant and bowling alley signed and more to follow.
“Placemaking has played an integral role in the urban planning of Boston Landing,” New Balance Senior Leasing and Marketing Manager Erin Harvey said. “Working in partnership with our retail brokers, Graffito SP, we believe in the importance of ground-floor activation.”
Sports-centric development is not limited to Brighton. The Hub on Causeway is under construction at the TD Garden, home to the Celtics and Bruins. Delaware North and Boston Properties are partnering on a 1.5M SF mixed-use development that will serve as a gateway into the sports arena.
The Hub on Causeway’s first phase includes a grocery, a movie theater and office space and is expected to be complete in late 2018. Building permits have already been pulled for a $209M, 38-story residential tower above the first phase, according to BuildZoom.
Across the city in Fenway, the Red Sox have seen a neighborhood transform around their iconic Fenway Park. What was once a neighborhood dominated by the ballpark and surrounding sports bars has become a hub of gourmet dining and towering mixed-use development. Samuels & Associates has emerged as the neighborhood’s biggest developer, with projects like the Pierce Boston apartment/condo tower, Van Ness and the trendy Verb Hotel.
“For years, Fenway Park was the primary reason people came into the neighborhood, which left open major opportunities for other entertainment uses like restaurants and retail, not to mention residential and office to drive more steady foot traffic,” Samuels Chief Operating Officer and principal Leslie Cohen said.
The Red Sox seem to enjoy the new neighbors.
“From the preservation and protection of Fenway Park that sparked the revitalization of a neighborhood, to the commitment to the Boston and New England community, the impact has gone beyond baseball and felt far beyond the walls of our ballpark,” Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said in a statement to Bisnow.
To hear from the presidents of the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and New England Patriots as well as from the developers behind construction near all of their stadiums, be sure to attend Bisnow’s State of Boston Sports event at the Warrior Ice Arena Wednesday, July 19. Buy tickets here.
Seating will be around the ice rink, which runs cold, so bring a sweater! A silent auction will take place to benefit Caritas Communities, an organization focused on providing permanent, affordable housing for low-income individuals, most of whom have been homeless. Funds will go toward such programs as keeping rent affordable at Caritas-operated facilities as well as providing on-site support services.