Citgo Sign: Lights Out Over Fenway?
The Opening Day view above the Green Monster could look drastically different if Citgo does not reach an agreement with its sign’s new landlord.
Last August, Boston University sold Related Beal nine Kenmore Square buildings, including 660 Beacon where the Citgo sign has perched since 1940. While developers have promised to spruce up that patch of the neighborhood, it has been unclear if the neon landmark was part of that future. The sign’s lease expires three days before the first Red Sox home game, and the building’s new owner is looking to boost the rent. Citgo pays $250K/year for the lofty advertising spot, but Related is looking for something closer to $2.2M/year, the Boston Globe reports. Citgo is offering to double its rent, but the financially unsound Venezuelan government (Citgo’s owner) cannot go much higher.
The Boston Landmark Commission is considering granting the sign historical landmark status, which would slow down any new development at the site. Fifteen thousand people have signed a petition to save the sign. Other Boston icons are even rallying behind the sign: Julian Edelman tweeted his support earlier this week.