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The $1B Fenway Center, Now Slated For Lab Space, Starts Construction Over MassPike

A rendering of the Fenway Center development.

A billion-dollar life sciences campus will soon rise over the Massachusetts Turnpike, the project's co-developers announced Monday.

Major life sciences player IQHQ and local developer Meredith Management Corp. will start construction on the Fenway Center, a project that will include two towers on a 90K SF air rights deck over the MassPike. The project will be built along Brookline Avenue and Beacon Street and total more than 960K SF of life sciences space and 10K SF of ground-floor retail, the developers said.

“Fenway Center will be the gateway to the Longwood Medical Center and act as a prominent catalyst for Boston’s rapidly growing life science sector that will serve the needs of future tenants with collaborative workspaces teaming with top talent, and access to world-class entertainment, amenities, residential space and public transportation,” IQHQ Chief Investment Officer John Bonanno said in a statement.

The site was 20 years in the making, Meredith Management President John Rosenthal said in a statement. The developers last Friday closed on a $55M deal to lease the air rights from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, an IQHQ spokesman said.

The build will feature 1.6 acres of green space and a pedestrian walkway connecting the Longwood Medical Area, Audubon Circle, Kenmore Square and Back Bay neighborhoods. The development also sits alongside Bower, a 312-unit apartment complex, and the Lansdowne MBTA commuter rail station.

The air rights deck will take approximately two years to complete and require closure of one lane in each direction of the MassPike with additional late-night lane closures for deck construction, the developers said. The buildings are expected to deliver in 2025.

The site represents the largest air rights build in Boston since Copley Place in 1980, developers said. Samuels & Associates is also constructing an air rights development on Boylston Street that will house CarGurus’ headquarters. Construction over the MassPike has proven tricky, with two prominent pitches falling through in recent years.

Fenway Center will bolster California-based IQHQ's Boston-area life sciences portfolio, which also includes a 285K SF lab and office project at nearby 109 Brookline and a life sciences campus in Alewife. Beverley-based Meredith Management was a co-developer on Bower with The Green Cities Co. and Nuveen Real Estate.