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fenway-center-phase-1-december-2017The Baker-Polito Administration’s Department of Transportation today announced that after nearly two decades of discussions, it has closed on a lease agreement for Phase I of the Fenway Center Development Project, allowing for construction to begin immediately on two buildings which will contain rental housing units, retail and office space, as well as a direct pedestrian walkway to the adjacent Yawkey commuter rail station and a parking lot with more than 1,200 spaces.

With the $21 million, 99-year lease, signed between the developer and MassDOT, logistics for the project’s construction will begin to be put in place on site next week.

“By leveraging our underutilized infrastructure, we can identify opportunities for local economic development, such as the Fenway Center Project, and create new jobs, better housing, and continued growth within our communities,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Projects like Fenway Center, and those through our ‘Open for Business’ initiative that lease or sell state-owned assets, are resulting in over half a billion in new revenue to the Commonwealth and it’s municipalities and thousands of new housing units and jobs for local residents.”

“Our Administration is proud to work closely with our private sector and municipal partners to put our existing state properties to the best use and help meet local development priorities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are pleased to have finalized the lease agreement for Phase I of the Fenway Center Development Project and thank all those who have helped us reach this milestone to advance the Fenway area’s housing and economic growth interests.”

The Massachusetts Turnpike Parcel 7 Phase 1 lease executed between MassDOT and MK Parcel Development, LLC was signed December 6, 2017.  The lease payment totaling $21 million has already been received by MassDOT and this project has been fully permitted by the City of Boston.

In July 2017, the MassDOT Board of Directors authorized MassDOT to develop the Fenway Center Project in two phases. The developer is expected to begin work-related activities this month on Phase I construction while discussions are ongoing regarding the lease agreement for Phase II. Phase II plans call for three buildings to be constructed over I-90 near the two buildings which are part of Phase I and the developer is required to close the Phase II lease by December 2020.

“We are proud to have closed on a lease agreement for the Fenway Center Development Project that will transform this underutilized state asset into a thriving economic development opportunity that will include improved housing options, new jobs, and enhanced open space within this local community,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “This is a prime location in the immediate vicinity of many amenities and transit options including the MBTA Commuter Rail and Green Line and is an example of our commitment to ensuring our transportation infrastructure supports development within our communities.”

The Baker-Polito Administration’s “Open for Business” initiative was launched in 2015 and seeks to leverage Commonwealth-owned vacant or underutilized assets for local economic benefits, including office and open space, retail, and housing. To date, 33 state-owned assets have been sold, leased, or put under agreement, and when fully developed, will generate over $500 million in revenue, 2,250 new housing units, 1,300 permanent jobs, nearly $1 million in reduced annual operating expenses, and $19 million in annual property taxes to local cities and towns.

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