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Kenmore Square, Mass Pike Air Rights Development

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Plan raises tower, spares Lansdowne

By Scott Van Voorhis

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Twin towers at the center of a sweeping proposal to deck over the Massachusetts Turnpike next to Fenway Park with a sprawling residential and retail development will gain height under a recently unveiled revamp of the project.

Developer John Rosenthal will push the smaller air-rights residential tower to 23 stories from 16 in a significant revamp of his plan. The taller air-rights tower, a 29-story condominium, won't change.

Rosenthal's revamped plan eliminates housing on adjacent Lansdowne Street, long a center of Hub nightlife. The 46 residential units planned for a Lansdowne building would be contained instead in the smaller of the project's towers, while another 100 Lansdowne housing units have been axed.

The skyward shift came as Rosenthal revised his $300 million Pike building plan in preparation for a key public hearing in two weeks. The Newton developer, who owns a Lansdowne Street parking garage, has pitched his One Kenmore plan as a way to reconnect Kenmore Square and Fenway Park, long divided by the depressed, eight-lane Turnpike.

His plans also call for shops, a health club and parking, as well as two walkways to Fenway.

A community advisory panel is reviewing Rosenthal's proposal. The developer is seeking final regulatory approval in the next year for the 1.1 million-square-foot project.

``We are well on the way to having conceptual approval,'' Rosenthal said.

Rosenthal's decision to move housing away from Lansdowne will cut the height of two planned buildings along that street, to seven and six stories from 12 and nine, respectively. More retail space will fill the buildings, along with 340 parking spaces.

Rosenthal said he decided to pull the plug on Lansdowne housing plans after concerns were raised by the owners of nightclubs and businesses - including the Boston Red Sox - that the residences would undermine the street's character.

From The Boston Herald

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