The Red Sox, the Fenway Civic Association, volunteer groups that look out for the Muddy River and the Emerald Necklace and Berklee College are all raising questions about shadows and winds that could be generated by Trans National Properties' proposed 29-story tower at Charlesgate.
As first reported by the Globe, the Red Sox object to the "Manhattanization" of the area around Fenway Park, specifically to the fact the building would be right in the face of fans. Also, the teams points to a statement by the developer's own consultants that the tower would mean brisk wind gusts along Ipswich Street.
The Sox's comments are included in a collection of comments from the public (5.7M PDF) to the BPDA on the building, which would have 295 residential units.
In addition to the Sox, Berklee College, which owns Boston Conservatory of Music buildings nearby, also points to the wind issue. Berklee also raised concerns about the location of the building's loading area and, during construction, hoists and tower crane, next to its 132 Ipswich St. classroom building "may well interfere with teaching and learning in the Conservatory's building."
The Emerald Necklace Conservancy notes that the building, at 340 feet in height, would be 2 1/2 times taller than allowed under zoning for the area.
Adequate reasoning has not been presented so far to support the assertion that the height of the building needs to be in line with the other Gateway location. ...
Olmsted could not have anticipated a future in which the parks would be overlooked by very tall buildings, changing the feeling of getting away from the 'bustle and jar of the streets."
The conservancy adds that the new building
Would be a new dominant visual presence from inside the Emerald Necklace, and could have a very real impact on the Emerald Necklace experience and its users.
The Fenway Civic Association says 2 Charlesgate is fundamentally different from the Pierce high rise going in at the other end of Boylston because that building is separated from the neighborhood's low-rise residential areas and did not seek as significant an increase from existing zoning as 2 Charlesgate.
The association adds the proposal says it's transit oriented because of the 55 bus, but that bus is already jammed at rush hour. "How would the additional influx of residents impact public transit capacity?"
And the group says it is "deeply troubled" by what it says is Trans National's attempted "paying off" of neighborhood groups with cash payments in exchange for support.
The Fenway Garden Society also raised the cash-payment issue, and shadows - and said it's concerned about possible glare from the glass-sheathed building. Trans National offered to install fins or louvers of some type to cut down on the glare, but the garden society says that would then raise the risk of ice forming on them and plummeting to the sidewalk below.