Samuels & Associates, which has been building in the Fenway for a couple decades now, today filed detailed plans with the BPDA for its proposal to replace the Boylston Street Star Market and the neighboring abandoned gas station with an 11-story life-sciences building, new parkland and bike lanes along Park Drive and a "cultural pavilion."
The proposed building, on what is a 2.4-acre lot along Boylston Street between Park Drive and Kilmarnock Street, would, as is the norm along Boylston, also devote the bulk of the ground floor to retail and restaurant use. An underground garage would have space for 416 cars; the building would also have storage space for 255 bicycles.
The Star Market will move across the street into space at the expanded 401 Park complex - the former Landmark Center.
The Project is conceived as a redevelopment that will build upon the recent developments and revitalization of the Fenway area and will continue the positive evolution of the Fenway neighborhood into a vibrant and diverse mixed use urban village. The Project is proposed to include ground floor retail and restaurants along Boylston Street that will activate the streets, with office and R&D uses on the upper floors, and the Cultural Pavilion along Park Drive. The Project design will elegantly define and strengthen the western entrance into the Fenway neighborhood and restore the edge of the Emerald Necklace along Park Drive now occupied by the decommissioned gas station.
The company adds it will work on life-sciences training aimed at providing "Boston residents from disadvantaged backgrounds with the training and skills needed to meet the ever-increasing demand for skilled workers in the life science industry."
What a bird floating above the 401 Park plaza would see:
Samuels says it would be responsible for programming in the flexible-space "cultural pavilion." It didn't specify further, but pointed to its "proven history of activating open space" at 401 Park.
The company expects construction to take 32 months.
The project would be something of a capstone of Samuel's role in transforming Boylston Street from a collection of low-rise garages and fast-food outlets into a new "main street" for Fenway - there aren't all that many low-rise buildings left on the street - but the company says it'll be sticking around for the even longer haul, and says it will continue to add to the 1,200 housing units it's already built in the area - in addition to another 1,000 or so units that other developers have either built or are now constructing.
Samuels has a long-term commitment to continue working with the community for many more years. As part of this future commitment, Samuels plans to create additional housing in the Fenway to continue the neighborhood wide mixed-use development vision.
1400 Boylston St. filings and calendar.