Developer Steve Samuels is ready with his next act in the Fenway: an office, residential, and retail complex that will bring the first Target store to Boston's inner core.
Site work has begun on the $325 million Fenway Triangle development at 1325 Boylston St., with Samuels preparing to demolish the former Goodyear garage and two other small buildings. Construction on the complex itself is scheduled for next year.
Approved by city regulators last year, the Fenway Triangle is significant on several fronts: It will include some of the first speculative office space to be built since the recession, add 172 residences to the neighborhood, and convert the forgotten alley of Van Ness Street into a retail-lined pedestrian way.
"We view this project as an anchor for the Fenway in many ways," said Peter Sougarides, who is managing the project for Samuels & Associates. "It will help the retail in this area grow and thrive and bring new office space for companies interested in what the Fenway has to offer."
Sougarides said the project has had interest from technology companies and other businesses not typically drawn to the Fenway, which has many medical tenants that want to be near Longwood Medical Area.
The Fenway Triangle complex is Samuel's latest effort to remake this strip of Boylston, where old parking lots and gas stations have been replaced with modern residences, shops, and restaurants. He was part of team that built Trilogy, a massive apartment and retail building near the corner of Brookline and Boylston streets. Samuels also developed 1330 Boylston, which includes homes and restaurants such as Citizen Public House and the Japanese grill Basho.
Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects, Fenway Triangle will be a multitiered complex, with two buildings joined over a common base of stores and restaurants. One building will include 230,000 square feet of office space, and the other will have 172 apartments. The complex will have underground parking.
The retail component is expected to be anchored by Target, with smaller shops and restaurants in storefronts along Boylston and Van Ness, which will be connected via a new street. That block currently serves as an alley between Fenway Park and Boylston Street. Executives with Samuels note that the street sits on the same axis as Newbury Street and could develop a similar ambiance.
Bill Richardson, president of the Fenway Civic Association, said he supports the plans to transform the street but hopes shoppers will not be be overwhelmed by vehicle traffic.
"It could be a fun street," Richardson said. "I hope they spend more time and attention making it pedestrian-oriented."
Sougarides said the firm intends to do just that.
"Van Ness is designed to accommodate smaller storefronts that will make it feel more intimate," he said. "It will belong more to pedestrians than to vehicles."
The 1325 Boylston complex is to be followed by a 17-story residential building at 132 Brookline Ave., across from the Regal Fenway theaters. Samuels has not set a start date for that construction.
Casey Ross can be reached at email@example.com.