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BOSTON-The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority has commenced its quest to find developers to purchase the air rights for three parcels along the Massachusetts Turnpike near Landsdowne St. behind Fenway Park.

The three parcels, totaling just over six acres, don’t have much land but the air rights give a developer permission to build over the highway in a prime real estate area. According to Steve Hines, the Authority’s chief development officer, the process to find a developer will be slightly lengthened as part of an agreement with the city. The Authority has put out a request for qualifications from developers which will be reviewed with a citizen’s advisory committee. Based on that input a select group of developers will be invited to submit proposals for developing the sites.

“There is some land on both sides of the highway, but primarily these are air rights,” Hines tells GlobeSt.com. There are no height restrictions on these parcels but Hines says that the Turnpike Authority will try to follow a “civic vision” on air rights that was put together a few years ago. According to those guidelines, the height restrictions are 150 feet. But the area is not subject to that kind of zoning so if a developer made a proposal with slightly taller buildings it could succeed, notes Hines.

The goal of this development is to hide the Turnpike and knit together the Kenmore Square neighborhood with the Fenway area. While there is some concern that any development in this area could impact the renovation of Fenway Park–the new owners of the Boston Red Sox have stated that that is their intention–Hines insists that that concern is unwarranted.

“This does not inhibit the renovation of Fenway Park,” he says.”If anything this would enhance the general atmosphere of the area and support the renovation.”

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