Construction Begins For The First Solar-Powered Transit Station In Mass.



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(Lisa Tobin/WBUR)
(Lisa Tobin/WBUR)

When you head into Boston for a Red Sox game, chances are you drive or take the T — it’s not likely you’ll take commuter rail. The commuter rail stop near Fenway is Yawkey Station, and it isn’t really much of a station.

“This station is an MBTA commuter rail station operating for Longwood medical area and Fenway Park has no public access and is buried in a sea of parking lots,” says Newton developer John Rosenthal.

Monday is a big day for him, because state officials will be in this sea of parking lots to break ground on a new expanded commuter rail station that will be the state’s first solar powered transit station.

That will then allow Rosenthal to begin his $450 million project for this site, known as Fenway Center. It’s a multi-part development project that involves office space, retail, residential units and a parking garage with solar panels. It will be built behind Fenway Park and over the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Construction of the new Yawkey commuter rail station begins Monday. Rosenthal says the first phase of the commercial part of the development will begin in 2011 and take about three years, depending on the financing, which he is still working on.

Rosenthal has been trying to get this off the ground for a decade. WBUR’s Deborah Becker recently talked with him about it at Yawkey Station.

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