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Old 08-08-2007, 02:36 PM   #1
pharmerdave
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Last stop Wonderland

Here is a link to the ENF for the proposed Waterfront Square at Revere Beach TOD. 1,366,694 sq ft of new development including 753 condos adjacent to the Wonderland Station.

http://www.mass.gov/envir/mepa/pdffi...07em/14080.pdf
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Old 08-30-2007, 10:30 AM   #2
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Quote:
Development likely to have Revere Beach gleaming anew
$500m complex to cover 10 acres


By Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Globe Staff | August 30, 2007

With new upscale condominiums being built and plans for a $500 million hotel, office, residential, and retail development in the works, Revere Beach may be ready for a comeback more than a half century after its glory days.

Since the early 1950s, Revere has tried in vain to restore life to its historic beachfront, the first in the nation officially reserved for public use. But that's about to change -- groundbreaking is scheduled next year on a project to develop about 10 acres adjacent to the Wonderland MBTA station. Plans for the development, called Waterfront Square at Revere Beach, include a 13-story hotel, 902 condominiums, and nearly 200,000 square feet of office, restaurant and retail space. It should begin just as a $9 million upgrade of the beach and Revere Beach Parkway is being completed by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Here's the link to the full article: http://www.boston.com/business/globe...gleaming_anew/
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Old 08-30-2007, 02:20 PM   #3
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One South Boston Waterfront isn't anough, we need two.
Those condos better have bars, restaurants, and nightclubs on the first floor.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:56 AM   #4
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I've been eyeing this spot of land for awhile, but the renderings from boston.com look nothing like the posters. Either that, or I'm thinking of a different development (I believe the poster said "The Ocean Club at Revere Beach").

I am really excited to see what happens here, because Revere Beach really has the potential to become the South Beach of the Northeast. If only colder.

Also, the mention of the casino at Wonderland dogtrack is new (for me, at least). I think this is a much better location, near condos and hotels, instead of single family homes and a gas terminal. It has a nightclub (Lido, which could use a little refurbish), and easy mass transit access.

I'm just wondering when the MBTA will make it a priority to renovate the Wonderland station? It certainly could use it, especially with this influx of people from the developments.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Schmoe
One South Boston Waterfront isn't enough, we need two.
Those condos better have bars, restaurants, and nightclubs on the first floor.
There isn't much "architecture" in this proposal and its linear nature may only serve to wall off the beach from some of residential Revere and what little remains of the Shirley Avenue shopping district. Still, this has been a long time coming and will likely help revitalize the area. Considering that Revere Beach is only 6 miles from downtown and on a subway line, there's no reason why Revere shouldn't be as attractive as JP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedy
I'm just wondering when the MBTA will make it a priority to renovate the Wonderland station?
The station was rebuilt in the early 90s. A better idea would be to create a connection between Wonderland Station and the Commuter Rail tracks on the far side of the dog track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedy
Also, the mention of the casino at Wonderland dog track is new (for me, at least). I think this is a much better location, near condos and hotels, instead of single family homes and a gas terminal.
Marginally better than Suffolk because of the potential Commuter Rail connection, but the site is significantly smaller than Suffolk, and the traffic issues are just as bad.
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:07 AM   #6
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Renderings from the article:







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Old 08-31-2007, 10:08 AM   #7
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its linear nature may only serve to wall off the beach from some of residential Revere and what little remains of the Shirley Street shopping district
I don't think those are concerns for this proposal. The project basically runs from Wonderland Station to Revere Street. I believe the only connections to the beach from the interior of Revere through this parcel would be passing through Wonderland Station (which would still be allowed by this proposal) and a small footbridge from Agawam Street (which due to the traffic volumes on Route 1A, is probably only serving 20 houses on the east side of the highway at most).

Shirley Ave is about 1/2 mile south of this proposal and would not be impacted (unless positively by higher income residential populations within walking distance).

Other than Beachmont and the hill at the top of Centennial Ave, which are both south of the end of the beach, most of the area inland of the beach is relatively flat with no views to the water. If anything, the existing and proposed towers at the beach serve as a visual clue as to where the beach is.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:05 PM   #8
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Renderings = Yawn.

Miami Beach this ain't.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:09 PM   #9
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Ouch, it really does remind me of a second SBWaterfront.

There was never as much potential here, though. Less worth complaining about.
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:29 PM   #10
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Does anyone know if this will effect Bianchi's?
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czsz
There was never as much potential here, though. Less worth complaining about.
Time will tell. The site is more limited than any of the more desirable locations in Southie, but it's on a proper subway line and the ocean view doesn't hurt. I agree that the buildings are a snooze, but they're a world better than some of the crap that's been built in Revere recently.



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Old 08-31-2007, 03:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by nico
Does anyone know if this will effect Bianchi's?
Hope not!
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:57 PM   #13
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Hey, that weird blue building's architect is a friend of mine. He really doesn't build stuff like that though, he's more used to people's mega vaca homes on the water-that was the biggest project he ever did. And STOP BITCHING about the design of this. Creating a wall between the beach and Revere? A highway, some homes, a dog track, and a marsh? Are you retarded?

I think Walter Jacobs blue building would work if only the other shit old buildings were redone.

And I don't care that the MBTA reworked Wonderland in the '90s. It sucks, and they didn't do a whole lot to it.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briv
Seems like the desire for open space in Boston has spread into Revere. It looks like an airport landing strip behind the projects.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:35 PM   #15
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That's a salt marsh, I believe.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:05 AM   #16
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If only the T would improve service to match the shiny new stations people are building for them... or do a better job when they build themselves.

I don't mind the design at all, although I would have liked some more definition in textures along the strip instead of straight blue glass, but blue glass looks fine and reflects the water. I know they needed some offices to make the project viable (this isn't Miami Beach), but an office park isn't the ideal development on the beach front.

I like the boulevards and park strip, too.
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:39 PM   #17
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Question: why isn't this kind of development taking place along the Dorchester waterfront, which is actually in the city of Boston?

There's potential for waterfront-property values driven densification from Lynn to Hull, and transit to match.
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Old 09-03-2007, 05:57 PM   #18
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I wonder what the goal here is. I doubt it will make families want to go to Revere rather than to the relatively untarnished natural beauty of the Cape, and I doubt the world's young and beautiful people will flock here like Miami. Seems to me to be a large threat of it becomming Atlantic City, with a field of blight behind the shiny highrises, or ,shudder, Virginia Beach.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:06 PM   #19
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My thoughts ...

A couple months ago, a banker contacted me for my thoughts on building a condo complex on Revere Beach. It was a different development than this one, but my thoughts are relevant to both, I think.

His email:

Hi John. I stumbled upon your page and thought you might be able to answer a few questions I had concerning the condo market in the suburban Boston area.

I?m looking at possibly financing a project right on Revere Beach and was wondering what your feel of the market was up there as it was difficult to find any real comps.

Would a project in this area be a legitimate option for someone wanting to commute into the city? More specifically, young professionals?

Thanks, look forward to hearing from you!

My email:

Quote:
Please feel free to send me any and all questions you may have about the Boston real estate market, I?d be happy to offer some advice and opinion.

I?m not sure the question should be ?will people want to commute from Revere Beach into Boston?, but ?will people want to live on Revere Beach??

If you haven?t yet been to Revere Beach, I think you should visit to get an idea of what it?s like, currently. I?m sure with your research you?ve read a lot about its history. It?s become kind of a run-down neighborhood. The area is full of single-family and multi-family homes made up of people at the lower-rung of the economy. There is a supermarket within driving distance, but little else in the way of 24-hour a day appeal. There are a couple of bars on the street, but nothing you?d want to spend much time in. The strip itself is made up of unattractive homes and a good number of fast-food restaurants (no chains). Kelly?s Roast Beef is the most famous of them all - it?s open late and serves good food. I am up there three or four times a year, but only to stop at Kelly?s.

I haven?t been there during the summer, however. I can?t say what it?s like, then. It?s not popular enough to attract outsiders. I assume it gets a good number of younger folk racing up and down the street in their cars (actually up the street, since it?s one-way for much of it). The beach is not that attractive.

Regarding existing housing, there are several condo projects on Revere Beach Blvd that would be considered ?cheap? by Boston standards (say, $200,000 - $300,000 for 800 square feet - $250 / SF or so?). From what I remember, several of these buildings were built or converted into condos in the mid-1980?s, and then several of the buildings went into foreclosure when the market dropped after 1989. There may be a message there.

(One building is called the ?Saint George? and another is OceanGate Towers - I don?t know if either of these had bankruptcy problems.)

Regarding new construction, there were several condo projects built or proposed over the past several years. One off the strip is called Belle Isle Condominiums. Another is called Surfside Lofts and another is called The Ocean Club. The Atlantica was an 80-unit building completed in mid-2005. Most units sold under $400,000, around $280-340 / SF.

The Ocean Club will add 242 units to the beach. That?s a lot. Plus, they are asking in the $350 - $450 / SF range, which is higher than any other properties for sale. Again, cheaper than what you?d find in downtown Boston (where average is probably $500 overall, and $800 or more / SF for new construction).

I?ve been skeptical about The Ocean Club, but according to our local MLS, it looks as though 50-60 units are under agreement, already, at prices ranging from $350,000 - $700,000.

Hmmm.

I think there is a very limited supply of people who would be willing to live on Revere Beach. Those that do may be people who don?t commute into Boston - perhaps they work in the area or to the north of Boston. The new Harbor Tunnel speeds the commute, somewhat, but there?s still traffic at rush hour. This can be a deterrent, but not more so than the other thousands of people who drive in, every day. (There are two subway stops nearby, which would be very useful to young professionals needing access to Boston.)

Those who don?t already live in Boston would need to be persuaded to live in Revere. They have no idea how far (or close) it is to Boston. Those that already live in Boston would need to be persuaded to move outside the city, and persuaded to move to Revere. I?d say a fair number would rule it out. If the choice is downtown Boston (Back Bay, South End, Beacon Hill) and a smaller place versus Revere Beach and a larger place, I think half would choose the smaller place, or choose another of Boston?s neighborhoods such as Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, or Brighton. Those are within the city limits.

It?s been a surprise to me that more people aren?t being driven by price - they still seem to be focused on location. I guess if they can?t get the location they want, they just end up not buying. I deal with a lot of first-time homebuyers. Last year was really slow, in the spring. The year before and this year, it?s been busy. The buyers just jumped back in, with lots of money and focused on buying secure investments. Seeing as Revere Beach is so undeveloped (underdeveloped?) the average young professional may be too scared to take the chance. I mean, what if it never takes off as a neighborhood? If the young buyer is planning on a five-year stay before moving to the suburbs or moving-up and/or into the city, will they be willing to take a chance?

So, I just asked my partner what he thought of when he thought of ?Revere Beach?. He said, ?Tacky?. ?Inconvenient?. And, also something else which I won?t repeat.

When I think of projects such as this, I think of young men buying their first home. They would be willing to forgo local amenities for a unique and/or cheap place to live. If this was part of your target market, I think it would have appeal.

The ?traditional? young couple might not be as willing. The empty-nester from the local area may be willing. The gay male couple would not be, due to its reputation, local architecture, and distance from downtown.

I hope this helps. I can be more specific or less specific, if you want to send me more questions.

Thanks!
Link: http://bostonreb.com/blog/2007/09/03...ankers-beware/
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:06 PM   #20
Beton Brut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedy
Hey, that weird blue building's architect is a friend of mine.
The Rubbermaid shed in my back yard has more architectural integrity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedy
And STOP BITCHING about the design of this. Creating a wall between the beach and Revere? A highway, some homes, a dog track, and a marsh?
I'm not bitching. I am calling into question some of this proposal's goals, in that it appears to turn its back on the existing residential neighborhood. It does little to engage or enhance the existing conditions. Revitalizing the area around Shirley Avenue into a human-scaled shopping and dining destination should also be on the city's agenda.

Revere Beach is pathetic and needs an infusion of money and ideas. There's room under the bus for the city's government, the Commonwealth (in the guise of the MDC the MBTA and Mass Highway), and a politically disengaged electorate. One thing is clear: this half-assed collection of precast rubbish will do little or nothing to improve Revere Beach's failings as a public space, entertainment destination, or center for smart growth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedy
And I don't care that the MBTA reworked Wonderland in the '90s. It sucks, and they didn't do a whole lot to it.
The entire station was rebuilt (i.e. new construction) in the 90s. I agree the finishes and the T's approach to maintenance are both shameful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennedy
Are you retarded?
Really? When's recess?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimboJones
It?s become kind of a run-down neighborhood. The area is full of single-family and multi-family homes made up of people at the lower-rung of the economy.
In another thread you mentioned:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimboJones
Expand the Section 8 program, gradually move everyone out of BHA housing and integrate them into the community.
There are many Section 8 residents in this part of Revere.

Your email to your friend the banker displays an understanding of the numbers, demographics, and buyer values that are all in play in Greater Boston. It also displays a barely veiled contempt for Revere Beach. What's up with that?
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