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Old 01-24-2008, 11:38 AM   #1
12345
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Rebirth at River's Edge

Rebirth at the river's edge
Long-delayed construction starts on Phase 1 of a three-city development to bring offices, apartments, and parks to the once-tainted corridor

MEDFORD - Once known as TeleCom City, the massive redevelopment project called River's Edge has faced its share of challenges - obstacles to land acquisition, lawsuits, and the dot-com crash, which dashed plans to turn the contaminated Malden River corridor into a hub for high-tech innovation.

Globe Graphic Rebirth on the river
RIVER'S EDGE More than a decade after Everett, Malden, and Medford joined to reclaim 200 acres of industrial wasteland, construction has begun on the first office building and work on apartments will begin soon.

Phase 1

30-acre site

220 units of housing will be created

410,000 square feet of planned office space

10 acres of open space

5,100 linear feet of walking paths, more than half of which wind along the Malden River
more stories like thisBut now, more than a decade after Everett, Malden, and Medford became partners in an attempt to reclaim 200 acres of industrial no man's land, construction crews are at work on the site. They are preparing the foundation for the first office building, and they are poised to do the same for a luxury apartment complex, said city officials and the private developer behind the project.

Those involved hail the start of construction work as a signal achievement for River's Edge, which has attracted funding and fanfare - $30 million and counting in state and federal money, and praise from environmental groups - but also has been beset by delays.

"The question I've had over the last 10 years - and a lot of criticism - is, 'You keep talking about this, but it's not happening,' " said Medford Mayor Michael J. McGlynn, chairman of the Mystic Valley Development Commission, the body created by the Legislature in 1996 to oversee the three-city site. "Well, it's happening, and it's happening now."

This first phase, on about 30 acres in Medford, is to include three office buildings totaling 410,000 square feet and a 220-unit apartment building, with 15 percent of the units set aside as affordable housing.

Although the housing market is in a slump, developers and officials say there is strong demand in the area for office space and rental housing that is rich in amenities and is near the MBTA. The area is less than 5 miles from downtown Boston and a short walk from the T's Wellington Station.

The first phase will encompass 10 acres of open space and parks, including a sports field and 5,100 feet of paths, half of which will wind along the river. In addition to offices and housing, a $3 million boathouse has been completed by Tufts University for its crew program, and the school holds a long-term lease at River's Edge.

The state rebuilt the road serving the sections in Malden and Medford, at a cost of $17 million, and has earmarked an additional $60 million for improvements associated with the later phases, including a new bridge over the river, said Stephen M. Wishoski, executive director of the Malden Redevelopment Authority, the project manager for the three-city commission.

The project's master developer is Preotle, Lane & Associates, a New York firm that is developing the grounds and offices itself and has an agreement with Criterion Development Partners of Waltham for the Phase 1 housing. Preotle pulled permits for the first office building in December and began digging the foundation this month, said John J. Preotle Jr., a principal in the firm. Housing construction is likely to start next month or in March, he said.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/art...s_edge/?page=2

http://www.boston.com/news/local/art...4/rivers_edge/
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:20 PM   #2
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

An orange line station right next to the site looks like it would be more useful to both the new development and to the existing neighborhood than Wellington.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

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An orange line station right next to the site looks like it would be more useful to both the new development and to the existing neighborhood than Wellington.
Just about anywhere would have a been a more useful site than wellington. But, I wouldn't be surprised if the residents in that community were/are opposed to a station on the basis of traffic/crime/etc.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:57 PM   #4
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

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Just about anywhere would have a been a more useful site than wellington. But, I wouldn't be surprised if the residents in that community were/are opposed to a station on the basis of traffic/crime/etc.
While Wellington is one of the worst stations in the system for pedestrian access (if not the worst) saying that it is not useful depends on your goals for a station. It's pretty useful at attracting riders (it ranks 7th out of 19 Orange Line stations for daily boardings, and if you exclude the CBD only Malden and Forest Hills rank higher). It also attracts more riders than all Blue Line stations save Maverick, and all southside Red Line stations save North Quincy. Moving the station north would result in a more pedestrian accessible station, but the bus/park and ride collection function provided by Wellington would still need to happen somewhere, and the current location is probably as good a location as any for it.
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:46 PM   #5
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

Wellington was always designated as a park-and-ride since it was on a highway. Interestingly the MTA, when they planned the Orange Line North extension to Reading, added an extra station between Wellington and Malden Center, Edgemere, at Medford St. This would have been much more pedestrian friendly. But in the eyes of 70s planners it was cars that won out. I still think there should be a station built there as there is a long stretch between Wellington and Medford.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:41 AM   #6
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

For what it's worth, anytime i come from school (USM) to do something quick in Boston (i.e. something that only takes a few hours and I'm not staying home overnight) I park at Wellington and take the Orange line in. It's great as a park and ride and feels more like a CR stop than a light rail line. To be honest, I don't know where pedestrian traffic would even enter the station. The lots and the garage have been pretty full almost every time I've been there.
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:40 AM   #7
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

Wellington is almost too close in to downtown to really help to alleviate car traffic, though - although useful as satellite parking for downtown, you have to drive within 5 miles of the city center to get to the lots/garage ... and even then there is not a direct highway connection to 93 nor to rt. 1.

I know, I know, the orange line was originally to have gone up to Reading ...

As for bus connections, Malden has plenty of buses coming and going, and also serves pedestrians ...
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:55 PM   #8
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

As a pedestrian going to Wellington it's a nightmare; especially in winter and especially coming down the westbound side. There are steps that lead down to a sidewalk that takes you to Commercial St. You cross over commercial and then under 16 and on up to the station, the whole while dodging cars and buses that seem intent on killing you. This is all done of course, while navigating snow/ice mounds on the neglected sidewalks.

Reconfiguring the circle (most importantly lowering the grade at the bridge/river) could allow better pedestrian access to the station and promote/support development along Commercial St. toward Malden Center (another stop between Wellington and Malden Center would be great) and development of the plazas in Medford at the circle which are now often just empty parking lots. These plazas have difficulty keeping many of their stores and along with the industrial land they border, seem ripe for development that would connect the Medford Sq. area with Wellington Circle.
Guess you could develop all the way down to and including the Meadow Glenn Mall so that the whole area including and between the former drive-ins would be developed as mix use w/a shuttle service to Wellington.

Last edited by nico; 01-25-2008 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:20 PM   #9
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

I've long wondered why an Edgeworth station was not built.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:27 PM   #10
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

If I had to guess it was because the Orange Line was designed to serve the outer suburbs. However if this was the case then an express track would have bypassed the station so it would serve only Medford. Perhaps it was thought that a station there wouldn't bring in enough riders. Or perhaps there was community opposition. I'm sure it's in a report somewhere in the State Transportation Library.
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:36 PM   #11
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

Wasnt a new orange line station being built somewhere, by an Ikea? Where is that going?
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:57 PM   #12
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

Assembly Square Station is being pushed for by City of Somerville and would be in the vicinity of where Foley Street meets the Orange Line ROW.

Edgeworth Station doesn't get you much absent high density development replacing the existing industrial uses along the Malden River there. Maybe 50 or so houses in Everett would be within a 1/2 mile walk of the station. Probably wouldn't attract anyone from the Wellington neighborhood in Medford, b/c almost all of them are closer to Wellington Station. Edgeworth Station wouldn't draw many people from west of the Fellsway, and that leaves only about 200 houses in Malden that are within 1/2 mile walk that aren't already w/in a 1/2 mile walk of Malden Station. I think Edgeworth Station would solve a problem that doesn't really exist.
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:57 PM   #13
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

Yes, a new orange line station at Assembly Square is planned.

http://somervillenews.typepad.com/th...ush-assem.html
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Old 02-04-2008, 01:20 PM   #14
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

If-When River's Edge {aka the former TelecomCity} is fully built -out it would by itself support an Orange Line Station

The final build-out is 7.000ish employees and of order of 1000 residences

That's more than sufficient for a T-Stop to be justified


As an aside the original plan back mid 90?s was completely free of residences based on opposition from Evert that didn?t want Yuppies moving in ? they just wanted ?Good Jobs at Good Blue Collar Wages? ? of course today ? the complex is all Office Park and eventually residences and probably a hotel ? makes a lot more sense ? especially with a ?T? Stop

Westy
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:18 PM   #15
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

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Originally Posted by whighlander View Post
If-When River's Edge {aka the former TelecomCity} is fully built -out it would by itself support an Orange Line Station

The final build-out is 7.000ish employees and of order of 1000 residences

That's more than sufficient for a T-Stop to be justified
Are you suggesting a T station being built in Edgeworth to encourage this development, or only that in some far off time when the area is built out that a station be built? Vacant land around a number of closer-to-the-core subway stations (Sullivan, Maverick, Courthouse, WTC, Broadway, etc) doesn't fill me with confidence that an intermediate Orange Line station built today would do anything other than slow the commute for those living to the north.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:56 AM   #16
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

The firm Shadley & Associates is doing the landscape architecture for this project.
Quote:
River's Edge Mixed Use Development
Everett, Malden, and Medford, Massachusetts


Shadley Associates is currently working with the Master Developer on a 220 acre brownfield development in three towns. SA is providing an update to the previous Master Plan prepared by CRJA, plus phased construction documents for the project, and assisting with the substantial environmental permitting. A new boathouse for Tufts University is under construction, and a riverfront park on the west bank of the Malden River is being designed for construction starting in 2006. Each of the major components of the project, the placement of residential and office buildings, the layout of roads, and the creation of the central park with extensive bikeways and public park facilities along the Malden River, all contribute to the creation of an entirely new community.

The new River?s Edge park will connect with the Wellington Greenway to the south and with the street connections to Malden Center to the north. Curving around the existing and the newly created wetlands, the park provides overlooks, seatwalls, views to the river, and both public and private park spaces. A boardwalk will lead to a new fishing pier on the north, and the walkway passes by the new Tufts University Boathouse with its hub of rowing activity. The early site work has already removed thousands of abandoned tires, removed invasive species along the water?s edge, and has capped the existing soil.
Here are some renderings from their website:
(Warning- those of you expecting Back Bay II: Electric Boogaloo prepare to be just a little disappointed.)











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Old 02-19-2008, 07:56 AM   #17
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

Woo Hoo!! Welcome to the future of 1954!

Seriously, this is straight from Route 128. I thought I was in Burlington for a second.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:35 AM   #18
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

Better get that Edgeworth station built pronto!
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:57 AM   #19
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

These plans are simply awful! Somerville is planning a beautiful mixed-use pedestrian-friendly development along the river in Assembly Square, while Malden/Everett/Medford are developing a single use office park with giant parking lots. No no no!
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:04 PM   #20
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Re: Rebirth at river's edge

That last image literally looks like a retro towers-in-the-park fantasy from midcentury. Did they dig it out of the Corbusier archives?
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