The New Bedford Thread

Reznor

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I would say no. But in 2-3 years time, things could change for NB. Lowell has better access and has been redeveloping longer than has NB.
 

Lrfox

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I would say no. But in 2-3 years time, things could change for NB. Lowell has better access and has been redeveloping longer than has NB.
This, but I think the differences between the two are great enough to make comparisons tough.

I think Lowell has positioned itself well for commuters to Boston who want an affordable urban living situation. I work near North Station and drool over the thought of 1,800 square feet in a converted mill, urban amenities within walking distance and a fairly painless commuter rail trip in every day.

As much as I love New Bedford, I don't see it ever being that type of commuter option (short of high speed express trains to South Station). I'd attribute most of its redevelopment to being a semi-independent (certainly more detached than Lowell) urban center with good bones. Downtown New Bedford fills an urban void for a region that has to travel to Providence, Boston, or Newport (to a lesser degree, you could include Plymouth) for the next urban center.

The city as a whole isn't really improving. The infrastructure is getting better. There are some great aesthetic projects (exposing the cobblestones, Route 18 redevelopment downtown, Acushnet Ave. in the North End, etc.) and downtown has certainly seen a resurgence of interest with lots of little stores and restaurants, but most of the city is as bad as it has been for a long time. Much of the traffic downtown is people from outside the city.

New Bedford should focus on making better use of its natural harbor and seaport (one of the things that separates it from Lowell), its airport, and encouraging BCC and UMass Dartmouth to expand their presence downtown (their current presence is definitely already a boost). I don't know that it'll ever be as built up as Lowell, nor will it ever be the commuter hub Lowell is. It needs to focus on being a semi-independent working seaport city not TOO far from Boston and Providence.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Turn NB into a hipster haven like Portland.
I know those words form a complete sentence, but it reads like Klingon to me.


I've got one side of the family from NB, Acushnet, and Dartmouth. And I agree with Lrfox...there's pockets of disconnected stuff happening, but for most of the city the 1991 recession never ended. They're at a *very* remedial level trying to Lowell themselves off the mat, gain a modicum of post-industrial footing, figure out what their new identity is, get their violent crime rate reined in, and get the standard of living improved for a wide enough swath of their residents. Long, slow slog ahead of them. They're 15 years behind Lowell, Worcester, Brockton, Fitchburg, etc. at getting a head of forward steam sustained.
 

bigeman312

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In my opinion, New Bedford would not be well-served to hang their hopes on commuting possibilities to Boston. A cheap, urban experience with frequent commuter-rail service to Boston is a good sell for Lowell and Brockton, but New Bedford is not a Boston suburb (the way Lowell and Brockton have become urban suburbs of Boston). New Bedford should instead look to the small cities in New England that have achieved success de-coupled from Boston.

What are some of the things that successful, small, post-industrial cities in New England cities have done to thrive? Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Burlington, Vermont; Waterbury, Connecticut; Portland, Maine. That's who New Bedford should be emulating.
 

bolehboleh

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The reason I asked is that whenever I visit home (Billerica) and I have a chance to see Lowell, I'm impressed by the progress it's made from when I was growing up in the area. On the other hand, there are still plenty of areas there that could/should be much better. With NB, I occasionally get there when I'm home and I see constant improvement.

I agree that with the right planning (and yes, the south coast rail), New Bedford could evolve the same way that Portland, Maine has evolved. However, it needs to be careful not to push out its fishing fleet.
 

FK4

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In my opinion, New Bedford would not be well-served to hang their hopes on commuting possibilities to Boston. A cheap, urban experience with frequent commuter-rail service to Boston is a good sell for Lowell and Brockton, but New Bedford is not a Boston suburb (the way Lowell and Brockton have become urban suburbs of Boston). New Bedford should instead look to the small cities in New England that have achieved success de-coupled from Boston.

What are some of the things that successful, small, post-industrial cities in New England cities have done to thrive? Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Burlington, Vermont; Waterbury, Connecticut; Portland, Maine. That's who New Bedford should be emulating.


Bath, Maine is a small city that seems to independently be on the up and up...

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2015/04/04/bath-maine-edge-cool/FhZgSvQdSPNYqSmCb3qCTN/story.html
 

gregrc75

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The American Glory small cruise ship making a stop in New Bedford. Viewed from the Martha's Vineyard high speed ferry. Please excuse my iPhone photo.



A couple of other harbor shots. Fairhaven in the background:



 
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gregrc75

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Some photos from Downtown New Bedford yesterday. The ship Sagras was visiting.









You can see the new addition being built onto the Whaling Museum
 
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Lrfox

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New Hotel Project Announced in Downtown New Bedford

A real estate developer with a history of success in downtown New Bedford is announcing plans to completely renovate a 46,600 square foot building located at 218-226 Union Street at projected cost of $10 million. The building, vacant for an extended period, at one time housed the offices of radio station WBSM on its first floor.

More: http://www.newbedfordguide.com/new-hotel-project-announced/2016/03/08
 

gregrc75

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Two new airlines are working to start operating from New Bedford Regional Airport (EWB), bringing it from one to three airlines. The airport just rebuilt its primary runway just over a year ago and is in the process of updating to Part 139. Right now only Cape Air flies to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. A new upstart is almost ready to begin EWB-ACK and a third airline, Elite Airways, has signed a letter of intent to do EWB-Melbourne, FL.
 

Portlander

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Elite Airway's headquarters are in Portland and they now provide service from PWM to Melbourne, Naples and Sarasota which has helped connect Maine with Florida. Southwest Airlines provides seasonal service to Orlando which leaves a void during the rest of the year. Elite should be a good fit for New Bedford, good luck!
 

tysmith95

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JetBlue and Southwest provide year-round service from Providence so I'm not sure how much of a market there is for New Bedford service.
 

gregrc75

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Elite Airway's headquarters are in Portland and they now provide service from PWM to Melbourne, Naples and Sarasota which has helped connect Maine with Florida. Southwest Airlines provides seasonal service to Orlando which leaves a void during the rest of the year. Elite should be a good fit for New Bedford, good luck!
I hear good things about Elite from their Bar Harbor operation. Hopefully that will be the same for New Bedford.

True, PVD has service about 40 mins down the road, but I think there may be enough demand for EWB. They are looking to test the waters with two flights a week I believe.
 

kmp1284

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The airport authority should be lobbying for a daily commuter flight to Newark or Philadelphia. I'm sure there are plenty of people in the area who travel frequently for work(I know several) who could fill 50 or so seats a day in each direction to avoid Logan and Providence. There's some surprisingly high disposable income in Marion and parts of South Dartmouth and Westport as well.
 

gregrc75

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The airport authority should be lobbying for a daily commuter flight to Newark or Philadelphia. I'm sure there are plenty of people in the area who travel frequently for work(I know several) who could fill 50 or so seats a day in each direction to avoid Logan and Providence. There's some surprisingly high disposable income in Marion and parts of South Dartmouth and Westport as well.
That is the goal eventually. They are adding a sterile area to the terminal and complying to Part 139 to accommodate Elite. Once that is complete it will be a bit easier to attract another regional. The airport hasn't had service to New York (and Boston) since the 1980's with PBA/Continental/Eastern so its playing catch up.
 

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