15 McGrath | Somervillle

W-4

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Walking out of East Cambridge and on to McGrath always felt like stepping off the end of the world. Hopefully all the construction along McGrath can create more of a sense of place.
 

Charlie_mta

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Roxxma

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It will replace the Sav-Mor Liquors and work towards extending the street wall from Lechmere Square toward Somerville.
Here's what's currently at 15 McGrath Hwy.
Though a worthy replacement, I will miss Sav-Mor's cheeky sign messages, with gems like "Best Liquor Scout Mag 2016-2017. Thank you Somerville for your low standards", and "Suck it Barneys Booze Arama. Winner Best Liquor Store Scout Magazine 2016" (see the past street views for more).
 

shmessy

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Walking out of East Cambridge and on to McGrath always felt like stepping off the end of the world. Hopefully all the construction along McGrath can create more of a sense of place.
I agree with your hopes 100%. However, looking at the renders for 15 McGrath and its ground floor presence, it doesn't look like that particular building is gonna help much towards that goal.

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Charlie_mta

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I agree with your hopes 100%. However, lookiing at the plans for 15 McGrath and its ground floor presence, it doesn't look like that particular building is gonna help much towards that goal.

View attachment 20125
At least the closeness of this substantial building to the sidewalk will help with the continuity of the street wall from Lechmere Sq., helping the area to appear less like a commuter highway and more like an urban street. Also the presence of a good size workforce should encourage small retail/shops in any developments between it and Lechmere. I like the trees in front as well because trees in this once heavily industrial area have been few and far between for the last 200 years.
 

shmessy

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At least the closeness of this substantial building to the sidewalk will help with the continuity of the street wall from Lechmere Sq., helping the area to appear less like a commuter highway and more like an urban street. Also the presence of a good size workforce should encourage small retail/shops in any developments between it and Lechmere. I like the trees in front as well because trees in this once heavily industrial area have been few and far between for the last 200 years.
Defintitely takes it out of the "windswept desert" category. Not sure it brings it to "sense of place", however. I would fully agree it brings it from a 0 to a 3.5 on a 10 scale. Hopefully the ensuing developments bring that "Sense of Place" or "Walkability" etc. score higher still. This is an area that is in close proximity to world class urbanity. It ain't Woburn. I do see this 15 McGrath as a good initial step, but hopefully, the follow-ups will have higher urbanity aspirations.
 

Charlie_mta

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The McDonalds and a Star Market plaza needs to be replaced for the street wall the feel less sprawling.
Absolutely, and I hope the momentum from Cambridge Crossing and the development at the former Lechmere Station site will make that happen. All of these parking lot shopping centers along O'Brien Hwy and McGrath Hwy will be developed into urban type developments, I'm hoping.
 

W-4

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The McDonalds and a Star Market plaza needs to be replaced for the street wall the feel less sprawling.
I'm not sure there's much that can realistically be done to enclose McGrath there. The shopping plaza is backed up against the McGrath bridge spanning a huge rail junction. I don't know if the demand for that real estate would justify the huge cost of decking. It's similar to ABP over the Fitchburg line in Cambridge.

Also, residents of the area will probably raise hell if a replacement does not contain a proper grocery store.
 

Charlie_mta

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I'm not sure there's much that can realistically be done to enclose McGrath there. The shopping plaza is backed up against the McGrath bridge spanning a huge rail junction. I don't know if the demand for that real estate would justify the huge cost of decking. It's similar to ABP over the Fitchburg line in Cambridge.

Also, residents of the area will probably raise hell if a replacement does not contain a proper grocery store.
I don't see where decking the rail line(s) would be necessary. The Star Market Plaza is a huge parcel that would be viable in and of itself for development. A supermarket for East Cambridge could be included in the new development,
 

RandomWalk

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I'm not sure there's much that can realistically be done to enclose McGrath there. The shopping plaza is backed up against the McGrath bridge spanning a huge rail junction. I don't know if the demand for that real estate would justify the huge cost of decking. It's similar to ABP over the Fitchburg line in Cambridge.

Also, residents of the area will probably raise hell if a replacement does not contain a proper grocery store.
The decking is less important than pushing the street wall for the parcel right up to the property line, rather than putting a loading dock there.

The neighbors would probably throw fits about density, and the Brickbottom folks would yell about shadows.
 

chrisbrat

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I don't see where decking the rail line(s) would be necessary. The Star Market Plaza is a huge parcel that would be viable in and of itself for development. A supermarket for East Cambridge could be included in the new development,
twin city plaza is always packed - no tenant vacancies, a bunch of busy retailers, a gym, dentist, sports therapists, and constantly busy shaw's. it may not be much to look at, but this thing is no-doubt profitable and provides a bunch of necessary services to the area. Is all this talk pure speculation and "design a better boston"-type daydreaming, or has anyone actually heard of or read any proposals to redevelop that parcel?
 

Charlie_mta

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twin city plaza is always packed - no tenant vacancies, a bunch of busy retailers, a gym, dentist, sports therapists, and constantly busy shaw's. it may not be much to look at, but this thing is no-doubt profitable and provides a bunch of necessary services to the area. Is all this talk pure speculation and "design a better boston"-type daydreaming, or has anyone actually heard of or read any proposals to redevelop that parcel?
I remember when the old factories were torn down and the Twin City Plaza was built there around the early 1960's. East Cambridge is a much different place now, and I could see something more urban and upscale going in there eventually.
 

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