Arsenal Yards | Arsenal Mall Redevelopment | Watertown

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A scruffy stretch of East Watertown, home to a pedestrian collection of stores and medical offices, may be destined for a makeover as a mecca for start-ups and young professionals.

Boylston Properties, a Boston developer, is teaming up with athenahealth Inc. chief executive Jonathan Bush and Wilder Cos. to purchase the 225,000-square-foot Arsenal Mall and two nearby parcels.

They plan to transform them from “a black hole,” in Bush’s words, into “a cool place to live and play,” with loft apartments, hip restaurants, and boutiques catering to entrepreneurs and technology whiz kids at nearby companies.
http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/07/01/boylston-properties-teaming-with-athenahealth-ceo-bid-remake-arsenal-area-watertown/ip76EwRUiOBCZvFH1HmaTK/story.html
 

Downburst

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I'm not sure how well this area would succeed without better/rapid transit.
 

shmessy

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"The River of the Future"

or

"Silicon Chuckie"!!!!!
 

shmessy

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Seriously, though - - it's a big positive what could be happening there - - why not develop these "other" waterfronts?

The demographics are right there in this situation. When we discuss rapid transit, why not have water shuttles on the Charles as part of that conversation?

I like what Jonathan Bush is saying in the article:


“You have to have a place to live, work, and play,” he said.
“We have work but we couldn’t get live and play into the Arsenal on the Charles. Nobody in this generation wants to schlep for an hour and a half on the Mass. Pike to a little patch of land.
“This is a generation of people who are just coming out of their dorm rooms. That’s who we’re hiring. These are people who want to work and live near a restaurant that grows its own food, a bar that makes its own beer.”

He's spot on. The days of segregating office communities from living communities (and both of them from shopping communities) has only resulted in the greater need for automobiles and highways.

It's time to celebrate CITIES. Let's face it, we are here and not in "ArchLongmeadow.org" for a reason. The mixed use city conserves energy, helps the environment and increases peoples' social lives beyond the cocooned gated existences of the cul de sac suburb.
 

Arlington

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I'm not sure how well this area would succeed without better/rapid transit.
Time for a new bus route: the 70S that would run "express" on Memorial or Soliders Field Road from Watertown Mall to Harvard Square. Or Bring back the A Branch of the Green Line.
 

tmac9wr

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Or Bring back the A Branch of the Green Line.
Now that would be fantastic. Instead of making developers donate X dollars to a new park, I'd love it if they could donate it to improving mass transit.
 

DominusNovus

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Time for a new bus route: the 70S that would run "express" on Memorial or Soliders Field Road from Watertown Mall to Harvard Square. Or Bring back the A Branch of the Green Line.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the A branch stay on the Boston side of the river until the Watertown yard?
 

Shepard

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A few scattered thoughts:

- If New Balance ever gets rapid transit headways, Arsenal could be a very good candidate for another gondola "spur" (to extend on what's been said in the Wynn thread).

- I've also always wondered if the 71 could be diverted (or branched) down the Watertown Branch - a hybrid BRT down the ROW to serve the mall area. This redevelopment could create a real demand for that.

- Architecturally, I think large parts of the Arsenal Mall are worth salvaging. I'd hate to lose the unique parts of the building to an open air lifestyle center (which would inevitably be surrounded by parking anyway. Ugh.

- They're going to kick out all the major retail tenants, like Home Depot? Hmm
 

bigeman312

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We'll see what changes in ridership take place on the 57 and/or 71 after the key bus route improvement project. If we see start seeing stops that have ridership >500, that could be a step towards light rail.
 

ant8904

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I don't think bringing back the A-line for Arsenal Mall revamp into a tech sector would be very useful. It would just be too slow, both by dealing traffic B-line style and from its angle.

For A-line, the one partial remedy is full-on right of way. I would imagine taking a turn at BU bridge and under the turnpike and up the yard could provide some of that path towards the Arsenal Mall area. After that, I'm not sure without land-taking, subway, or an El over the Turnpike.

I think better way would be Red line from Harvard. Haven't they been saving that old tunnel? This could be what the saving been waiting for.
 

Matthew

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Watertown Yard and Union Square are already at 500+ boardings for the 57 bus. Followed by Packard's Corner and Lake Street at about 400 each.
 

stellarfun

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Graphic from the Globe.

The five properties shown in the graphic are now all owned, or soon will be, by the same partnership.
 

SeamusMcFly

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These are people who want to work and live near a restaurant that grows its own food, a bar that makes its own beer.”

He's spot on. The days of segregating office communities from living communities (and both of them from shopping communities) has only resulted in the greater need for automobiles and highways.
.
I am just so very much waiting for the bolded text to no longer be spot on......
I get it.... to a point...... stop over saturating it. Stop making it seem like anything less would be uncivilized. Yes, I stole that from a deodorant commercial.....
 

davem

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Now its really a shame that they tore down the other two buildings that were where the two largest parking lots are now. This will be really cool, especially in the home depot building where there are all those bricked up windows facing out onto arsenal st.

I wonder if they will reopen the tunnel system that runs around the complex. True story from when I briefly worked at home depot, there was a crack in a section of the floor and one of the other guys was chiping it out with a crowbar when swoosh, through it went. Needless to say we were more careful with the forklifts after that.

I do wonder how loosing that HD and some of the other retailers around there will effect the area. As much of a shithole as the arsenal mall is, the old navy and gap was pretty handy to have right there. I wonder if they are just going to reshuffle the stores around, or kick them all out. Its also suprizing simon sold, considering they just did a makeover of the place and attracted some new food options
 

Ron Newman

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The old A-Line and the current #57 bus really don't go anywhere near the Arsenal. You could reroute the 57 onto North Beacon Street, but that would bypass a lot of its current service area. Maybe there should be a new (#58?) bus along that route.
 

Ron Newman

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Time for a new bus route: the 70S that would run "express" on Memorial or Soliders Field Road from Watertown Mall to Harvard Square.
On Soldiers Field Road, there may be low-clearance issues with a pedestrian bridge to Herter Park. Staying on the Cambridge side, via Greenough Blvd. or Coolidge Ave, would work better.
 

Matthew

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I don't know why we're talking about the 57 instead of the 70.
 

Arlington

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The old A-Line and the current #57 bus really don't go anywhere near the Arsenal. You could reroute the 57 onto North Beacon Street, but that would bypass a lot of its current service area. Maybe there should be a new (#58?) bus along that route.
Something like that...there are so many good options of "industrial" or "parkway median" running (along the Pike, hitting the new New Balance CR stop and thence to Arsenal).
 

davem

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I don't know why we're talking about the 57 instead of the 70.
Because the 70 sucks?


If a cr stop was rebuilt at the old faneuil stop it would be directly across the n beacon st bridge from the project. 5 minute walk, maximum. It just seems far right now because the rotary is a pedestrian nightmare and there are fences, brush, a dis/underused outdoor theater and no logical path that way, mostly due to the mall orienting itelf towards the parking lot instad off the charles.

If that happens it might really be a good deal to look at a light rail spur branching off at the bu bridge and following the pike. Its a four track ROW to right before market st, and then after that there appears to be enough room to shoehorn in two more tracks until right before newton corner with only minor reconstruction where the pike curves and goes above grade. There is a ton of room there to do it if they got rid of the redundant parkway behind the ihop/staples
 

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