Brockton Developments

SeamusMcFly

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http://www.enterprisenews.com/answe...l-looks-ahead-to-downtown-development?photo=0

I meant to post this last year when Trinity stepped in for the previous doomed proposal for this block. But, now that Trinity has secured the entire block and this seems to have city council backing, I'm hoping something decent may actual get done downtown.

I'm cautiously optimistic (which is more than I can say about any of the other online residents) about this project, that looks good but not great. But, when you're the first one to actually try something in a dead city center, this is about as good as could be hoped for. I'm amazed the plan actually calls for below grade parking, which is something I have been calling for, for years. Like so many small cities, people see lots of open lots and think they can build on one, as long as they got a big parking lot next to it. Very poor planning in my city, who have a very suburban view of how things should be.

Here's some more background if anyone is interested.

http://www.enterprisenews.com/answe...-to-purchase-downtown-block-for-redevelopment

http://www.enterprisenews.com/archi...-City-Council-panel-grills-downtown-developer

http://www.enterprisenews.com/answe...ntation-on-100-million-downtown-redevelopment

http://www.enterprisenews.com/opinions/editorials/x1059329799/Another-dream-for-Downtown-Brockton

http://www.enterprisenews.com/answe...d-with-100-million-plan-for-downtown-Brockton
 

MonopolyBag

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Does anyone have any news on this large project. It has been floating around for a while now.
 

Ron Newman

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From that photo set, it looks like there's a lot less pre-existing urbanity to work from than in Lowell or New Bedford.
 
P

Patrick

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From that photo set, it looks like there's a lot less pre-existing urbanity to work from than in Lowell or New Bedford.
Good observaton, Ron, I agree. Are you familiar with the blog written by Matt Lawlor of Robinson & Cole's Boston office? It;s called restoring the urban fabric, and is about filling back in the once urban neighborhoods of older cities. You may be interested: http://restoringtheurbanfabric.blogspot.com/
 

SeamusMcFly

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Agreed Ron. I also thinks this means better opportunity for a decent plan in the area, because it has so many open holes, and is a blank palette in some ways.

50 - 80 years ago, this area was much more urban with some beautiful structures that no longer exist. Many of them lost to fires. Some lost to bad planning and also to neglect and decay.

If you have some time and want to read some pathetic planning and development ideas... check out the Brockton City website and read some of the documents in the planning department etc.

http://www.brockton.ma.us/Government/Departments/Planning/40R.aspx

I don't agree with less urbanity however. It is just majorly lacking in the downtown area. Leave this empty wasteland and you run into some serious density. The outskirts of the city do however thin out, and there is a lot of woodland, parkland, and non-dense areas. The lack of an actual functioning downtown makes me think of it as a Dorchester without being attached to a Boston. Physically Brockton is larger than Lowell and smaller than New Bedford, with a population that falls between the 2 of them.
 

SeamusMcFly

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Reprieve for an old Brockton building
http://www.boston.com/news/local/ma...eadline_to_save_gardner_building_in_brockton/

Was glad to see that they found a way to keep this 120 year old building as an anchor to this development.

It's not the best building in the world, but it has some decent details, and is light years better than anything built in this city in the last 50 years.

I'm liking Trinity more and more as I read about them and from discussions with others who have worked with them in the past.

The easy path (and recommended by 2 separate firms) was to knock it down and build from scratch which would have been the cheaper approach.

It's refreshing to see a developer looking beyond the profit margin vs. keeping some history and urban fabric in tact.
 

Ron Newman

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What happened here? I assume the white building on the right used to have a row of glass display windows. The street looks like it has 'good bones' and yet it's derelict.
 

OSUPhantom

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With three commuter rail stops in close proximity to the city's core, you'd think downtown Brockton wouldn't still be such a shithole. For anyone counting on commuter rail turning New Bedford and Fall River's fortunes, one need look no further than Brockton(and that's with the advantage of being 30 miles closer to Boston).
All three city's have their own unique circumstances and it wouldn't be fair to say what happened in Brockton is exactly what will happen in FR or NB.

I can't speak for Fall River but in for New Bedford there has been a lot of development happening in the city recently and it's starting to turn itself around. It'll take a while but things are picking up their and it needs a way to attract younger, educated residents and access to public transit is an important factor for where my generation looks to live.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Immediate downtown Brockton's still got that bombed-out feel, but it's largely confined to that square area bounded by Route 27/Court St. to the north, Route 123/Crescent St. to the south, Warren Ave. to the west, and Plymouth St. to the east. And stretching in elongated fashion north sandwiched between 28 and N. Main. Outside of there it's thick residential and a lot livelier, with some very well-patronized parks outside that dead zone. It's a very odd inverse to how recovering old New England cities get themselves off the mat.

The key difference here is that BAT bus is a friggin' excellent transit system and the intra-city mobility is fast and frequent. The spider map shows very well how good the coverage is, and tees up downtown perfectly with all routes hitting the large terminal at the main commuter rail station: http://www.ridebat.com/documents/SystemMap2011.pdf. You can live there car-free. And live there non-isolated from Boston with Charlie Cards valid on BAT, Zone 4 being a pretty reasonable fare, and Middleboro schedules being pretty decent and only 30-40 mins. to South Station. The only thing seriously lacking is enough BAT tie-ins to the neighboring towns, with few BAT routes on less-frequent schedules leaving the city. Stoughton, Avon, Easton, Abington, Holbrook, Whitman, and the Bridgewaters...so close (with decent density in some of them), but so inaccessible. But that's the plight of every Regional Transit Authority in the state that has to stretch the essentials on threadbare funding.

Everything supporting the immediate downtown TOD robustly is already in place and the surrounding car-free density is already there, already transverses through downtown in large numbers on foot and transit, and already steadily recovering from the bad old "Crackton" days (esp. the school system). The people pipeline is there, and in pretty healthy shape for sustaining growth. So these developments are a lot less speculative than buildings trying to jump-start something that's empty of non-car people traffic. The inverse cavity in downtown is just a really weird quirk in Brockton that doesn't have a lot of precedent in similar regional cities.



So I don't think the comparison to other bombed-out cities like New Bedford is apt. If you look at the SRTA system map, for instance, most of the NB routes cluster around the Routes 6 & 18 car chasms, and don't distribute well around the neighborhoods. Fall River's in similar boat with their routes sticking to 6 and the streets closest-hugging the expressways (although City Hall is a nicely dense node). It has the additional problem that the bus nerve center is far away from the would-be commuter rail stops and it won't be possible to get everyone to one big regional transit center. The car-free nerve center is also inconveniently far from the biggest swath of urban redevelopment about to open up in FR when Route 79 along the waterfront gets torn down the whole length of Davol St. and hundreds of brand new acres of developable land open up. Both cities have a much tougher planning job getting the intra-city people pipelines to their juiciest redev parcels and have to throw equal weight at both building the developments and stimulating the non-auto circulation. All while coming from that bombed-out place of needing remedial re-education on how to execute good urban planning.
 

SeamusMcFly

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Figured I might as well finally post some pictures since this finally got rolling and is now in full swing.
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First mobile upload so we'll see how that goes.

Turns out they couldn't keep the old structure at the corner. Structurally it was a non keeper and not nice enough to warrant the extra dough.
 

SeamusMcFly

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http://www.trinityfinancial.com/sub/enterprise.php

Enterprise Block, Brockton, MA
The Enterprise Block project will be a vibrant, mixed-use devel*opment re-creating a significant city block and its street edges in downtown Brockton. The transit-oriented development sits within walking distance of the commuter rail station in downtown Brockton, and within walking distance of the city’s center. The new development will occur in two phases and will restore several historic buildings for retail, commercial and housing uses. The block is bounded by Centre Street, Main Street, Montello Street and Petronelli Way and suffers from considerable blight and phys*ical deterioration.
Trinity’s proposed development will be the catalyst to bring signif*icant reinvestment back to downtown Brockton and reinvigorate what was once a bustling downtown location. The project is de*signed to comply with the goals of the Downtown Brockton Smart Growth Overlay District (DBSGOD) and was permitted using the Commonwealth’s 40R Permitting Process. The project will consist of two phases of housing, the historic rehabilitation of an exist*ing commercial building and the construction of a new parking garage. The project will be funded using Historic Tax Credits, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, private tax credit equity and other public and private resources.
Trinity has worked with the community to develop a multi-phase development program reflective of the goals of the City and its residents. The first phase of development consists of 113 units of housing in a rehabilitated historic building as well as new con*struction along Centre Street. The historic Gardner Building will include 42 artist live work units which will be affordable to artists earning up to 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The re*maining 71 units of new construction will include a mix of afford*able and market rate units. In addition to the housing there will also be ground floor retail, artist gallery space, green space and parking. The existing Enterprise Building will also be historically rehabilitated to create 55,000 square feet of new commercial and office space.
The second phase of development consists of 102 units of housing, again a mix of affordable and market rate units, as well as a 326 space parking garage and additional green space.
Upon completion this project will consist of 215 units of hous*ing, 10,000 square feet of retail and artist exhibition space, 52,000 square feet of commercial space and 544 parking spaces.
Type: Mixed-Use, Transit-Oriented Total development cost: $100 million Completed: 2015

The only real negative I take out of that is the 544 parking spaces. They will be hidden for the most part, but a look around Brockton center will tell you, parking lots are not something we lack. It's a bit counter to the term "Transit-Oriented". Otherwise, a solid mix, from a solid developer. I'm crossing my fingers it does well and encourages others to invest on the area, as there are so many develop able lots in the immediate area. Like to see a gradual increase in density and height, but I'll take what we can get. The new Mayor at least appears to be pro-business and pro-development. We'll see.



Not exactly sure how accurate this is still, but it is after the Gardner building was removed from the scope. So probably the best overall rendering/massing.
 
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datadyne007

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I haven't been paying attention to this thread and happened to notice this large development when I looked out the window of the Commuter Rail today on my way back home to Boston. Great to see this TOD near the Brockton CR.



(It's pretty much the same photo as above, just with more exterior wrap and crappier quality.)
 

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