Fitchburg Mass.

BeeLine

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What happened to the Johnsonia in the end? Is it now vaporized? Still standing, half-demolished? Or will they actually try to stabilize and restore it?
It's a very empty grass lot. Very sad!!!!
 

itchy

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Ugh. From city's most beautiful building to grass lot to (probably) parking lot...
 

lapradetom

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Fitchburg recently got disappointing news regarding the lot at Main and North Streets. (a lot reportedly owned by the nearby Fitchburg State University) It was planned to be built up with a 5-story building containing apartments on levels 2-5, and a CVS occupying the entire street level of the building...well, not any more! The developer has stated he could not obtain financing for the original project, and will now build only a one level CVS store. Doesn't surprise me, with the current sad state of our city.
Our roads are in such deplorable condition, that is is almost criminal! They rip up roads-citywide-put in new pipes/sewer lines/etc., then patch up where they dug. They do NOT do anything even remotely considered "paving". Even more ridiculous was a recent newspaper article explaining how great the cities' "pothole filler machine" is. (of which we have ONE machine) It seems that all potholes get filled ONE at a time, by the sole machine available to fix them! At that rate, hell really will freeze over by the time all potholes are filled, then with all that "frozen" ground, they'll REALLY have a pothole problem! (sarcasm everyone)
 

lapradetom

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Will some of you Boston people take the train out here to Fitchburg, and buy some property please? You could buy an entire building out here for what you'll pay for a studio condo in Boston!!!
 

meddlepal

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Will some of you Boston people take the train out here to Fitchburg, and buy some property please? You could buy an entire building out here for what you'll pay for a studio condo in Boston!!!
Not likely. The problem with Fitchburg is it's really kind of in the middle of nowhere and doesn't have any kind of economy. Further, it's an hour and a half into Boston via train.

Fitchburg has to compete with Worcester which has better access to Boston, a far more developed economy and for as much as people joke about it is actually not a bad place to live and raise a family.
 

lapradetom

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Meddlepal: I am floating a proposal to the City of Fitchburg that we lease (?) our very own EXPRESS train-car, with the goal of making Fitchburg a quick train ride into/out of Boston. The reason it's 1 1/2 hours by train, is because it stops at way too many stops. (although there a few "express" trains already-but still too slow) This city is in dire need of something to bring it's downtown back into relevancy. There are an abundance of beautiful, old residential and commercial buildings just waiting for someone to bring them back to glory. Due to it's rich industrial history, there are a lot of "old money" homes with nice architechtural details. There are many with genuine Louis Comfort Tiffany/leaded-stained glass windows. It has a very nice looking downtown, with parking garages, a nice art museum, some highrise apt. buildings, a large university (Fitchburg State). All are within walking distance of a modern MBTA/commuter rail station, which is attached to a parking garage. When Fitchburg lost the General Electric Turbine plant, it lost over 900, good paying downtown jobs. (this hurt badly) That plant is now converted into a large, multi-use commercial/industrial space, with some jobs returning. But more jobs are needed. We have a large mall, 4 miles from downtown, with a MACY's dept. store, Home Depot, etc. Nearby Devens is booming with new jobs, including New England's first, full-fledged "Hollywood style" Movie Studio. Fitchburg is also home to Great Wolf Lodge, New England's new, premier indoor water park/over 300 room full service hotel. There is potential out here, but quicker train service into Boston is a must!
 

Boston02124

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Good to hear and yes us Boston folks are talking abt Fitchburg as it’s cheap and not a bad commute by train or car , really is the last affordable place in eastern Mass yet still close to Cambridge/Boston job markets
 

FK4

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Meddlepal: I am floating a proposal to the City of Fitchburg that we lease (?) our very own EXPRESS train-car, with the goal of making Fitchburg a quick train ride into/out of Boston. The reason it's 1 1/2 hours by train, is because it stops at way too many stops. (although there a few "express" trains already-but still too slow) This city is in dire need of something to bring it's downtown back into relevancy. There are an abundance of beautiful, old residential and commercial buildings just waiting for someone to bring them back to glory. Due to it's rich industrial history, there are a lot of "old money" homes with nice architechtural details. There are many with genuine Louis Comfort Tiffany/leaded-stained glass windows. It has a very nice looking downtown, with parking garages, a nice art museum, some highrise apt. buildings, a large university (Fitchburg State). All are within walking distance of a modern MBTA/commuter rail station, which is attached to a parking garage. When Fitchburg lost the General Electric Turbine plant, it lost over 900, good paying downtown jobs. (this hurt badly) That plant is now converted into a large, multi-use commercial/industrial space, with some jobs returning. But more jobs are needed. We have a large mall, 4 miles from downtown, with a MACY's dept. store, Home Depot, etc. Nearby Devens is booming with new jobs, including New England's first, full-fledged "Hollywood style" Movie Studio. Fitchburg is also home to Great Wolf Lodge, New England's new, premier indoor water park/over 300 room full service hotel. There is potential out here, but quicker train service into Boston is a must!
Nice rundown. I think Fitchburg has a lot of potential for these reasons, but the distance from Boston makes it tricky and speedier transit is probably a must. That being said, as prices continue to rise in the closer in metro towns, more and more people are going to be moving to the "gateway cities"... so it'll happen, sooner or later.

I would also add that Fitchburg is close to Wachusett and all the beautiful apple orchard towns along Rt 117, as well... and it only gets more picturesque when you go further west or north, too.
 

Boston02124

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Will some of you Boston people take the train out here to Fitchburg, and buy some property please? You could buy an entire building out here for what you'll pay for a studio condo in Boston!!!
after living in Boston for 35 years I wanted to move back home but the housing stock is trashed and the utilities are WAY too high 😐
 

Arlington

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It is kind of interesting to think that Fitchburg has a population of 40k and Portland Maine has a population of 66k and yet if you were to judge by forum activity, you'd say that Portland is doing many many multiples better than Fitchburg.
 

Portlander

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Which is why you can't totally rely on the population within the city limits nowadays to determine stature and regional importance. Nashua, NH has close to 90,000 people compared to Portland's 68,000 (2018 estimates for both) but very few if any would consider it a larger city than Portland. Fitchburg is quite urban for it's population and has always been an underrated city in my opinion and reminds me of a smaller version of Pittsfield without the Berkshires. I attribute Portland's boom due to it's location on the Maine coast and it's 108 mile separation from Boston which allows it to maintain it's northern hub status where Manchester may be a little too close. Bangor gets a similar boost on a smaller scale for northern Maine due to it being located 132 miles northeast of Portland and Burlington also benefits from it's distance from much larger markets to the south.
 

Blackbird

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Fitchburg is quite urban for it's population and has always been an underrated city in my opinion and reminds me of a smaller version of Pittsfield without the Berkshires.
"Underrated" and "Pittsfield, but worse" seem to express opposite opinions. :unsure:
 

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