Station Landing | Wellington Circle | Medford

CTtoMA

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2019
Messages
3
Reaction score
2
The only "personally" that matters here is Medford. Please re-read Vagabond's post. This is a municipality with a limited commercial tax base, and limited internal planning ability. If they're going to shoot big for anything, it has to be mixed-use as a requirement because commercial is where they're hurting most. You're not going to get mixed-use at all in a car-free cul de sac. Degrees of aB agreement/disagreement on whether waterfront apartment towers would even draw car-free on the Wellington slab are moot; that's flat-out not Medford's priority vs. the degree-of-difficulty. They'll choose any slab that can slug equal commercial-use weight first, second, or third over that one. The degree of difficulty required to execute anything properly on this slab is prohibitive for a low return at not the commercial return they most desperately need. And they'd have to do it with the T grabbing its joint share of the property taxes in a way more convoluted property agreement, which helps the city far LESS with their tax base problem. This is why they're behind the T on the bus yard swap that frees up the entire Fellsway slab for full-blown mixed-use returning full-blown municipal taxes and which would allow for street gridding to all 4 sides of the slab. It's not even a contest for Medford. Fellsway is #1 with a bullet for the ability to plan it 'clean' and full-gridded...redevving the ailing strip malls north and west of the Circle a #2 (slightly more complicated and patchwork land flipping).

Context like this is why you can't look at this with 2D SimCity mentality. This isn't Boston where the planning machinery is so vast that any misfit slab like this gets shoehorned equally valuable for any purpose. Medford's got a five-alarm priority for developing at least a 50/50 or higher ratio of commercial to residential/other on any big production. This slab does not support that. They thus far have expressed negative interest in going there because it's too many complications for too little upside to the tax base they most need to stoke all amid their limited bandwidth as a city for taking home-run swings. Their interest in it has solely lined up behind the much bigger state enacting a land-swap domino fall that serves up extremely better-access parcel that they can work with. That's their stated max bang-for-buck priority based on what bandwidth they have to mount these efforts.

We can either acknowledge that as the guiding force in Medford...a city which is developmentally unlike the CBD...and contour with it. Or we can double-down harder on SimCity fantasy, pretending their tax base needs aren't what they say they are, or inventing gigantic car-free 50/50 commercial narnias that don't exist in any Massachusetts--CBD or otherwise--that we're familiar with because eye-of-beholder decreed all waterfront...must...be...tall. Look, if this sidebar is springing forth from a Station Landing thread that's about real Medford-fitted mixed use, shouldn't it be contouring to the same realities in evaluation???




Right...and the T that just spent a mint redoing Wellington Yard is going to immediately re-space the tracks for bridge piers because of a low-margin real estate project that no one least of all Medford is asking for, which fucks up its Bus Facilities Master Plan, which fucks up its station egress traffic, and still doesn't fashion nearly enough of a grid on the malformed triangle.

Read all above. Can we please start treating the fundamental differences between these slabs on either side of the tracks and what they mean to Medford instead of taking ever more death-defying leaps trying to pound them to sameness? They're different. They SCREAM different on that whole Google overhead you posted to kick off this sidebar. Even if you wanted so very badly to build something there it's not going to be successful redev unless it's fitted to its surroundings. Giant kludged ramps in the sky over train yards aren't fitting it to its surroundings. These were crap kludges when Boston 2024 was so horny for the Widett Circle narnia...now we're importing them wholesale to a riverfront wedge in fucking Medford in direct antithesis to the city's dev priorities of a 'clean' gridded slab?

Seriously...stop this madness. The value proposition starts off way compromised both on access and supportable mixed-use ratios critical to lining up the city's support. You aren't going to fix that with tactical nuclear strike kludges. The stakes are way too low to Medford for that when better lands lurk on the other corners of Wellington Circle. All I'm seeing here is a lot of Medford's lack of pressing need for the Wellington slab being backfilled by over-the-top personal need that...it...must...be...because...[trails off]. Why must it be? Why must it be for you when it isn't for the actual city you wish would do it? Please answer that first before digging deeper into this fantasy.
I can't for the life of me find any info on a prospective land swap for the Fellsway Garage. Has there been any official discussion?
 

stefal

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
1,809
Reaction score
2,752
I can't for the life of me find any info on a prospective land swap for the Fellsway Garage. Has there been any official discussion?
I'm not aware of any land swaps, only closure: two reports recommended the closure of Fellsway, both written 5+ years ago. Somewhat more recently (2017), and more officially, the MBTA Integrated Fleet and Facilities Plan outlined a conceptual strategy that involved closing Fellsway and North Cambridge Garages in 2032 after a new facility slightly smaller than the one in Charlestown is constructed. That may involve the mentioned land swap(?), but I doubt it, as that's far out into the future.

Regardless, funding for the beginning phases of the overall bus facility overhauls under the Focus 40 Plan was tied in the 2019-2023 CIP, which has been inspected with a fine comb to be (originally) cut by $460 million, following COVID/Forging Ahead cuts. Most of that cutting was in the medium-long term projects, as anything currently planned in '22 and some '23 are being contracted out now, but it's so unclear what is or isn't going forward, and it likely won't for a while.
 

CTtoMA

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2019
Messages
3
Reaction score
2
I'm not aware of any land swaps, only closure: two reports recommended the closure of Fellsway, both written 5+ years ago. Somewhat more recently (2017), and more officially, the MBTA Integrated Fleet and Facilities Plan outlined a conceptual strategy that involved closing Fellsway and North Cambridge Garages in 2032 after a new facility slightly smaller than the one in Charlestown is constructed. That may involve the mentioned land swap(?), but I doubt it, as that's far out into the future.

Regardless, funding for the beginning phases of the overall bus facility overhauls under the Focus 40 Plan was tied in the 2019-2023 CIP, which has been inspected with a fine comb to be (originally) cut by $460 million, following COVID/Forging Ahead cuts. Most of that cutting was in the medium-long term projects, as anything currently planned in '22 and some '23 are being contracted out now, but it's so unclear what is or isn't going forward, and it likely won't for a while.
Thanks for the info. This lot plus the neighboring shopping center own a chunk of space and would make for a great, walkable development site. The shopping center has lost a bunch of tenants recently but is still anchored by Target. Seems like it's a decade plus out from any real conversion.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
8,238
Reaction score
4,790
I'm not aware of any land swaps, only closure: two reports recommended the closure of Fellsway, both written 5+ years ago. Somewhat more recently (2017), and more officially, the MBTA Integrated Fleet and Facilities Plan outlined a conceptual strategy that involved closing Fellsway and North Cambridge Garages in 2032 after a new facility slightly smaller than the one in Charlestown is constructed. That may involve the mentioned land swap(?), but I doubt it, as that's far out into the future.

Regardless, funding for the beginning phases of the overall bus facility overhauls under the Focus 40 Plan was tied in the 2019-2023 CIP, which has been inspected with a fine comb to be (originally) cut by $460 million, following COVID/Forging Ahead cuts. Most of that cutting was in the medium-long term projects, as anything currently planned in '22 and some '23 are being contracted out now, but it's so unclear what is or isn't going forward, and it likely won't for a while.
Right...Fellsway isn't closed in a cutback . It requires a new 200-bus garage for 60-footers to be built on the Wellington Station main parking lot (with parking traded vertical in a garage massed up closer to the parkway). Which will be staffed out of a conjoined Everett/Charlestown "super campus". Where the new garage will upgrade any 40-footer routes downtown & north needing 60-footer capacity, and the savings from freed-up 40-footer bandwidth at Charlestown swallows all of Fellsway into the "super-campus".

The study rec hasn't been implemented yet, and until it is there's no internal mechanism available to close Fellsway Garage. It's a small garage, but still too big to swallow without offsets. It's expected they'll have to pivot back to the "super-campus" in due time because the capacity expansion is mandatory for supporting the spare ratios for Battery buses, the "super-campus" is the most optimal possible staffing money-saver, and they own 100% of the land in-house so won't be subject to endless NIMBY harrassment like with the new Quincy garage.

Only after the "super-campus" has been enacted is it fair game what happens to the Fellsway parcel. They don't have to consult City of Medford much at all to rearrange their Wellington property (as per prior discussion the extremely pinched access point makes it a fiscal nothingburger for redev despite some posters here having a personal jones for SimCity fantasy). So there's no quid pro quo. It reasons that the agency would welcome the profits from the Fellsway slab and be eager to sell if/when the garage is displaced. But that's functionally 100% their own volition; there won't be any M.O.U's beforehand.
 

stefal

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
1,809
Reaction score
2,752
This will likely have to eventually split into its own thread:

Banker & Tradesman:
Medford to Seek Air Rights Development at Wellington Station

Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn said the city has notified the MBTA about its plan to seek developers for the property along the Mystic River, near the Somerville and Everett lines. A request for information will be issued in late summer, with the goal of attracting a substantial mix of multifamily housing and commercial space
Medford has provided the MBTA with a copy of the RFI for review, Lungo-Koehn said, and the two sides have been in back-and-forth discussions. Without getting into specifics, Lungo-Koehn said MBTA officials have responded with comment on their requirements, but differences remain.

“We don’t think it’s sufficient so we’re going ahead with a full RFI and see what interest is there, along with the T and the public, to find the best use for that location,” she said. “We obviously want to be good partners and bring them into the project.”
Seems like it's already iffy, but interesting the city is taking a serious look at this...
 

Top