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August 02, 2007

Comments

Ron Newman

> The study also recommended 120 through 216 McGrath Highway

which includes the location of Pat's Tow, one of the co-owners of this newspaper.

Somerville Resident

I suppose the reasoning is that those dark skinned East Somerville folks would feel more at home when they go to jail. Why cannot they build it in Lexington? One for white collar crimes?

Democracy

Ron, good information. Pat's Tow lives on McGrath Highway? Not good for one's lungs.

Ron Newman

See also the first photo above. If you go east on Somerville Avenue past Target, and keep going straight, but not up the highway ramp, you go by Glass Stop and Pat's Tow. I think a couple other businesses are down there, too.

Kate

Well, here is another plan for that area:

Revolution’s the goal: Somerville talks stadium with Krafts
By Scott Van Voorhis
Boston Herald Business Reporter

Thursday, August 2, 2007 - Updated: 08:18 AM EST

Somerville is emerging as a contender to land what could be the Boston area’s next big major league sports stadium.
Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution and Somerville officials have held preliminary discussions about building a 20,000-plus seat soccer stadium on a site not far from Charlestown, Mayor Joseph Curtatone confirmed.
The 100-acre tract of vacant lots, industrial buildings and rail lines off Innerbelt Road near Interstate 93 has long been targeted by Somerville for redevelopment.
The talks come roughly a year after the Revolution - part of the Kraft family’s sports and business empire that includes the New England Patriots [team stats] - began searching for a stadium site. Robert Kraft recently attended an event held by the Somerville mayor, though Curtatone contends the visit was unrelated to the stadium interest.

“We have had very preliminary inquiries and conversations,” Curtatone said. “It’s exciting to think that an organization like the New England Revolution and Kraft family would be interested in Somerville, but we are not surprised.”
A new Revs soccer stadium could have between 20,000 and 25,000 seats and cost anywhere from $50 million to $200 million to build, based on other new stadiums Major League Soccer has built around the country.
These stadiums are specifically designed for soccer, with fewer seats than big football stadiums, like Gillette Stadium, where the Revs play now.
They also often double as concert venues, one local sports executive says. With a central, urban location like Somerville, the Krafts would immediately become players in the local concert industry and a powerful competitor to the suburban Tweeter Center, which is not far from Gillette Stadium.
The Krafts’ interest in Somerville comes after inquiries in Boston as well.
A site in Roxbury targeted by City Hall for redevelopment - near the Ruggles T Station - was for a time considered by some local real estate executives and city officials to have potential as a stadium site. But City Hall recently awarded that tract of land to a nonprofit looking to build an arts complex.
Kraft family executives a few years ago also examined land at a Boston development site near Chinatown.
“We are still talking with a number of communities,” said Brian Bilello, the Revs’ chief operating officer. “Obviously Somerville is one of those communities.”

Democracy

Another stadium? Ridiculous.... As things get worse and worse in our society, it looks like we can only think of building more and more gladiator arenas to keep the masses happy. Like the good old Roman Empire did during the implosion period.

Matt

I have to think there are a lot of people in east somerville and cambridge who would absolutely love to have MLS within walking distance. Would redeveloping this site throw a monkey wrench in the green line expansion plans?

Whatever

A big stadium? No. But how about that minor-league ball park talked about for Charlestown? Now that would be something cool to have in Somerville. I went to see the Worcester Tornadoes last month, and it was fun.

Ron Newman

If anything, I think the Green Line will be even more necessary if this stadium is built.

barneyboy

Agreed. How much revenue would that bring to the city compared to other types of development?

Solh Zendeh

Yeah, how much revenue vs how much car/truck traffic (pollution). From now on, I want to get *paid* for being poisoned by residents of other towns.

Ron Newman

That depends on what parking is provided. The best way to ensure that people arrive by public transit, and don't pollute the neighborhood, is to build it without any parking lots.

.....they will come."
Newman: People who make statements such as yours are the ultimate idealists! Building a 20,000-25,000 seat stadium without parking means only that people will park on surrounding streets. There are some who will always arrive by public transit, there are others who will never arrive by public transit. There are those who cannot arrive by public transit, such as the handicapped. There are others who live in Stoneham or Nashua or Medfield, who have no public transportation option. Let's discuss this option realistically, at least!

Ron Newman

I believe the San Francisco Giants stadium (whatever it's called this week) was built largely without parking lots. A new light-rail line serves the stadium.

The stadium was also built without taxpayer funding, an example we should emulate.

brickbottom

Rte. 93 is right there and I'm sure they could make all traffic from ticketholders would have to enter and depart that way away from Washington St.

All others would have to use the "T" to get there.

I'm sure there is sime solution to the traffic pattern.

brickbottom

Some not sime!!!!

Bill Shelton

The traffic problem might be tolerable, in that the Revolution would play fewer than a dozen home games per year. I'm guessing that there might be as many other non-Revolution events there, but that's a lot less than every day or every week.

The real tragedy would be the wasted potential. The article talks about 100 acres, but that would be more than two-thirds of Assembly Square. Let's assume they would only use 50 acrs. Developed as offices and R&D space, that amount of land would produce 10,000 jobs across a wide spectrum of pay and skill levels. It would also produce between ten and 20 times the amount of property taxes.

It would be a waste for all of Eastern Massachusetts as well. We need to keep up Masschusetts' economic growth and we're running out of space to build office buildings, near transportation infrastrucutre. The alternative is more subruban sprawl, as fuel prices continue to go higher and higher.

Ron Newman

Sixteen home games, to be exact, according to this year's posted schedule. I'd like to know exactly what land this is proposed for, and what is now on that land.

brickbottom

Bill,

I thought they were talking about putting the stadium down on Innerbelt Rd. and that area.

jails

Well, they could build a jail that will put an incredible burden on the city infrastructure -- streets, water system, electrical system, transportation system, with out adding a single dollar in taxes because prisons are not taxable! Not to mention the insult to the neighborhood.

Or we could get something that at least would bring in substantial income to the city to compensate for its burdening the physical structure and the residents. Maybe a stadium. Or hey, how about a casino!

Ron Newman

The mayor opposes casino gambling, and I agree with him on this subject.

Bill Shelton

Oops. If the inner belt is the intended site, then I've put my foot in mouth. (Not the first time.)

My first take is that this would not be such a bad idea, given one condition. In the past, when activists objected to wasting Assembly Square's jobs and tax generation potential on Assembly Square, Chamber of Commerce and Administration officials said, "Well there is still the Inner Belt."

That was always misdirection. The Inner Belt is land-locked, and Assembly Square sits on $6 billion worth of transportation infrastructure. So, Inner Belt wouldn't be a bad site for a stadium, provided that the stadium developers paid for adequate roads to open it up, that did not close down businesses in Assembly Square or on Lower Broadway.

A stadium that provides revenue to the city treasury would certainly be a better choice than a jail that pays no taxes and leeches money out of it.

Democracy

I agree, casino gambling is bad news for a community. Besides, this entire economy is casino gambling, when you think about it. Who need more of that?

Ron Newman

Large-scale development in Inner Belt, whether it's a stadium or offices, can never work unless you build a road over the tracks to connect it to Brickbotton and McGrath Highway.

And if you're going to do that, it had better be part of Green Line extension planning, because you'll also need a station where that new road goes over the tracks.

brickbottom

Ron,

Why would McGrath Highway be involved, as it stands now there is already an exit ramp from 93 that dumps right in front of Sullivan Station. Why couldn't an entry ramp be built there also ( if I recall there is already a ramp that wasn't completed on 93 right behind Innerbelt Rd.) to relieve any traffic congestion that might affect the Brickbottom and McGrath Highway area?

Ron Newman

I just think any substantial development in that area needs to have two ways in and out, not just one. There's no way that the Inner Belt Road underpass can handle that amount of traffic. It is so narrow that you can't even get a bicycle and a car in it side-by-side safely.

brickbottom

Ron,

Anything is possible, all it takes is money and if it is one thing the Krafts have is money and can-do people around them.

The Patriot

Why not build all three there? A stadium with a casino
and a jail/police department building. That way the City takes in enough money to run a first class operation, schools, roads, public transit, environmental improvements. You can build quite a bit on 100 acres. The off-ramps from 93 are still there, though part of the leverett connector might need to be relocated.

As

Build the jail and they can all feel at home, Joey Cakes, The Hog, Clean Genie and all the rest of the den.

JL

"Currently, the land is being used by an auto repair shop and an out-of-service trash collection incinerator, once used by the city."

Anyone who lives or works in this area knows that the trash collection incinerator is very much in-use as a waste transfer station for the city and surrounding communities. I can smell its foul stench right now.

MD

Of course the jail sounds wonderful to Sheriff James DiPaola-- I mean Somerville definitely has the best reputation out of all the cities, especially Arlington, Belmont, Lexington, Winchester and even Newton. Come on!!! Give me a break. If DiPaola lived in East Somerville, I don't think the idea of a jail would be great anymore.

The jail will just add more of a negative, self- destructing atmosphere to force the diverse, hard working families that actually try hard to get out of their situation, give up. What he is really saying is "let's add a infested criminal sanction near these people-- who really cares about their lives, they're never going to make it in life!".. Well, DiPaola-- I care. A jail in my city is not acceptable- what we need in this city are improvements, not any more degradations. I hope you all realize how horrible of an environment it will be in our city. It's the worst plan for Somerville yet....

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