New T station, housing celebrated along Talbot Avenue

Construction began this week on the Fairmount Line’s new Talbot Avenue station – the third station out of four planned for that stretch of commuter rail where work has begun – as elected officials and transportation agency chiefs celebrated the groundbreaking with members of the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation and other civic leaders.
Talbot Ave. groundbreaking on June 7, 2011Talbot Ave. groundbreaking on June 7, 2011
Local leaders hope the $15.9 million commuter station, coupled with 24 affordable housing units down the road, will lead to a revitalization of the Codman Square area.

The Four Corners/Geneva and Newmarket stations are under construction, while controversy over the siting of the Blue Hill Avenue station in Mattapan has delayed its start.

Gov. Deval Patrick called the station a “long time coming,” and a symbol of attempts to invest in infrastructure across the state. “It is time for us to have a one-seat ride” to downtown Boston, said state Rep. Russell Holmes, who grew up nearby.

The construction, expected to create 120 jobs, should be completed by early 2013, transportation officials said. The entire rail line runs for 9.2 miles, from South Station to Hyde Park’s Readville neighborhood.

Down the avenue, city and state officials cut the ribbon on the Levedo Building, which has 24 affordable rental units and commercial space at the ground level. The site once was the home of an automotive business, and now houses one of the city’s few environmentally certified residential and commercial developments.

The city’s Department of Neighborhood Development provided $590,567 and the Neighborhood Housing Trust provided $650,000 for the project. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center gave $182,000 in funding for a 19.2 kilowatt solar photovoltaic installation for the 36,780 square-foot building. The installation has 63 solar panels.

“These two projects indicate substantial progress toward the city’s development of more walkable, transit-oriented communities along the Fairmount commuter rail line, with business and housing right next to the new Talbot Avenue stop,” Mayor Thomas Menino said in a statement.