Fair play along the Fairmount Line

This week’s lead story about an apparently aborted City Hall proposal to build a Public Works yard on a key parcel next to the Uphams Corner commuter rail stop sparked a whole lot of outrage from readers and residents when the Reporter broke the news online last Friday.  Read more

Menino: Key Uphams Corner parcel should be re-developed; Maxwell site called “lynchpin” to boom along Fairmount Line

Maxwell site from the air: Proximity to Fairmount commuter rail station makes it a prime target for re-development. BRA imageMaxwell site from the air: Proximity to Fairmount commuter rail station makes it a prime target for re-development. BRA image

A pivotal Uphams Corner property became embroiled in a fast-moving controversy last week after neighbors learned that the city of Boston planned to convert a now-dormant industrial site into a Public Works storage yard. The news prompted outrage and fast action from local stakeholders, who have targeted the three-acre parcel once occupied by the Maxwell Box Company as a “lynchpin” redevelopment project along the Fairmount commuter rail corridor.

The 120,000-square foot property — which sits adjacent to the Uphams Corner station on the Fairmount Line— is today a sprawling warren of run-down warehouses. But its proximity to the commuter rail stop makes it a prime location for so-called “transit-oriented development.” The site is owned by the city of Boston, which took control of it in 2010 after a protracted standoff with the previous owner over unpaid taxes.  Read more

City Legends Barbershop opens on Adams Street

Brianna Macgregor, Special to the Reporter
Aug. 1, 2013

City Legends Barbershop: Michael Smith owns the newly-opened shop in Lower Mills. Photo by Brianna MacgregorCity Legends Barbershop: Michael Smith owns the newly-opened shop in Lower Mills. Photo by Brianna MacgregorMichael Smith, a local barber formerly working in Neponset, has come a long way from cutting his friends’ hair in a makeshift basement barber shop during his high school years.

On July 19, Smith held the grand opening of his own shop, City Legends Barbershop. Located at 1173 Adams St in Lower Mills, the spacious shop offers parking out back and a video game station for waiting customers.

After cutting hair in Neponset for seven years, Smith, 27, spent three months doing haircuts in his customers’ homes while waiting for the perfect barbershop location to open up. Smith said that it was “a tough few months to get through,” but that he got lots of support from previous customers.  Read more

On heels of tax hike, lawmakers sign off on weekend of relief

Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Jul. 31, 2013

The 6.25 percent sales tax will be temporarily suspended the weekend of Aug. 10 and 11, under a bill that sailed through the Legislature Wednesday and only requires the governor's signature to become law.

Gov. Deval Patrick said Monday he expects to sign the tax suspension law as long as the more than $20 million in foregone revenue is made up with other funds - concerns the bill addressed.  Read more

Commentary: Getting people to work, but not work to people

Construction work wrapped up at Newmarket station last month: Not enough locals, minorities or women on the job, says one watchdog. Photo by Bill ForryConstruction work wrapped up at Newmarket station last month: Not enough locals, minorities or women on the job, says one watchdog. Photo by Bill ForryThe good news: After years of community advocacy, planning, and pushing, Dorchester neighborhoods now have easy rail access to downtown through the opening of three new stations on the MBTA Fairmount commuter rail line.

The bad news: The MBTA did not abide by local hiring standards for the construction work on the line. A victory for transit equity wrapped in a defeat for Boston’s workers. How did this happen?

Three new stations on the Fairmount Commuter Line — the Four Corners/Geneva Avenue station, the Talbot Avenue station and the Newmarket station —serve neighborhoods of the city that have been underserved by public transportation for decades.  Read more

(UPDATED) Forums, forums, forums

Looking to catch a mayoral candidate in action? A list of forums and debates taking place over the next two months, as the city edges closer towards the Sept. 24 preliminary, is available after the jump. The list is a work-in-progress: times and dates are subject to change, and there are forums and debates we've probably missed. If you want to submit a listing, email with the information.  Read more

Mayor: Maxwell site should be used for "transit oriented development"

A spokesperson for Mayor Tom Menino today said that the mayor believes that a key city-owned parcel along the Fairmount Line in Uphams Corner should be redeveloped as a "transit oriented development"— a strong indication that the city will put the brakes on an emerging plan to turn the site into a warehouse for city street lights.  Read more

City plans to build warehouse on key Uphams Corner parcel

An aerial view of the Maxwell property- shaded in yellow- which sits directly next to Uphams Corner station on the Fairmount Line. City of Boston officials now plan to use the parcel as a storage yard for street poles. Image courtesy The Cecil Group

A newly-minted city of Boston plan to store street poles and bucket trucks on a three-acre property near Uphams Corner is coming under fire from some stakeholders, who say that the city-owned site next to the Fairmount commuter rail line should be used for housing instead.

The 120,000 square foot Maxwell site, dominated by a sprawling, empty cardboard box warehouse, was seized by the city of Boston more than two years ago after its former owner lost the land to foreclosure. The existing warehouse on East Cottage Street is in dilapidated condition and must be torn down to accommodate whatever use comes next.  Read more

Boston Sports Club to open in Adams Corner

Parking lot will be overhauled as part of project

Boston Sports Club has agreed in principle to a ten-year lease agreement that will make the health and fitness chain the main tenant in a prominent Adams Corner building. The fitness center will take over a 17,000 square foot space that has been vacated by Rite-AID, the chain drug store that closed its doors earlier this year.

The Cedar Grove Civic Association will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, August 6 to hear more details about the planned renovation of the building and the adjacent parking lot.  Read more

McCarthy, Dorchester native, to lead environmental agency

Andy Metzger, State House News Service
Jul. 19, 2013

Dorchester native Gina McCarthy will head up the federal agency charged with developing and enforcing environmental regulations. McCarthy had been one of the nominees tied up in the Senate, a logjam that was broken when Democratic leaders reportedly threatened to change Senate rules to make confirmations easier.

On Thursday, the Senate confirmed McCarthy to head up the Environmental Protection Agency by a vote of 59-40. Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted a committee vote in May on McCarthy’s nomination.  Read more