TOD News

Your Source For Transit Oriented Development News


TRA News

Roslindale, MA to get 43 new housing units – Transaction handled by TRA

Jordan Graham | Boston Herald

NEW HOUSING: Mayor Martin J. Walsh speaks yesterday at a groundbreaking ceremony for Parkside on Adams, a mixed-use project in Roslindale that will include 43 units of housing as well as a restaurant that will be inside a former MBTA substation building. Photo by: Faith Ninivaggi
NEW HOUSING: Mayor Martin J. Walsh speaks yesterday at a groundbreaking ceremony for Parkside on Adams, a mixed-use project in Roslindale that will include 43 units of housing as well as a restaurant that will be inside a former MBTA substation building. Photo by: Faith Ninivaggi

Officials broke ground yesterday on a Roslindale development that will transform an MBTA substation vacant for more than 40 years and add middle-class housing, a project Mayor Martin J. Walsh said offers an affordable alternative to the explosion of luxury housing in Boston.

“This is an exciting project for the city, an exciting project for Roslindale,” Walsh said yesterday after the groundbreaking for The Parkside on Adams. “Here’s an opportunity for 43 units in neighborhoods that can help sustain a community. It’s certainly a big part of the answer.”

The Parkside on Adams will include those 43 housing studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units at the site of the former F.J. Higgins Funeral Home and the long-vacant and unused MBTA substation on Washington Street will be restored and house a 120-seat restaurant on its ground floor.

“It’s going to be a wonderful, transforming event for our neighborhood,” said Steve Gag, president of Roslindale Village Main Streets.

Walsh said the $15 million project, which is across the street from Adams Park, will help complete the redevelopment of the area. Read more

TRA Brings Wi-fi to the MBTA

[Renderings via Hines.]TRA has successfully negotiated a long-term license agreement to expand and improve both the availability and the quality of the current Wi-Fi service on the MBTA Commuter Rail and Ferry Boats. The state-of-the-art standards will enhance the ridership experience throughout the system and also provide Wi-Fi service to the South Station, North Station and Bay Back commuter facilities.

As reported in Boston Magazine, the MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott stated “This is a very exciting time for our Commuter Rail system. While the introduction of new locomotives and new coaches will continue to improve on-time performance rates, customer service initiatives like Wi-Fi and e-ticketing make the overall commuting experience an even better one.”

The provider is a high speed broadband “dedicated” wireless network provider focused exclusively on the transportation industry. The provider’s management team has deployed nationwide networks including Airfone, In-Flight Phone and USA Today’s skyRadio. InMotion has developed an innovative broadband wireless solution to address critical technical needs for commuter rail systems. Read more

TRA managing MBTA selling of former ferry terminal in Quincy

Thomas Grillo | Boston Business Journal

The MBTA is selling the former ferry terminal building and the 7.8-acre parcel at the Fore River Shipyard on Washington Street at the Fore River Bridge in Quincy.

0313 Quincy Terminal
The T is seeking bidders for the former ferry terminal building and the 7.8-acre parcel at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy.

The T is seeking bidders for the land and building at 703 Washington St. There is no minimum bid for the property. Bids are due on Wednesday, April 16, and a pre-bid conference has been scheduled at Transit Realty Associates, the Boston firm that disposes of MBTA real estate, on Thursday, April 3 at 1 p.m.

Bidding documents did not reveal the zoning for the parcel. A spokesman for Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch said the parcel is zoned industrial but with a special permit almost anything could be built on the site.

T ferry service was shuttered last October when transit officials learned the terminal was unsafe and the cost to repair it — between $15 and $50 million — was prohibitive. T patrons now take the ferry from Hingham and there are no plans to bring back the service to Quincy, according to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo. {….}


Placemaking Through Transit Oriented Development at the Forest Park MetroLink Station

Lenora Fisher | Citizens For Modern Transit

On Tuesday, February 25th CMT welcomed the Transit Oriented Development ‘Deal’ Guy, Francis DeCoste, to St. Louis.  Before a crowd of more than 80 St. Louis civic and community leaders, Mr. DeCoste discussed his assessment of the development possibilities and challenges around the Forest Park MetroLink Station.

“Even though MetroLink opened in St. Louis in 1993, building around our public transit infrastructure has not gone as far as the region could hope.  We looked at the Forest Park MetroLink Station because it will be truly multi-modal in the near future– with the MetroLink red and blue lines providing service, several MetroBus routes serving the station, the future Loop Trolley, Great Rivers Greenway trail and more all providing access. With these realities in mind,  we were happy to see Fran examine the possibilities for development and possible financing incentives for the area,” said Kim Cella, CMT Executive Director.

Feb 25 BMr. DeCoste has over 30 years of experience in the real estate development industry. In his career, he has successfully negotiated and conducted due diligence  for site acquisitions,  performed economic feasibility analysis, coordinated site and building designs, presented to the public proposals for the  permitting  and approval of projects, obtained  both institutional and private financing,  and managed the sales and construction of retail, office, multi-family rental, and luxury condominium projects throughout the country.  As Chief Operating Officer with Transit Reality Associates, Mr. DeCoste is responsible for directing the daily operations of TRA and overseeing all staff as well as focusing on transit oriented development projects in the Boston and Chicago markets.

Enjoy Mr. DeCoste’s presentation here, and plan to join us for CMT’s presentation to the community on the feasibility study for a possible mid-town MetroLink Station at Cortex on March 27 at 7:30 am.

Purchase agreement announced for Malden city hall

Nathan Lamb | Wicked Local

This conceptual image of the redeveloped City Hall site was provided by Jefferson Apartment Group Development Company. It shows the two proposed buildings and a reconstructed Pleasant Street. Commercial Street is in the foreground. image courtesy CBT.
Image courtesy CBT.

The City of Malden has struck a $9.8 million deal to sell City Hall and the neighboring police station to a private developer.

A land disposition agreement to sell the 2.25-acre parcel at 200 Pleasant Street was announced by the office of Mayor Gary Christenson on Feb. 20. Relocation of City Hall has been a long-standing goal for many local officials, and the agreement requires the city to vacate by December of 2015. “This historical day has been a long time coming,” said Christenson, in a press release. “The City Council and I are enthusiastically moving forward on the community’s goal of revitalizing the downtown.

Redevelopment of the City Hall parcel was a key goal for Christenson upon taking office in 2012. A release from his office termed the disposition agreement “a significant milestone in the City’s efforts to revitalize Malden Square by demolishing the Government Center Building and Police Station to reopen Pleasant Street to through traffic. The deal is with Jefferson Apartment Group Development Company, a Virginia-based real estate firm with offices ranging from Boston to Florida.

The company’s current proposal calls for 245 apartment units and 17,250 square feet of commercial space at the site. The plan also includes 314 parking spaces, though the mayor’s release said those specs are “subject to refinements as the project moves forward into more advanced design and development.” {….}

$65M Harvard Square redevelopment to break ground

Thomas Grillo | Boston Business Journal

The ground breaking of 114 Mount Auburn St. and the redevelopment of the Conductor’s Building in Cambridge, Mass., is set for Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 9:30 a.m.

An artist rendering of 114 Mount Auburn St. in Cambridge, Mass.
Courtesy of Elkus Manfredi. An artist rendering of 114 Mount Auburn St. in Cambridge, Mass.

In 2012, Carpenter & Co. bought the Cambridge property to take control of the whole block adjacent to the Charles Hotel it owns. The hotel developer purchased 114-116 Mount Auburn St. in Harvard Square from the Bulfinch Cos. of Newton for $4 million with plans for a major renovation of the historic Conductors Building. A second adjacent parcel was purchased from MBTA in 2007 for $3.2 million in a public bid process.

The developer, Richard Friedman, President and CEO of Carpenter Co., plans to build an eight-story, 70,000-square-foot building that will include a restaurant, retail and office space. The $65 million development will include a new main building that is 100 percent leased to Harvard University on a long-term lease. Occupancy is expected to commence next year. The 5,000-square-foot Conductor’s Building historic renovation will happen simultaneously.

Friedman, who is well-known for the redevelopment of the former Charles Street Jail into theLiberty Hotel, is taking on another complex public-private partnership in the redevelopment of the century old Conductor’s Building, one of the oldest original structures of the Red Line. The new building is the result of a complex design where the building cantilevers over and above the electric transformers that power the Red Line. The project is expected to revitalize what has been a major eyesore and put to productive use an excess MBTA property and beautify a section of Harvard Square.

David Manfredi of Elkus Manfredi of Boston is the architect and the general contractor is Boston-based Tishman Construction.

MBTA Late Night Sponsorship Program

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is pleased to announce the Late Night Sponsorship program, a unique opportunity for a limited number of firms to show support for extended public transportation service in the core of Boston.

Late Night T Sponsorship is a high profile community service opportunity which will improve Boston’s night time experience by providing patrons and workers worry-free, safe, affordable and convenient transportation.


Your Sponsorship Advertising Will Get Noticed!

  • 22 million tourists visit Boston and Cambridge every year
  • 14 million people view T bus advertising every month
  • 90% of Bostonians live less than 5 minutes from a train station or bus stop
  • 80% of adults 18-34 years of age in Boston are exposed to T advertising every week
  • 1/3 of Bostonians use the T to commute to work every day
  • Greater Boston has 100+ major colleges and universities
  • Metro Boston is home to 20+ major hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other health care facilities, operating 24/7 and employing shift workers

For more information, click here

What is ‘Bus Rapid Transit’?

Richard Whittaker | The Austin Chronicle 

Capital Metro calls the new MetroRapid service a bus rapid transit system (BRT), but that term is about more than just fast buses. In fact, there’s no international or even national consensus on exactly what is and isn’t BRT, nor are all BRT systems created equal: The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy grades systems according to its BRT standard from “Gold” to “Bronze.” Here’s how the Federal Transit Authority defines BRT, and how MetroRapid measures up:

Improved Vehicle Design: MetroRapid vehicles are more spacious than traditional buses, while the 330-horsepower engines are surprisingly quiet. They’re also wi-fi equipped.

Reduced Fare Collection Time: MetroRapid accommodates mobile ticketing, and allows card swipe and mobile passes to be used at all three doors.

Improved and Distinctive Stops and Shelters: MetroRapid features new stations, many standing clear of the sidewalk, reducing any holdups for other road users and pedestrians. Also, some will have raised platforms for easier loading and unloading.

Dedicated Bus Lanes, Busways or Expressways: Initially there will be express bus-only lanes on the Guadalupe/Lavaca corridor, but these may be extended, and future routes could use the high occupancy vehicle lanes on MoPac.

Signal Priority: MetroRapid vehicles communicate with traffic lights, keeping them green slightly longer without overly impacting other traffic.

Automatic Vehicle Location: MetroRapid vehicles use cell-phone systems to send real-time arrival information to station displays.

Land Use: The FTA proposes that BRT be sited to both serve high-demand populations, such as apartment complexes and big employers (which MetroRapid backers argue it does), and to encourage desirable transit-oriented development over time.

Using the MBTA saves commuters $13,000 a year


Winter is upon us, and that means slushy, icy and dangerous roadways. You can alleviate the stress of dealing with road conditions while saving money by letting public transit get you where you need to go. Consider the facts from the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) December Transit Savings Report, individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $825 this month, and $9,901 annually. That’s not just in the winter, the savings extend all year round.

These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle which includes the December 17, 2013 average national gas price ($3.22 per gallon- reported by AAA), and the national unreserved monthly parking rate.

APTA releases this monthly Transit Savings Report to examine how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car.

The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $166.26, according to the 2012 Colliers International Parking Rate Study. Over the course of a year, parking costs for a vehicle can amount to an average of $1,995.

The top 20 cities with the highest public transit ridership are ranked in order of their transit savings based on the purchase of a monthly public transit pass. The savings also factor in local gas prices for December 17, 2013 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate. {….}

Blog at

Up ↑