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Dedham property to be site of large MBTA solar array

Dave Eisenstadter  |

The MassDOT Board of Directors unanimously approved a company to build one of the largest solar arrays in the state in Dedham.
The board voted Wednesday, Sept. 12, to approve Gehrlicher Solar America Corporation to design, install and maintain a solar photovoltaic system at Readville Yard 5 in Dedham as well as a smaller system at Wonderland Garage in Revere.
In the spring, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority opened up Readville Yard 5, which it owns, for the construction of the facility.
The contract requires that the facility be operational by October 2013.
“The site was attractive because it was half of a large rail yard the MBTA got control of in the 1970s,” Andrew Brennan, director of Environmental Affairs for the MBTA, said on Thursday, Sept. 13. “We didn’t have a transportation need for it and there are not a lot of places we have 20 acres sitting open we can do something like this on.”
The MBTA is the largest consumer of electricity in Massachusetts, which provides reasons to seek out alternative energy sources, Brennan said. {…}

Market Aspects of TOD in Boston, the Region and the Nation

By William Lawrence Managing Director, Consulting Services

Article #1: The National Market Perspective

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is the place to be and the thing to build. This is not to say that it is for everyone, but it is where much of the development action is and where many of the baby boomers in the suburbs who can sell their homes or the recently minted college grads want to end up.

The national market data suggest that there are three dominant market types that are unfolding—the “24/7 cities,” the “Regional Cities,” and more or less, everything else.

The 24/7 Cities are the place to be —about a dozen of them that have the scale and diversity to create an enlivened downtown, punctuated by good or soon to be good transit of all types. These cities (call them the “Buzzing Dozen”) include New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Salt Lake, and Minneapolis). These cities are highly “walkable” with high density residential product served by retail and connected to employment by excellent transit service. They have received 50 percent of all private investment dollars in development projects in the country over the last three years. As an example in Boston’s Kenmore Square, at the confluence of 4 transit lines, a medical center and Boston University, private developers have announced four mixed use projects that are really “TODs” in the last four months and are funded with over 2 million square feet of office and retail, 800 residential units and 2200 parking spaces. Citywide, Boston has residential projects of over 3,000 units started or about to be—this Kenmore example is not an aberration. {…} 

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