A celebratory “Demolition Event” was recently held at 200 Pleasant Street to commemorate the tearing down of the Police Station and City Hall buildings. Sandi Silk, Senior Vice President of Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG) coordinated the event which included Mayor Gary Christenson, Secretary of Housing & Economic Development Jay Ash, State Senator Jason Lewis, State Representatives Paul Donato and Paul Brodeur, former Malden Mayors Richard Howard and Ed Lucey, members of the City Council, School Committee and City employees. Also in attendance were MassWorks Infrastructure Program Director Erica Kreuter, executives from Callahan Construction, civil engineers Beals and Thomas, CBT Architects, landscape architects Copley Wolff Design Group and representatives from JAG’s partner, Northwestern Mutual, who has invested more than $100,000,000 in the project. The celebration marked the next step in the City’s longstanding goal to revitalize Malden Center by opening up Pleasant Street to through traffic, connecting Downtown Malden to the Malden Center MBTA Station and redeveloping the site into a thriving mixed-use retail/residential/office development.
The commitment and financial support that the Commonwealth provided to the City for this project was critical in reaching this milestone. Three MassWorks awards, totaling $9.85 million, were made to the City in support of the undertaking. The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides public infrastructure funding to shovel-ready projects that generate new private investment in housing production and job creation. Without the MassWorks grants which helped fund construction of the City’s new Police Station, the property would not have been available to facilitate redevelopment by Jefferson Apartment Group and Northwestern Mutual. “The Commonwealth’s support ‘unlocked the box’ for a redevelopment that has been dreamed about for years,” said Sandi Silk, Senior Vice President for JAG. “Projects like this one take creativity and collaboration from all parties - both public and private - and we are excited to be moving forward with the demolition of the existing buildings which is the first truly visible step in a several years long redevelopment project which is targeted for completion in 2019.”
JAG’s redevelopment project includes 320 market-rate residential units in two buildings, with 246 units in the South Building and 74 units in the North Building. The North Building will include approximately 45,000 square feet of office for the new Malden City Hall. The property will include approximately 22,000 square feet of ground floor retail opening onto Commercial, Florence, Exchange and Pleasant Streets. A new publicly accessible park will be established between the Heritage Apartments and the North Building, creating opportunities for civic events and outdoor dining for residents and visitors.
“The project features three buildings - each with distinct elevations, materials, fenestration patterns, and massing shifts - oriented to re-establish Pleasant Street as the central artery to the greater Malden community and beyond,” said Christopher Hill AIA, Principal at CBT Architects. “A new sky bridge will also connect residents to amenity and community spaces while also serving as a gateway through Florence Street and the commuter rail.”
The project is within the City’s designated Housing Development (HD) Zone and has received certification under the Commonwealth’s Housing Development Incentive Program (HDIP) administered by DHCD. The HDIP certification enables the project to receive tax abatements and tax credits in partnership with both the City and the state, and supports the creation of much needed market-rate housing in the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities program.
“The state’s funding commitment to Malden leverages significant private investment, helping the city reach their housing needs and creating commercial opportunities,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “This redevelopment will attract new residents, better connect downtown to transportation options and support new enterprises, resulting in long-term benefits for the City.”
“Finally, the highly anticipated next step in redeveloping our downtown corridor was realized,” said Mayor Gary Christenson. “I am truly grateful to the Legislative Delegation, our City Council, Sandi Silk and her colleagues at Jefferson Apartment Group, and my dedicated team including Strategic Planning and Financial Analyst Ron Hogan and Malden Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Deborah Burke whose hard work and collaboration on this project has brought us to today’s great celebration.”