The MBTA and a neighborhood planning group showed off plans for a $200-million reconstruction of the 18-acre Jamaica Plain facility that could mean a new park along with new housing and stores on what is now basically a giant field of asphalt.
At a meeting at English High School, T officials and architects working on what could be the culmination of a 12-year process, showed off a plan that consolidates the current operations into a 10-acre "bus barn" and maintenance facility, basically along the Arborway, with swooping roofs that look like they could fit in at an airport. A 275-space parking garage would be built underneath for yard workers; the roofs would be painted white to reduce the amount of heat absorbed and then radiated out into the surrounding area.
The current "temporary" bus depot north of that along Washington Street would be turned over to the city for development, while a park would be built between the rear of the new facility and the adjacent neighborhood, along with a walking/bicycling loop around the new T yard. An existing city public-works facility on the Arborway would be moved. It could take another five years before the project is completed.
The proposal calls for 150 to 200 units of affordable housing on the land, along with new commercial space. Henry Allen of the Community Planning Committee for the Arborway Yard said that specific planning and design of the new housing, retail would be a whole other process involving the BRA and nearby neighborhood groups.
The entire MBTA facility would be surrounded by a sound wall, along with grading and landscaping designed to minimize the amount of sound spilling into surrounding residential areas.
MBTA General Manager Richard Davey told about 100 residents that the biggest challenge for the project is funding. He said his staff is looking at ways to reduce costs. The project is no longer in the T's long-term capital plan.