Dedham didn't want a housing development at the old Stop & Shop plant in Readville, so now they might get a train repair yard there

The Globe reports that MBCR, which currently runs commuter rail for the MBTA, has promised to build a $65-million repair on part of the site of the old Stop & Shop warehouse complex on the Readville/Dedham line if its contract is renewed.

In 2007, a developer proposed 1,850 housing units on the site, in a proposal that would have required Boston annexing a landlocked piece of Dedham. Dedham didn't like the purchase price, though, so turned the idea down.

Given the land's location right atop marshes that feed into the Neponset River, there could be some interesting environmental filings if the project goes forward. It sits next to the tracks used by several commuter-rail lines and Amtrak.



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What's the matter?

Are you gloating over the fact that the un-PC suburbanites are getting a train repair yard in their backyard because they didn't want a giant housing project and all the great things it would bring? A train yard might be a major inconvenience, but at least it won't drive the crime rate through the roof. You see, there's a whole lot of limousine liberals around here whose hearts bleed for the plight of the far away underclass as long as the underclass remains far away, but only a few masochistic altruists who keep crying white guilt tears while watching their neighborhoods getting ruined.

Ah, so you know nothing about the project or the land

Thanks, Obama!

The project was NOT going to be for the underclass, however you define that. It was planned as a market-rate development out in the country - basically, it would have been the largest subdivision in the area in decades (only with more townhouses than single-family homes, I seem to recall).

The direct effect on Dedham would have been far less than on Boston since a) Boston was going to assume all the costs of education and other city services once the thing was built and b) there's no direct access to the site from Dedham anyway - the only way in and out by car is via Meadow Road in Readville - the same place that bore the brunt of all the truck traffic when Stop & Shop was still in operation. It's a looong way from Dedham to the parcel by car; no sane criminal would be going in via Dedham. Try it some day (there are some nice views of the Great Blue Hill on Meadow Road, and it's a great place to look for meteor showers).

Dedham wanted more money than the developer was willing to offer to cede the land. Their right. They also had some issues with where to put the "adult entertainment zone" they now have on their part of the land. Again, their right. But, hey, whatever. Me, I'd take a housing development over a giant train-repair yard, but I don't live in Dedham - maybe they really like choo-choos.


It's your news site, maybe

It's your news site, maybe you could try clearer headlines and better summaries?

Look, I know it can be tough to take criticism as a writer, but when readers mistake your meaning, you have to assume that you really weren't clear enough. Remember the "guess the race" post debacle, when you forgot that most of your readers weren't going to dig through the previous day's 50-comment flame war to find your rationalization for why you posted something so ill-considered.

I took the headline to have the same meaning as the first commenter, and came to roughly the same (wrong) conclusions about your intentions since your site is a pretty snarky place. I've lived in Boston for a decade, mostly without a car, and I rarely find my way out to the Dedham border. I had no recollection of the previous proposal.

For better or worse, "housing project" means low-income public housing to most people. If you'd used the phrase "residential development" nobody would have mistaken your meaning.

As for Dedham's motivations, perhaps they'd rather have property tax income at the higher commercial or industrial rate than they would either a lump sum of cash from Boston for the annexation, or if Boston balks, to build the roads and provide services to the parcel. Maybe since the offers were made years apart, there are different reasons for both decisions, since this wasn't an either-or in real life.

You're right about the headline

So my apologies to you and the original commenter for any confusion, and I've changed "project" to "development."

It's understandable most people don't remember this idea. It was six years ago, and in a part of town nobody really cares about except the people who live there. Contrast to the Tommy Tower, which everybody still remembers and which is from about the same time period. But we were talking like 5,000 possible new residents. Imagine trying to cram a project of that size into any other part of the city.

A rail repair yard might help

A rail repair yard might help the overall condition of the equipment on the MBCR. I believe that MBCR's contract is up for bid soon. One of the partners is I believe Bomadier, they might use this for the RL and OL new subway car bid for the recently announced purchase of subway cars to be assembled in MA this might happen at this site. It is sort of like building facilities to host the Olympics but they get used for other purposes later. Does the MBCR'S site development in Dedham free up property for housing in Boston?