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Turn the old Allston rail yards into a new neighborhood, mayor says

Call it BioWa. Tom Menino yesterday proposed:

A new neighborhood between downtown and Allston that captures and strengthens the growing residential population, biotech giants, universities and the Charles River.

Specifically, he's referring to the 91-acre Beacon Yards rail terminal (that huge thing you can see on Cambridge Street when heading from Harvard Avenue toward Cambridge), which Harvard bought in 2003 from the Turnpike Authority - and which butts right up against Boston University.

Harry Mattison writes that that explains some things a city planner was saying last week at a meeting on Harvard's development plans further up the Charles - he kept talking about the need for planning on "the south side of Cambridge Street" and talked about how Harvard and Boston University are now neighbors.

Also yesterday, Menino proposed renovating the Ferdinand Building in Dudley Square and putting some city offices there; building a green swath from the Public Garden to the Charles via the top of the Storrow tunnel; coming up with a development plan for the Newmarket area and developing a zoning and development plan for the Rose Kennedy Greenway (which might take some wrangling with the Turnpike Authority, which owns the area above the Big Dig).

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Comments

Regarding the Ferdinand building in Dudley. When they moved the Police Headquarters from Berkeley st. to Tremont, it was going to revitalize the neighborhood. Private developers were going to rush in and create jobs, housing, etc. Still waiting on that one. Thirty year old vacant lots still sit unloved. Dudley? The new police station was supposed to do the same thing. Now we're back putting in more City offices to do what the police station didn't do a generation ago.

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The City isn't entirely to blame for lack of development at the Ferdinand. Gov Cellucci had plans to put the Dept of Public Health in that building, but Gov. Romney let those plans die. In 2006 the City took over the building by eminent domain, with plans for moving DND there. I haven't heard much about the project recently (Jackson Sq is stealing Dudley's thunder), but my guess is that the City is having problems getting funding and a developer together.

boston.com/news/local...enliven_dudley_square/?page=2
boston.com/news...the_deal_for_ferdinands_site/

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Written Statement:

A new neighborhood between downtown and Allston
that captures and strengthens the growing
residential population, biotech giants, universities
and the Charles River.

In Menino-speak:

A noo nay-hood 'tween dow-tow an' Allston
that captch an' stren the groan
rez-dent-shul pop-lation, bi-tech jintes, uni-tees
an' the Charl Riv-uh.

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Turn the railyard into a neighborhood? The AB NIMBYS will never support this. They like their wasteland.

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