On Tuesday, May 12, city and state officials gathered on the growing 15-acre campus facilitated by New Balance in Brighton to break ground on a new Commuter Rail station aptly dubbed Boston Landing.
Expected to be completed in the fall of 2016, Boston Landing will serve the Allston-Brighton neighborhoods along the current Framingham/Worcester line. Eight stops will be made at Boston Landing and the track is also equipped to carry a Light Rail car.
Boston Landing is the $20 million product of a public-private collaboration between New Balance, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the MBTA. The 780-foot long center-island station links Lower Allston with Allston-Brighton by connecting with the Everett Street Bridge with New Balance’s complex, also providing viable pedestrian and bike linkage.
A new Hubway bike-share station is planned for the station as well and aside from a nearby parking garage, there are no parking spaces associated with the station – it’s built for drop-offs only.
In 1962, with the extension of the Massachusetts Turnpike to a terminus in Boston, three then-existing stations were demolished. Boston Landing represents the first rail station in this particular area of Allston in more than 50 years.
“The commitment of New Balance and the City of Boston to expand development and transportation opportunities is vital to bringing new economic activity and jobs to Greater Boston,” said Gov. Charlie Baker in a statement. “These projects, supported by the industry and municipalities whose residents and employees benefit most, will expand economic growth, accessibility and mobility for others as we work toward critical reforms for our Commonwealth’s public transit system.”
New Balance has endeavored to transform the longtime industrial area into a next-generation destination for both work and play. NB Development Group, LLC (a coalition of architects, urban designers, New Balance and more) is constructing a compound that includes a practice ice rink for the Boston Bruins, an accompanying indoor sports complex, 650,000-square feet of office space, a 175-key room hotel, 80,000-square feet of restaurant and retail space and, of course, New Balance’s 250,000-square foot headquarters.
“I’d like to extend the City of Boston’s appreciation to our partners in this important project,” said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca in a statement. “A new station at this location will improve transportation access for local residents, providing them with a direct connection to economic opportunities in the Financial District and elsewhere around Boston.”
She added, “This project was completed using existing rail infrastructure, keeping expenses at a minimum while reaping significant benefits for the Allston neighborhood.”