By Seth Daniel
One week after Mayor Carlo DeMaria encouraged the Wynn Boston Harbor team to pursue the large Everett Shops MBTA repair facility – and one week after the MBTA outsourced one division housed in the Shops – the T made very clear it intends to keep work going on Lower Broadway.
“The (outsourced) warehouse comprises only one section of the MBTA’s Everett Shops campus,” said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo via e-mail. “The vast majority of the facility is used for bus and rail car maintenance activity and will continue to be used for that purpose. The T has no plans to dispose of property at that location. I would add that the MBTA has limited space for performing important maintenance activities for buses and rail cars. Our facilities in Everett are critical to getting this work done.”
That pronouncement came after Mayor Carlo DeMaria challenged the Wynn Boston Harbor development team to aggressively pursue the purchase of the Everett Shops and other underutilized properties on Lower Broadway.
“We must look at other facilities or land with potential that is not being maximized,” said the mayor in his State of the City on Jan. 9. “Chief amongst them is the MBTA maintenance and storage facility, adjacent to the Wynn resort site by the waterfront. I think it would make an excellent site for an additional Wynn hotel and I urge Mr. Wynn and his development team to aggressively pursue this possibility with the state.”
Wynn hasn’t had much of a comment on the situation, and representatives at the State of the City said nothing when the mayor put out the challenge. The did say this week that they share the mayor’s desire to have thoughtful development around them on Lower Broadway.
The mayor’s challenge was on the same day, incidentally, that the MBTA Fiscal Control Board voted to outsource the warehouse division located within the Everett Shops facility. That division is only one function in the building, and comprised of 20 workers.
Pesaturo said it wasn’t a sign that the Shops building is being dismantled by attrition. Instead, he said there are 235 employees that work in the bus and rail vehicle repair shops. Their work is critical to keeping the system going and the vehicles in proper working condition. There are few other places, if any, where the facility could find a new home that is as strategically located.
Meanwhile, the industrial property is sandwiched between what will be a posh $2.1 billion resort casino and a state-of-the-art horticultural greenhouse and warehouse facility serving the resort.
Some in Everett, in addition to Mayor DeMaria, believe that the time has come for the Shops to perhaps look elsewhere to make way for something more fitting to the new uses on Lower Broadway.
For now, it appears, the work will go on.