Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. held a follow up meeting with State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Gregory Bialecki. The Mayor invited Secretary Bialecki to Everett as a follow up from a communication with the Housing and Economic Development office. Secretary Bialecki showed sincere interest in the Mayor’s future vision of the city and offered assistance from the Statewide Development Office.
Since the Governor’s announcement in October of a $2 million grant to help overhaul Air Force Road, the state is starting to generate more interest in Everett. While the City does not have the land capacity in comparison to neighbors in the north and west, the City does have marketable opportunities for re-development. The Mayor is looking for ways to take advantage of the economic times and lay groundwork for future development in the city.
“I appreciate everything the Secretary has offered the city,” says Mayor DeMaria, “with over 350 cities and towns in the commonwealth, we appreciate all of their insight and their assistance.”
The Mayor is focusing on three important areas which he feels will help stimulate the local economy and keep good families in Everett. The Mayor expressed the need to revitalize both Glendale Square and Everett Square, exploring all available option to bring expanded transit service to Everett and continue to seek development opportunities along Revere Beach Parkway and the River Green Development site.
In his discussion, the Mayor presented his case for enhancing the two main squares through efforts the city can control. “One thing we need additional parking,” stated the Mayor, “we need to give business owners, developers and residents easier access to the squares, which will help generate more business.”
The Mayor wants to explore opportunities of building small to medium size garages in the city, similar to what Medford is working on now and what Malden has done in years past. With the additional parking the Mayor is also aggressively exploring options of adding a local MBTA stop and a Commuter Rail stop for easier access to into Everett.
“If you look at many other neighborhoods like Davis Square in Somerville, or Malden Square,” says Mayor DeMaria, “easier access to the T gives residents access to Boston. People drive through Everett and because of parking issues, and limited access to the T, they don’t stop and enjoy what we have.”
The Mayor also talked with Secretary Bialecki on the progress of the River Green Development site, noting the construction to Air Force Road will begin in the spring and that he’s talking with the developers about potential new tenants. In order to increase demand the Mayor is working with the Secretary to secure additional funding for infrastructure around the entire Development Site.
Knowing the difficult commercial climate, the Mayor is working to ensure that the City doesn’t miss potential development opportunities, seeking advice from the Secretary on different means of generating visibility to different companies.
On a quick visit to some local businesses the Mayor outlined to the Secretary how improvements to an outdated and deteriorating culvert along the Island End River could significantly help business development along Beacham Street and Revere Beach Parkway.
“If you think about the impact of the culvert along the Island End River,” says Mayor DeMaria, “this is something the City of Everett, plus the owners of Boston Market Terminal have been working on for years. If we can improve the culvert this opens up opportunities for businesses along the Island End River and along Revere Beach Parkway to expand, to rebuild and to regenerate jobs.”
While the Mayor and Secretary Bialecki plan to meet again in three months time both agreed that short term and long term planning are certainly needed for projects to continue. The Mayor is committing the Office of Community Development to work on a plan, while Mayor DeMaria solicits comments from the Secretary of Transportation and the General Manager of the MBTA.
Secretary Bialecki offered to come back and help outline ways which the State can be of assistance, offer comments on development opportunities and offer assistance with long term planning of the City.