A groundbreaking summer introduces new opportunities for the City of Presidents

August 08, 2013 - Front Section

Dean Rizzo, Quincy Chamber of Commerce

Merchants Row, 1400 Hancock Street - Quincy, MA

Ground breaking at Merchants Row, 1400 Hancock Street - Quincy, MA

With a variety of new residential and commercial construction projects, improved transportation networks, numerous public sector improvements and strengthening partnerships, the city of Quincy, Massachusetts is on the move and will continue its transformation in the second half of 2013.
After over eight years of planning, a shovel is in the ground as the long awaited $1.6 billion redevelopment of historic downtown Quincy is underway. Spearheaded by Street-Works Development and a host of partners, the transformation of our urban city has become the largest commercial development in the Commonwealth of Mass., which will continue for the next seven years.
Phase 1 construction of Merchants Row at the 1400 Hancock St. block began in June and entails new street level retail, restaurants, great new sidewalks, and 300 residential units on the upper floors focused around a new public place known as the Kilroy Courtyard. In addition, a new street - to be known as Kilroy Way - is being introduced to reduce the scale of the large block. Similar in scale and character to the great alleys of Beacon Hill in Boston, Kilroy Way will provide a through-block connection between Chestnut St. and Hancock St. and will create pedestrian access to more street level shops as well as to the new 200 space, below grade public parking garage.
The residential units will include the Granite Trust Lofts, a new 5-story building whose architectural style and detail, color, street level storefront and materials have all been designed to reflect an Art Deco orientation and to match 1400 Hancock's existing materials and aesthetic.
Around the corner, on Chestnut St., The Kilroy is a 15-story building with residential rental units above the street level restaurants and shops.
The design of both new buildings will establish a sense of continuity with neighboring buildings while introducing imaginative and high quality design of this generation. The target audience for these new residences are under 35 young working professionals and the now aging baby boomer generation who are looking for a vibrant urban lifestyle at affordable rents.
In unison with the start of Merchants Row the city finalized the construction designs for the Adams Green, an open space lynchpin for Downtown Quincy's sweeping redevelopment. Working with Boston-based Halvorson Design Partnership and MassDOT the project was publicly advertised in June, with construction beginning the later part of 2013
Adams Green will be located between the entrance to the Quincy Center Red Line/Commuter Rail station, Old and New City Halls and the point at which Hancock St. curves into Washington St. The former surface of Hancock St. will be replaced by two adjacent straight pedestrian paths, separated by a series of grassy rectangles. This "promenade" corridor will be lined with trees, flowering plants and benches, and will provide safe and convenient access to three of the city's most important historic sites: United First Parish Church (burial place of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams and their wives, Abigail and Louisa), Old City Hall and historic Hancock Cemetery.
A third significant milestone recently achieved is the announcement of the opening of the Quincy Center for Innovation planned for August, 2013. Through a partnership among the Quincy Chamber, Quincy 2000 Collaborative, the City of Quincy, Eastern Nazarene College and South Shore Innovation the city will soon have a 12,500 s/f facility to support early phase and start-up companies. The Quincy Center for Innovation will provide an inexpensive and flexible office environment with a variety of support services to assist aspiring entrepreneurs.
The innovative space will be the ideal environment for co-working and collaboration, supporting start-ups and early phase companies from a diverse selection of industry clusters in support of the burgeoning Innovation Economy in the Commonwealth. The facility will be located within a few minute walk of the Wollaston MBTA Red Line Station, providing convenient access to the Cambridge and Boston Industry Clusters.
The city of Quincy is also welcoming economic investment and public sector improvements in all corners of the community. Several additional private sector projects that are scheduled to be completed and/or underway by the end of 2013 include the construction of a $30 million, 118,000 s/f South Shore YMCA; a $30 million new 141-bed, 57,000 s/f South Cove Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; and a 180 unit residential/commercial building across from the Quincy Adams MBTA Red Line Station. Public sector projects underway in 2013 by the city include a $50 million new Central Middle School, and a $20 million renovation of Old City Hall along with former historic Coddington Hall building for city offices as part of the downtown redevelopment project.

In addition to the new development a variety of enhanced transportation networks are providing critical infrastructure support for the current and future growth of the city. Walter J. Hannon Parkway, a new 4-line boulevard in the downtown, was recently completed to support the $1.6 billion redevelopment of Quincy Center. The relocation of the Town Brook, another critical infrastructure project was completed in May as scheduled, which includes new public parks and associated streetscape amenities which are scheduled to be completed by early fall.
In late Spring MassDot put the final touches on a $34 million reconstruction of the Neponset River Bridge - an important transportation link between Quincy, Rte. 93 and Boston, while simultaneously beginning the $244 million Fore River Bridge Replacement Project, which is part of the $3 billion Patrick Administration Accelerated Bridge Program. The project entails the construction of a new vertical lift bridge, which will carry Rte. 3A over the Fore River between Quincy and Weymouth - a primary commuter route connecting many south shore communities to Quincy and points north.
The city welcomes the opportunity to promote new investment opportunities within our community that place a high value on protecting the public realm, preserving history and fostering sustainable development practices. Whether a company requires public transportation, access to major highways, commercial rail, a beautiful waterfront, or a quality workforce - Quincy is the place to in which to live, work and invest. Quincy 2000 Collaborative, a division of the Quincy Chamber of Commerce, and the City administration are eager to convince you that here in Quincy We Mean Business!
Dean Rizzo is president of the Quincy, Mass. Chamber of Commerce.

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