Whatever becomes of the former MBTA substation in Roslindale Square, considered one of the neighborhood's biggest and longest-standing eyesores, the result will be green, according to Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
Presented during an April 30 meeting at the Roslindale Community Center, the BRA's criteria for selling and developing the 6,291-square-foot lot at the corner of Cummings Highway and Washington Street calls for "sustainable development" to minimize environmental impacts.
"That's our big push" said Menino when asked about the substation's future during a reception for Roslindale's newest homeowners Monday night at Robyn's Bar and Grill. "Green is beautiful."
A handout distributed at the meeting lists "sustainable design/green building" as sixth out of seven development objectives, including preserving the substation's historic character. The BRA also hopes the space will be filled by locally owned businesses that create jobs and increase foot traffic on Washington Street.
Built in 1911, the substation hasn't powered trolleys since 1970 and has spent the last few years tangled in legal wrangling. The BRA finally acquired the property last June.
The BRA also insists that any proposed housing at the site be accessible to various income levels, although many community members oppose a housing conversion altogether, citing insufficient parking in the area. The existing building, zoned for general business, cannot be easily converted to residential use. Some residents said they would like to see the space used as an extension of the nearby library or recently redeveloped community center. The project's written comment period expires Wednesday, and the BRA will start accepting formal development proposals. To comment on the project, contact Fran Collins at 617-918-6232 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. JUSTIN A. RICE