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COMMUNITY SNAPSHOT

Waltham

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April 6, 2008

WALTHAM - They haven't made watches here in some 50 years and it's time to link this city to its present, which includes a good swatch of restaurants downtown and high-tech companies on the periphery.

Nicely perched in proximity to Boston and major highways, this city has seen its main drag, Moody Street, develop a new identity driven by food and with a wide range of dining choices.

"It's a very eclectic restaurant row," brags Mayor Jeannette A. McCarthy.

Waltham has upgraded or built eight elementary and middle schools, with the last to be finished this fall. With a strong commercial base, McCarthy said the city is still able to offer services such as curbside garbage and recycling pickups at no extra fee.

The Charles River bisects the city's southern end. The river played a key role in literally powering Waltham's development as a manufacturing center, which is memorialized in the Charles River Museum of Industry. Waltham also is host to Brandeis University and Bentley College and has Prospect Hill Park, the 250-acre greenspace that provides nice views of Boston from its heights.

On a recent week, Realtor.com listed 74 single-family homes, ranging from $259,900 for a four-bed, two-bath, 1,391-square-foot home to $1.1 million for a five-bed, 2.5-bath 4,862-square-foot home. Median price of a single-family home through February was $359,000, according to Warren Group, which publishes real estate information.

JOHN ELLEMENT

Waltham

Miles from Boston 9

Population 59,352 (2006)

Median house price $395,000 (2008)

Tax rate $10.55

Average single-family property tax (State 2007 average $3,962)

Transportation Routes 20, 60, 117, and 128 (I-95); member, MBTA

MCAS Among 293 systems, 10th-graders ranked 189 in English and 184 in math, according to a Globe analysis of 2007 results. Sixth-graders ranked 196 out of 309 systems in English and 201 in math, according to Globe analysis of 2006 MCAS results. Third-graders ranked 257 out of 299 systems in reading and 234 in math.

Census facts Median family income is $64,595 compared to national rate of $50,046 and 38 percent held a bachelor's degree or higher compared to national rate of 24 percent.

Website waltham.ma.us

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