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RMV closing Chinatown branch, moving flagship to Haymarket

Posted by Your Town  March 13, 2013 04:52 PM

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BOSTON, MARCH 13, 2013….The Registry of Motor Vehicle’s next major location will be located above an indoor food market in Haymarket once construction is complete on an office building next year, according to transportation officials.

“It’ll be the flagship,” Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian told the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board Wednesday. “It will replace the current Chinatown branch.”

The building that will house the new RMV offices was constructed during the Big Dig to camouflage a vent from the underground tunnels and has remained empty since then, Highway Administrator Frank DePaola told the News Service.

“It’s basically an empty shell now,” DePaola said.

The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance received a low bid of just under $12 million from Nauset Construction, DePaola told the board. He said he expects work to be complete by next April.

DePaola said that as the Chinatown branch shuts down, the RMV will open an RMV express in the building across the street from the current location.

A manager for the ground-floor market has been selected, and is currently fundraising, DePaola said. Once the market is in place, RMV customers will be able to shop downstairs and see when their number is called. The RMV will have two floors while another two floors will be used for other state offices.

The Chinatown branch is built on top of an Orange Line station, and the Haymarket location will be above Orange and Green line stations.

“From a transit perspective, it’s much more accessible,” DePaola said. The building also contains a garage, and DePaola said many of the spots there are reserved for the pushcart vendors who sell goods in the open air Haymarket, though there is a garage across the street that always has room for cars.

“I don’t think the Government Center Parking Garage has ever reached capacity,” DePaola said. It might with the new branch and food market so close. According to a MassDOT official, the Chinatown branch serves nearly 30,000 customers.

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