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Linden Square to get $160,000 facelift

Posted by Matt Byrne  July 28, 2010 10:04 AM

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The Malden Redevelopment Authority gave the green light for contractors to begin work on a $160,000 effort to revitalize Linden Square, a plan that will add trees, change traffic patterns, and “soften” a corner now marked by asphalt and hardscape.

The lowest bidder was The Charles Contracting Co., based in Watertown, which was unanimously approved by the MRA board. The bid was approximately $160,000, said Deborah Burke, project director for the City of Malden.

The effort will be funded by a federal grant from a Department of Housing and Urban Development program, which is designed to help local governments reinvest in low- and middle-income neighborhoods. Judson Square was remodeled using money from the same program, Burke said.

“It’s kind of a sea of concrete down there now,” Burke said of Linden Square. The addition of greenery, signage, and embedded road reflectors will help ease the flow of pedestrian through the intersection and make the square more appealing, she said.

“When you do these squares, you want to give them their own identities.”

The $160,000 is a sliver of the approximately $1.7 million Malden received this fiscal year from the HUD program, Burke said. The remaining money is expected to land in city coffers by September. In the meantime, the city may front the money if work on Linden Square begins before the fall, Burke said.

Money from the HUD grant is not exclusively for physical development. A portion of the funds also are allowed to flow toward social programs and community centers in low- to middle-income neighborhoods.

In the past, Malden has used the money to improve park land, refinish building facades, and fund youth programs, according to the MRA.

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