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Public hearing set Feb. 4 for Malden ballpark

Posted by Jarret Bencks  January 18, 2013 09:38 AM

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Residents in Malden will soon have a chance to weigh in on plans to build a minor league ballpark on Commercial Street.

The city, with the Malden Redevelopment Authority, will hold a public hearing on the proposed 6,500-seat facility on Feb. 4, according to an announcement from Mayor Gary Christenson's office.

In December, development group Boston Baseball Field of Dreams, led by Boston lawyer Alex Bok, agreed to a 40-year, $20 million lease on a 6.4-acre parcel of land on Commercial Street that used to be a national grid site.

Bok's group plans to build a ballpark there, but needs to negotiate to buy or lease three adjacent lots, and get approval from the city. The park would host a team in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, which is independent from Major League Baseball. The team would play about 70 home games per year.

In a press conference in December, Christenson touted the project as a driver for revitalization.

"I believe this project has the potential to not only revitalize this site, but serve as an economic catalyst for the entire downtown," he said.

The public hearing Feb. 4 will be held in City Council Chambers at Malden Government Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. An update will be given on the next steps for the ballpark, then public input will be heard.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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