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Roslindale Village Main Street invites feedback on substation plans

Posted by Your Town  December 14, 2012 11:00 AM

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After announcing big plans for the former trolley substation that has sat empty on the corner of Washington Street and Cummins Highway in Roslindale for decades, the Roslindale Village Main Street organization is asking the public to comment at a series of informal office hours.

In a press release, the group states, “We are eager to hear your feedback and intend to hold a community meeting in mid-January to share more details. Before the community meeting, RVMS will be hosting smaller and less formal gatherings with our volunteer substation committee members to discuss the proposal, answer your questions and gather your ideas. As more formal plans become available the Boston Redevelopment Authority will be looking to the community for its consideration in the permitting process.”

Over the years, various proposals have come and gone, but in a unique partnership of two nonprofits---Roslindale Village Main Street and Historic Boston---and a private development company, the Peregrine Group, this may be the time something sticks.

The game-changer for getting the 1911 building back into use may be that the owners of the F.J. Higgins Funeral Home, located next door to the substation, decided to sell their property to the group.

The idea is to develop both properties simultaneously. The funeral home would be turned into an apartment complex, along with parking, while the substation would have a restaurant, coffee bar, and produce market. The cost to restore the substation, about $5.2 million, has been the hurdle to developers in the past, but the apartments would help cover that. All of this is contingent on getting city approval.

Drop-in hours at the Roslindale Village Main Street office at 2 Corinth Street office are December 20, January 8 and 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and January 5th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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