Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy,city officials, and state economic development leaders are discussing best ways to funnel visitors from adjacent Route 128/Interstate 95 to the shopping center without jamming up traffic on the busy highway or clogging the surrounding neighborhood’s streets.
McCarthy said tentative plans include adding a ramp that would provide a direct link between the highway and the plaza, and presenting the development in an aesthetically pleasing way from the thoroughfare.
Representatives from the state Department of Transportation said in order to approve creating access from the highway, the developer must first conduct a traffic analysis, which has yet to be submitted. The project would also require approval from the Federal Highway Administration as well as the state. From there, officials would talk about funding. Next
Green space in the suburbs is at a premium, and even Route 128 is hurtling toward the day when you won’t be able to squeeze one more car or truck into its traffic-jammed lanes. But rest assured, one thing we will never run out of is stalled development projects that spend years — and sometimes decades — spinning their wheels. Yet certainly, we have seen some remarkable progress over the past year.
Grand plans to build a mega hotel, office, and retail complex on the old Polaroid property looked doomed after a high-flying New York developer lost the project to foreclosure. But then along came Boston-based developer Park, who won approval from Waltham officials for a slimmed-down version of the plan. Check out other stalled projects or check out the rest of the recent developments of Route 128 in the gallery. Next
Developers of 1265 Main St., the former Polaroid site in Waltham, have announced a number of its finalized commercial tenants for the 280,000 square foot planned mixed-use plaza, including Market Basket, Starbucks, Marshalls, TD Bank, Bonefish Grill, and Jake-n-Joes Sports Grille. Construction of the spaces will begin by late March or April 2013, with projected partial occupancy of by the end of 2013. Next
Determining what to do with the 13.3-acre site of the former Milton J. Fuller Elementary School at 4 Schoolhouse Road off Route 128 is going to be one of the major tasks of 2013 for Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk and the City Council.
Pictured: Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk and DPW Facilities Manager James Hafey at the former Milton J. Fuller Elementary School at 4 Schoolhouse Road off Route 128. Next
Following the trend of “Legacy Place” in Dedham and “MarketStreet Lynnfield,” the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center was recently renamed “The Street,” to reflect “the sophisticated offerings and urban experience” customers will find there once its dramatic, $50-million revamp is complete, according to project manager WS Development. Left is a rendering of how The Street will look once completed.
Take a look at other changes along the highway recently. Next
The timeline for blasting at the Polaroid property in Waltham along Route 128 has been extended.
City officials were previously told that blasting at the construction site would be completed by October. But following noise complaints, smaller charges were used, which meant extending the blasting through next spring. Crews at the redevelopment project began using explosives last spring to remove rocks in preparation for relocating the power lines that crisscross the property. Locals are considering action. Next
After months of construction delays on Route 128, the Department of Transportation opened a fouth travel lane on southbound 128 between Westwood aand Randolph on Nov. 14.
The additional lane means there’ll be no more driving allowed in the breakdown lane.
This addition is the first of three lane segments to be added along 128. Next
Evidence of a planned mixed-use redevelopment in Northwest Park in Burlington will soon appear as construction of a new Wegmans supermarket and a series of restaurant and retail buildings gets underway. Nordblom is converting part of Third Avenue and surrounding streets in the park into an urban-style retail and restaurant center that will also include housing.
Pictured: Todd Fremont-Smith, Senior VP of Nordblom, stood with the development plans.
Also in Burlington, the development company Edens is seeking approvals from the Planning Board to overhaul Burlington Crossroads, located at 34 Cambridge St. The estimated $7 million to $8 million renovations call for constructing a new parking lot; adding new landscaping, lighting, signs, and storefronts; and creating outdoor seating areas for Panera Bread and Outback Steakhouse as well as new restaurants. There also will be interior improvements to accommodate the new restaurants and other retailers.
Those Massachusetts Department of Transportation projects, which have been ongoing for more than two years, are expected to be completed in November. Still, the new access roads from Route 128 have caused long delays, backing traffic up along Route 62 more than ½ mile toward downtown Beverly. Next
Four large malls along the Route 128 corridor are thinking about opening just after midnight the day after Thanksgiving.
Northshore Mall in Peabody, the Burlington Mall, the Mall at Chestnut Hill in Newton, and South Shore Plaza in Braintree may open their doors at 12:01 a.m. as Simon Property Group considers shifting to earlier Black Friday openings across the country.
Pictured: The scene at 6 a.m. inside Natick Collection on Black Friday in 2007. Next
While much of the economy has been stuck in low gear since the Great Recession, the lifesciences industry has kept on growing in Massachusetts, with the Route 128 corridor leading the way.
The amount of new biotech lab space in the suburbs west of Boston has grown by more than 50 percent since 2007
Pictured: Genzyme is among a number of biotechnology companies that have added thousands of square feet of research space during the recent economic downturn. Next
Tanker trucks full of gasoline and other hazardous materials that used to cut through the streets of Boston are now heading down Route 128.
The shift came earlier this summer after the Massachusetts Department of Transportation quietly pulled the trigger on a controversial new policy, one that reroutes so-called hazmat trucks onto the bustling suburban beltway. Next
A new interchange planned on Route 128 at Kendrick Street is being heralded in Needham as a potential boost to economic development, but questioned by Newton officials who worry it could lead to more congestion on local roads.
Kendrick Street is the only new interchange the state plans to build as part of a 13.7-mile, $483 million project to expand Route 128/Interstate 95 from three lanes to four between Randolph and Wellesley. Next
After four years of construction, motorists will shortly begin to realize the fruits of the massive project on Route 128 to add a fourth lane to both sides of the highway from Route 24 in Randolph to Route 9 in Wellesley, transportation officials said.
Pictured: Foreman Dave Demelo helped guide an excavator during construction of the extra lanes project. Weather allowed construction crews to work on the project throughout the winter months. Next
Start-ups and established companies alike are willing to shell out big bucks for the right corporate address.
For many rising tech and life science companies, that still means Route 128, home to the local corporate outposts of powerhouses like SAP, Oracle Corp., AstraZeneca PLC, and Dassault Systèmes.
Pictured: Hans G. Nilsson outside AstraZeneca research and development site. Next
Keurig, the coffee machine company, announced the relocation of its Massachusetts-based Keurig business unit to an office complex in Burlington.
Keurig—which leases 150,000 square feet in Reading, Wakefield, and Woburn—is looking to consolidate and relocate its operations to one facility and has identified a site on South Avenue in Burlington as an option. Next
Home prices are hitting new highs in Weston and even nearing peak territory in Burlington.
And while home values in some of the other affluent western suburbs along Route 128 dropped over the past year, most remain a mere 10 percent or so from record numbers reached before the last recession.
But the same can’t be said for real estate values along the Interstate 495 corridor, which in some towns are 40 to 50 percent off their 2005/2006 peak. Next
Town officials turned down a developer's proposal to build a Target store on land south of the Route 128 and Route 3 interchange.
The developer had agreed to spend at least $3.2m to improve the nearby Middlesex Turnpike.
But officials said they were concerned with the development's impact on traffic. Next
The plan to redevelop the sprawling Polaroid campus overlooking Route 128 has been slow.
But things are picking up, according to the developer. DeMoulas Supermarkets Inc. is exploring plans for a Market Basket location that could help anchor the Waltham project.
Pictured: Check out registers at Chelsea's Market Basket. Next
With business trips again becoming more frequent, many hotel owners and investors are spending heavily on upgrades and expansions to meet the anticipated demand along Route 128.
The trend is especially clear along the highways west of Boston, including the Boston Marriott Newton, the Sheraton Needham Hotel, the Crowne Plaza Boston-Newton, and the Embassy Suites Boston-Waltham. Next
Word out of Washington, D.C., of another round of military base closings is showcasing Hanscom Air Force Base’s role in fueling the region’s high-tech economy as supporters come to its defense.
With states across the country scrambling to protect their military facilities from cutbacks or closings, Hanscom’s backers are trumpeting the Air Force installation’s role in fueling innovation through millions of dollars in research contracts for companies along Route 128. Next
Amid traffic concerns at the crowded Middlesex Turnpike, a developer seeking a zoning change to bring a Target store and a restaurant to a Route 3 site in Burlington has requested a delay to allow town officials more time to study the proposal.
The developer is proposing to spend $2 million to upgrade the interchange of Route 128, Wheeler Road, and the Middlesex Turnpike.
A Burlington police officer directed traffic during a detail as crew painted lines along the Middlesex Turnpike. Next
More than 79,500 vehicles travel along Route 128 in Danvers and officials are confident the $23.1m construction project of the new interchanges will wrap up in June, a year ahead of schedule.
The pace picked up after engineers devised a simpler method to rebuild a rickety railroad bridge that runs beside Route 35. The bridge was rebuilt in two stages instead of three, reducing construction time. Next
We should see the last of the big blocks of vacant office and research space left over from the last recession gobbled up as the biotech and tech firms that line the corridor aggressively compete for new talent in 2012.
But all those new commuters will generate new and even greater traffic headaches as the 1950s-vintage highway becomes increasing overloaded.
Look for talk of ideas like “bus on shoulder’’ lanes and regional transit hubs gaining momentum in the next year. Next
A $353 million revamp of Route 128 that is adding lanes and replacing bridges may soon be headed to a town near you. The eight-year-old push to add a fourth lane to a key stretch of 128 has steadily wound its way north from Randolph and is poised to move into Needham as it enters its final lap.
Still, whether all this work will improve traffic flow on 128 or be a stopgap measure is a matter of debate among authorities.
Pictured: Route 128 widening project as seen from the bridge over highway near Houghton's Pond exit in 2010. Next
Over the years, Waltham transformed itself into Route 128's top destination for tech, biotech, and financial services companies. But lately, nearby Burlington, which has been focusing on retail development, has been snagging big-name companies to town.
Companies are increasingly shelling out rents for office space in Burlington that are approaching the top dollar that Waltham alone used to command on 128.
French software company Dassault Systems recently opened a new high tech campus in Waltham overlooking Route 128. Next
Wegmans, the New York grocery chain, is planning to build a 140,000 square foot supermarket near the Burlington Mall on Route 128 by spring of 2013.
It will be the store's second location in Massachusetts.
The first location, pictured, opened October 16 in Northborough. Next
No large national chain restaurants will be allowed into Northwest Park in Burlington.
Developers said they hope to create a "culinary mecca" at the 285-acre development off Route 128 that will be anchored by a Wegmans market ready to open by fall 2013.
There has been a rising demand for homespun eateries in unique settings instead of the ubiquitous national brands that serve the same food, in the same setting, in dozens of restaurants across the country. Next
The malls along the highway prepared for 2011's Black Friday event with a few extra details.
Several stores are offering pet photos with Santa, "rejuvenation stations," and goodie bags. Stores along Route 128 such as Burlington Mall, Northshore Mall and South Shore Plaza are all opening at 4 a.m.
Shoppers hunted for deals while shopping at Braintree's South Shore Plaza, Friday November 26, 2010. Next
Route 128 has been marketed over the years as "America's Technology Highway" and is historically known as "Yankee Division Highway."
Locals, however, might call it "the commute from hell," with its often congested traffic, or perhaps "the next Big Dig," with its seemingly never-ending construction projects.
Trooper Larry Kiely with LIDAR radar gun enforced speed limits in the breakdown lane along Route 128 in Westwood. Next
It was 1982 when Secretary of Transportation James Carlin and Secretary of Economic Development George Kariotis unveiled the sign identifying Route 128 as "America's Technology Highway."
The sign recognizes the companies that have allowed the Massachusetts economy to consistently outperform much of the rest of the nation, officials said. Next
However, veterans' groups protested that Route 128 already had a name, “The Yankee Division Highway,’’ commemorating a Massachusetts military division dating to the Civil War.
So the signs were changed to read “America’s Technology Region,’’ with the offending word “highway’’ struck out. Next
For decades, Polaroid's offices were located in Waltham at a complex by Route 128.
But while battling bankruptcy, the company sold its land and headquarters. Next
The Commons at Prospect Hill was a 1.8-million-square-foot redevelopment plan on the Polaroid land abandoned by developer Related Cos.
The site is just north of Route 20 and east of the route's interchange with Route 128.
The latest plan is to develop a scaled down version of the original office and retail space with a new developer. Next
These days, biotechnology companies now lease or own more space along the western stretch of Route 128 than software firms.
The changing of the guard took place without notice last year. Buffeted by the recession, technology companies cut back on the amount of space they were leasing along Route 128 between Lexington and Dedham.
At left, a camera on top of a 40-foot pole monitors traffic on Route 128 from the Route 1 bridge in Dedham. Next
Every month, the Mass Innovation Group holds a gathering of local start-ups, often at the IBM Innovation center in Waltham.
There, the people behind the start-ups share ideas. At left is IBM's eNewspaper product concept from 2005. Next
Dave & Busters opened in Braintree and also has been eyeing a location in Burlington.
While Braintree has embraced the idea of the game and restaurant venue, Burlington has been more reluctant.
D&B has created a website to encourage supporters. Next
One of the latest trends on Route 128 seems to be restaurants popping up to cater to corporate appetites.
From Burlington to Dedham, restaurateurs are opening new eateries or teaming up with developers of office projects along the stretch of corridor. Next
Legacy Place opened in 2009 to much fanfare in Dedham.
It was one of the area's first open-air malls that mixes high-end specialty retail shops with dining and entertainment, in a pedestrian-friendly setting that allowed for parking near stores.
At left, Chef Ryan Parker demonstrated cooking techniques to Whole Foods team members just before the store's grand opening at Legacy Place in 2011. Next
However, only 13 months after opening, the Borders Bookstore at Legacy Place closed after its company shut down all 399 of its stores.
The bookstore at Legacy Place was an anchor store.
At left, the downtown Borders Bookstore was also forced to close. Next
Neil Dunn of Danvers, who says he either reads or listens to the radio while he waits for his wife to come out from her shopping, reads in his car outside the Burlington Mall next to Route 128. Next
Massachusetts state highway workers look at a hole in the center lane of Route 128 southbound in Canton, from below the section of the highway that passes over the Neponset River, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2001.
The hole, caused by weather conditions, damaged about 20 vehicles and backed up traffic for miles. Next
Protesters rallied against the extra noise caused by the widening of Route 128 project on the Grove St. Bridge over in Lexington in 2004. Many other communities were successful in petitioning the government to build the noise barriers.
It took four years and a costly legal battle, but in the end the residents won and the state agreed to put up the walls. Next
All along Route 128, homeowners petitioned policy makers for sound barriers to dull the sound of traffic. The state spent millions to build the barriers.
At left, labor foreman Albert Pacheco guided a concrete-centered panel (hoisted by a crane) toward the channels of I-beams. Workers constructed 8,850 feet of sound barriers in three locations along I-95/Route 128 in Lynnfield, on Friday, August 17, 2007. Next
Upscale markets have their eyes on Route 128.
New York-based supermarket Wegmans is planning to open its second big store in Burlington along the corridor.
Scheduled to open in 2013, the sprawling supermarket will include, among other features, a 15,000-square-foot market cafe that Wegmans hopes will become a magnet for office workers on their lunch hour, and even for residents interested in a casual dinner as well.
At left, employees got a demonstration on how to cook wild boar before the Northborough store's grand opening in October Next
Recently, lawmakers south and west of Boston have complained about the city of Boston’s proposal to route hazardous materials onto Route 128.
This photo was taken five days after the blizzard of 1978. Cars were abandoned on Route 128 on the Dedham/Westwood line going south. It took more than a week and help from the Natinal Guard to dig them all out. Next
Meanwhile, biotech and life-sciences companies just kept on growing.
The result: Biotech and life-sciences operations now occupy nearly 17 percent of the local corridor, compared with just under 14 percent for software companies, according to Brendan Carroll, who crunches market statistics at a Boston-based commercial real estate firm, Richards Barry Joyce & Partners.
Aerial photo showing route 128 lookong north (from lower left of frame progressing to upper right .) Route 1 (looking north) is at left of frame. Next
Bundles of piping are seen Saturday, Dec. 11, 2004 along an overpass near the Rt 128 and I-95 split near Canton, Mass., as part of a Route 128 widening project.
The bridge, dubbed by some the "overpass to nowhere," was a remnant of a long-abandoned plan to run I-95 right into Boston. Next
The reconstruction of the southern half of Route 128 started in 2002 and could go on until 2016.
Critics say the project is rivaling the Big Dig in duration.
The 14.3-mile widening project that cuts through seven communities is designed to ease the notorious congestion on the highway. Next
Tanker trucks full of gasoline and other hazardous materials that used to cut through the streets of Boston are now heading down Route 128.
The shift came earlier this summer after the Massachusetts Department of Transportation quietly pulled the trigger on a controversial new policy, one that reroutes so-called hazmat trucks onto the bustling suburban beltway. Back to the beginning
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