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Transit and Real Estate: Together Forever in the Hub

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Here's the latest installment of Bates By the Numbers, a weekly feature by Boston real estate agent David Bates that drills down into the Hub's housing market to uncover those trends you would not otherwise see. Check out his ebook, Context: Nine Key Condo Markets.

If you want to stay a few steps ahead of the real estate competition, then pay close mind to what Richard A. Davey is saying.

"At the end of the day, transportation is not about buses or trains, it's about jobs and economic development," Davey, the commonwealth's transportation secretary, told the development community at an NAIOP gathering partially entitled, "You Can't Get There From Here." He then pointed out a variety of development opportunities being created by Massachusetts' huge investments in local transportation infrastructure, which make it possible to get from here to there

"I would argue that if any of you in the room are looking at Union Square [in Somerville], the only reason why that is happening and you are looking at it is because of our investment in the Green Line," Davey said. At a cost of more than $1 billion, the Green Line extension will run that T branch from East Cambridge through Union Square all the way to College Avenue in Medford. These areas are already very densely populated, but historically not considered as attractive for investment as the parts of Somerville closer to MBTA transit.

Then Davey pointed out Fairmount. "That is card prime for economic development." Massachusetts is investing $150 million to improve service and build additional train stations along the Fairmount line. The project has already gotten a rave review from The Atlantic Cities blog in a post headlined, "This Is What a Neighborhood Revitalization Actually Looks Like."

"Again," Davey went on, sounding like a CEO whose company is on a stock roll, "if you are betting on places in the Boston area, take a look at Chelsea." There, the commonwealth is investing $80 million to create a high-quality, rapid-transit bus that connects Chelsea to the Innovation District and the Blue Line's Airport stop.

Lastly, the secretary pointed out an area that already seems a key location in the future of Harvard. "If you are looking at places around Boston where the game-changer is going to happen, we believe it's Beacon Park in the Allston-Brighton area." In Beacon Park, Massachusetts will invest $250 million to straighten out the Mass Pike and reconfigure the roadways around it. As a result, it's estimated that about 60 acres of land will be available for future development.
· Our Bates By the Numbers archive [Curbed Boston]

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