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An aerial view of apartment buildings and parking lots in Malden, Massachusetts. Shutterstock

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Construction begins on new Malden Center development

Exchange 200 is the latest development to crop up around the T station

It’s a good time to be near Malden Center. The Orange Line and commuter rail stop is so close to Encore Boston Harbor, the new 3 million-square-foot casino-resort in Everett, that a free public shuttle runs between the two locations 24 hours a day.

And nearby, construction has started at Exchange 200, a $100 million redevelopment of a four-story building that was previously used by Bank of Boston, Bank of New England, FleetBoston, and Bank of America as their check-processing and data center. When the building reopens sometime later this year, it will offer 300,000 square feet of “creative” office, R&D, data center, and retail space. Over 16,000 square feet of that space will be dedicated to restaurants and retail stores on the ground floor. According to the BBJ, Caffè Nero will be the first retail tenant.

Berkeley Investments is working with architect Stantec on renovations, which include a two-story atrium with a skylight, and replacement of some of the brick facade with floor-to-ceiling glass.

With its access to transportation, Exchange 200 is being positioned as a compelling alternative to buildings in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, and one that targets potential innovation-economy tenants.

New, nearby housing stock adds to the location’s appeal: Halstead Malden Square’s 195 units; 160 Pleasant Street Apartments with 206 units; the Point at 180 with 86 units; and Exchange Street Apartments with 210 units. And there are 320 units at the mixed-use J Malden Center, which replaces the Government Center complex, the site of the old City Hall and Police Station that Mayor Gary Christenson once referred to as the “Beast That Ate Pleasant Street.” And since Christenson is part of the Metro Mayors Coalition that has committed to facilitating the construction of 185,000 new housing units by 2030, there should be more living options on the way.

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