March 10, 2009

Future Projects: Part 3--95 Grand Street

Not sure what it will become, but Main South CDC latest project will surely have some component of affordable housing. Most likely rentals.



Anonymous said...

Good read on Logan's runways...

Harry T

Anonymous said...

For those that can't open the link...

Runway safety improvements lag at busy airports
By JOAN LOWY, Associated Press Writer Joan Lowy, Associated Press Writer Tue Mar 10, 3:06 am ET
WASHINGTON – Six-year-old Joshua Woods was singing Christmas songs on Dec. 8, 2005, when a runaway plane at Chicago's Midway Airport crashed through a fence and collided with his family's car, killing the boy. The tragedy underscores what the government says is an urgent safety problem.

Eleven major airports are struggling to meet federal requirements that runways be surrounded by safety areas that give runaway planes extra room to stop, according to a new report from the Transportation Department's inspector general. The airports account for nearly one quarter of the nation's air passenger travel.

All the airports have been working for years to come up with solutions, but often there's no place to send runaway planes because the airports are hemmed in by highways, water, buildings or other obstructions.

The airports are located in Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, N.C., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington. Midway made safety improvements two years after Woods' death.

Between 1997 and 2007, 75 aircraft overran or veered off runways, resulting in nearly 200 injuries and 12 deaths, the report said. In just three of the accidents cited in the report, 80 injuries and Woods' death could have been prevented if safety improvements to runways made after the accidents had been in place beforehand, report said.

Safety areas typically are 1,000 feet long and 500 feet wide at each end of a runway, plus 250 feet along both sides of the runway.

The Federal Aviation Administration has allowed some airports that don't have enough room for full-size safety areas to install crunchable concrete beds called "engineered material arresting systems" at the ends of runways. The beds are designed to stop or slow planes, not unlike the way gravel-covered ramps on highways stop runaway trucks.

The beds are typically about 600 feet long instead of 1,000 feet, saving space. Beds at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport have already halted three runaway planes. But even that requires more room than is feasible at some airports.

The report said some of the 11 airports may not be able to meet a congressional deadline of 2015 to put runway safety areas in place. Putting safety areas in place can require filling in wetlands, requiring environmental reviews that can take as long as 12 years to complete. Community opposition to airport expansion because of noise concerns has also been a factor.

"Until these challenges and problems are addressed, aircraft will remain vulnerable to damage and, what is more important, their passengers remain at risk of potential injury from flights that undershoot, overrun or veer off a runway lacking a standard (runway safety area)," the report said. "Improvements need to be made at the 11 large airports sooner rather than later."

The FAA has already spent $2 billion helping hundreds of airports put runway safety areas in place, said Laura Brown, a spokeswoman for the agency. In addition to the roughly $300 million budgeted annually for the program, the economic stimulus plan pushed by President Barack Obama contains millions of extra dollars, she said.

"We're working with all these airports to see if we can do all these things as quickly as possible," Brown said.

Chris Oswald, vice president for safety and technical operations at the Airports Council International-North America, which represents airports in the United States and Canada, said runway safety areas are one of the most difficult problems facing urban airports.

"You are talking about very significant geographic impediments to expanding runway safety areas," Oswald said.

Reagan National Airport outside Washington, for example, is sandwiched between the Potomac River and the George Washington Parkway. The airport has been reluctant to install a crunchable concrete bed because periodic flooding could damage the system, the report said.


On the Net:

Transportation Department's inspector general:

Federal Aviation Administration:

Harry T
Worcester, MA

Jahn said...

OT here.......but did anyone read T&G page 1 story today about 4 unrelated college kids living in an apt which is illegal under teh city zoning ordinanace.. i.e you cant have more than 3 unrelated people in a dwelling unit....otherwise it's considered a lodging house.....but if you load up a 3 decker apt with 3 related familes totalling 15 people it is all legal as long as the bedrooms are adequate size....

small wonder the college kids all want to get out of dodge once they get their sheepskins.........

city code dept is effectively using teh laws in the same fashion they did to Run Paris Cinema out of this how we want to treat college kids who will prob live here for 4 years????.....this is overkill

Meanwhile the Leaning Tower of Pizza salt shed on East Mtn St. continues to it's slow demise daily and all these clowns down at code dept turn a god dam blind eye to it......

Some of the property owners in this case hired former city solicitor Gary Brackett to represnt them........but one isssue i doint see raised ( or at least it wasnt mentione din T&G) was that Martha Coakley says this limit of 3 unrelated people is patently wrong and a fed'l court in Georgia has as much said so in a similar case.......

Also kinda odd timing for this story given 167 pleasant fire last friday .

Nick K, Sutner, and guys got to tell your bosses you want to do a piecve on the condition of some of the property the city owns. I'll even tip ya off to an illegal, buried landfill to city has..that frankly only Jahn, the heavy equiplent operator, and one other city employee know of.....whats good for the goose............

Ms.Crystal said...

Hey I would love if the parking lot across the street looked like the artist rendering. I am all for development as long as it does not go in the direction of the Royal Worcester with drugs and prostitution. But I would love for something to be done with that building. When I interviewed the gentleman from the Main South CDC he mentioned his goal was similar to ours, wants to bring life and good people into this area. The homes they have done just around the corner near the Boys and Girls club have been clean and well kept for 6 plus years for the triple deckers. We chatted about a coffee shop that maybe was a columbian or south american coffee, shop. Keeping the ethnic diversity of the neighborhood alive while bring pride into the neighborhood. I didn't buy into the "urban" core for anything other than that. I am not pretending Worcester will ever be Boston and if it was I could not afford it. Again the artist pic is great and to clean up that god-awful parking lot that Mr. Ralph owns would be a great thing.

Ms.Crystal said...

Just enlarged the pic, is that an old pic of the parking lot....Wow it was almost nice

Bill Randell said...


I would also love something to happen in this building. I actually remember when the building was full of businesses and the lot across the street was full of car for those businesses.

The problem I have with all of this stuff is the low to mod income requirement. The Royal Worcester also has this requirement, but it is along the lines that 25% of the apartments need to be low to mod income. That is acceptable. Having buildings that require 100% low to mod income does not improve the neighborhood, when people who want to live there are not allowed because they make too much money.

As neighbors, we need to watch exactly what is to be proposed for this building.


Jahn said...

That structure s/b neatly boarded up until it can be put to industrial or commercial use.

Bill Randell said...


At times I make jokes on this blog, but truth be told this is no joke. Especially for people who have invested alot of their time and money.

Lets gets technical for a second. Do you think 95 Grand Street complies with with abandoned building ordinance? Not a chance.

Although a vital retail 1st floor for 95 Grand Street would be nice, there is not chance of this happening. Standish hotel was suppose to have retail.

The bottom line is that once the Main South CDC has control of 95 Grand Street it will become low to mod income rental housing. Is this a bad thing?

In and of itself--no. In the concentration, which has become the norm in Main South, it is a bad thing.


Paulie's Point of View said...

the problemo Crystal is that there are to many making decisions for folks like you, 4Rilla & Me who are a invested in the neigborhoods...other than a shovel in the ground for a no-lo..when was the las time you saw Gary Rosen or any other CC having a beer at Moynihans

I am like you (I know it kill's you:>)..I enjoy the diversiy but I am tired of the trash being thrown out the window and into the back yard and this being blamed by the likes of folks who do not live in the hood or have an investment in it on a bad upbringing:>)

Paulie's Point of View said...

when a wet shelter for women was proposed at June Street we had a new city organization - Responsible Neighborhoods or something like this..CC's all over it as destructive to the neighborhood....on our part of the city they come with their own shovel and hat for a promo so that they look good for those who are happy it is on our side and not theirs and all the Dr. Feelgoods out there...

We hear that services are being brought to where they are valient! How about reducing so much of the city in need instead of increasing it's boundries..novel Idea for a city sinking in poverty and many times by choice!

Jahn said...

Bill, the reason they cant get retail in the 1st floors of these places is b/c there are no middle income tenants in the area. I suggest there will never be and if there are they will be few & far this hope for some mid incone tenant base in this area is IMO a dream. So the only choices are board up for future use or NO/LO housing. When I said board it up , I felt the city should do it in the best interests of stoipping more NO/Lo which is going to bust teh city evnetaully......if MSCDC evetually owns it obvioulsly board up isnt an option given teh business they are in i.e. NO/LO

I been in Wilmington a few days of Late..............some one threw up a 40B dev'ment that I think is in Rte 38 area which is effectively Wilmingtons central business district..........altho it isnt the "center of town"........Wilmington natives went absolutely BS when it was the natives in Wilm. are out for some political blood.....and it may be the only 40B'er project in town !!!!!!

I mean just look at Buscuit Lofts in this general area........this was aimed toward middle income (I think?)....what do they have 3 or 5 units sold /occupied?

Jahn said...

Also Bill the city is probably exempt from the abondaned building ordinace.just as they are exepmt from teh nuisance ordince just passed last as I say...not as I do.........4 unrelated college kids living in a 3 decker flat is illegal......wth do they call over crowding at the PIP..........

Jahn said...

Well i jusr read congress will give their automatic 3% COLA raise ......FOR NEXT will Kate Toomey and company give up their 88% pay raise that is now 1.5 years old............

Sprout said...

Had a couple emails back and forth w/ the guy renting the retail space in the Hadley/Burwick bldg.

My query:

"I'll admit, from outside it looks like a very pretty space that we would love to be in, but in terms of potential customers it looks pretty dismal.

Typical flower consumers are female affluent empty nesters and women, 35-55, college educated, who work outside of the home. I'm not seeing that demographic for that area."

Thought you might find his take on retail interesting:

"I believe you will significantly expand your market by moving from your present location to Hadley. I would guess that 9 out of 10 of your existing customers (I assume largely west side/Paxton residents) already drives by Hadley on a daily basis to do their shopping so to them it will be just a matter of stopping at a different point along their already existing travel paths. Hadley is 5 minutes from 290, opening up all kinds of potential suburban markets that I would guess you presently have limited exposure to given your existing location well into the west side especially in the wedding and event sides of things. You would now be downtown, opening yourself up to the corporate market downtown - I would assume this business is highly delivery and time sensitive so being close is key. Main St connects you to Webster Square - I would guess you probably have some existing customers from this area, but I would say it would grow substantially as you are now on their regular travel path as they access 290.

I think the history aspect is on your side: Most of your "female affluent empty nesters" probably previously bought their furniture at Burwick, which I understand was the best furniture store in town in its day. They have positive memories of this building that I am sure will spill over to the right tenants.

The key to all of this seems to be parking and we will have parking for you - we are presently demolishing the former Caravan building and will be building a surface parking lot on the site. I would guess that your space would be best located in about the middle of the building so your parking would be about 20 feet or so from the front door."

I think he has very little idea how people in this town shop and move around the city. The suburban donut around the urban core does everything possible to avoid that center.

Jahn said...

Is Someone trying to say that affluent wiiimmen .... 35 to 55 will stop to shop for flowers at Madison and Main St...

Was this letter dated April 1st.

I mean even middle class but less afluent women wouldnt go anywhere near Worc center mall whicch is in an area that is much more tame than Main & Madison

BTW is White Tower still across the street??

Then add in Pajama people chillin' on the sidewalk once that place has tenants in it.....surely a presciption for floral failure....

They oughta try and recruit a Mickey D's [g], a Se Cambien Cheques stores, a Dollar Store, and a Nissens thrift store.

Bill Randell said...


You are so right. Where exactly are the tenants suppose to park???

Jahn, any town opposes these projects. That is my point. Main South is getting over run by these projects.


Bill Randell said...

Sprout I will need some flowers for mothers day, where is your shop

Anonymous said...

don't forget the mother-in -law!

4rilla said...


You were confusing University Park Lofts with The Biscuit Lofts which are located off of Shrewsbury St.

University Park Lofts is at 21 Illinois St and is located about 150 yards from 95 Grand, I can see it right outside my windows.

You are pretty right on regarding there being "no" middle income folks in the immediate area. University Park Lofts has 13 lived in units and 24 which remain empty to this day. The bank has sold ONE unit since foreclosing on the developer in the spring.

But the 13 of us living here are all the definition of middle class and I would hazard a guess that all of our households make double the 01610 median.

I hope 95 Grand remains an empty relic in this economic times.

4rilla said...


You can find Sprout at 118 June St, right off Chandler.

Sprout said...

Very self conscious now! Yes, I'm on June St. near Chandler, across from White Hen Pantry. We deliver in Worcester and one town out too.

They're tearing down the Caravan Coffee building to make parking for Hadley/Burwick. The ever charming Kirsch Liquors remains across the street.

I don't pretend to know much about business, but doesn't business exist to fulfill an unmet need of the community it's in? Not picturing a low income neighborhood putting a priority on pretty things.

Unless they get some kind of tenant that is a "destination" in and of itself and drives foot traffic, get rid of Kirsch's, have major security, I predict dollar stores or perhaps offices with vertical blinds to blot out the view.

Paulie's Point of View said...

I guarantee you that if we in the urban core keep banging away at this issue that folks will start listening....I have seen more input on this issue here and on my blog than ever before..folks are it is time for a debaqte on the issue like they had on June Street.

Many of us who sunk roots into the urban core and vote mean something..we ust need more of us speaking up and often!

Jahn said...

TY 4 the correction 4Rilla :).............i was talking about the place adjacent to RR tracks...always thot that was biscuit lofts.................actaully it's Univ lofts...and i did know that but forgot/mixed up the names...........comes with old age i guess....!!!!