For Immediate Release
February 21, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Today Mayor Thomas M. Menino kicked off the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative at a celebration at The Strand Theatre in Upham’s Corner. The two year Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) study will look at short and long term strategies for improving capital investment and job access along the 9.2 mile Fairmount Indigo commuter rail line, which links South Station to Readville, crossing through Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park.
“I’m excited to kick off this planning effort which will bolster our efforts to invigorate the community up and down the Fairmount corridor,” Mayor Menino said. “This is about building neighborhoods and reducing the unemployment line by connecting communities to economic opportunities, jobs, transit, and housing.”
The Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative is the BRA’s largest planning study to date. It will impact 190,000 residents, or nearly one third of Boston’s population, who live within a half-mile of the commuter rail line. The study will identify corridor wide opportunities for commercial and residential development, transit access, public realm enhancements, and community building initiatives. The average annual income along the corridor is $8,400 and one in three residents is under the age of 18. This study will lay the groundwork for new opportunities to improve resident quality of life.
The MBTA is currently investing $130 million to construct four new commuter rail stations on the Fairmount Indigo Commuter Rail line at Newmarket, Four Corners, Talbot Avenue, and Blue Hill Avenue/Cummins Highway, three of which are already under construction. The new stations will decrease commuting times to downtown Boston by half.
The $380,000 Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative is receiving a $100,000 from the Boston Foundation, $30,000 from the Garfield Foundation, and $250,000 from the BRA. Additionally, in 2011 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) a $20 million Choice Neighborhood grant and a $1.8 million Community Challenge grant. These monies will support the corridor through investments in affordable housing, social and community oriented programs, and mixed-use and transit oriented development.
Nominations are currently being accepted for the Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative Corridor Wide Advisory Group, a 20-30 member group that will be made up of residents, community group members, business leaders, institutional representatives, and non-profit organizations. The deadline for nominations is March 7. Nomination forms are available at www.fairmountindigoplanning.org
About the Fairmount Corridor
The Fairmount corridor is a top priority of the Menino administration and work in the area will continue to be a coordinated interagency effort. The work by other city departments, including the Department of Public Health, the Boston Transportation Department, the Boston Parks Department, the Department of Public Works, the Office of Neighborhood Services, the Boston Housing Authority, the BRA, the Department of Neighborhood Development, and the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians, will complement the planning study.
The Fairmount corridor has five Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) Main Street's districts, including Upham’s Corner, Four Corners, Mattapan Square, Hyde Park, and Bowdoin Geneva that are home to 724 businesses. The Fairmount Indigo Planning Initiative will strengthen and expand on opportunities for Main Streets districts to grow and support small businesses. Over the last 10 years DND has invested more than $138M in the corridor by helping over 100 small businesses with new store fronts and signage, providing financial assistance to over 1,000 First Time Homebuyers, assisting over 1,600 homeowners with home repairs, developing over 2,800 affordable housing units, and developing nearly 7,000 market and affordable housing units through Lead the Way.
The initiative will incorporate previous BRA studies reviewing zoning and economic development along the corridor, including the newly adopted Hyde Park Master Plan, the Mattapan Economic Development Initiative (MEDI), the Mid Dorchester Action Plan, and the Newmarket Business Survey.