By Liz Berthelette – NAI Hunneman Director of Research
The MBTA’s Red Line has already earned the title of “Brain Train;” touting access to top universities, Boston’s CBD and key suburban cities such as Somerville and Quincy. The $2.3 billion Green Line extension, which would result in 6 new T stops and expand the line into Somerville and Medford, could propel the route to a similar status.
While there are numerous benefits to the proposed expansion, increasing connectivity in the region would be key in forming this Brain Train 2.0. The new system would establish and/or bolster links between the following:
- Key educational institutions; including Tufts University, Boston College and Northeastern
- Tech and life science nodes like Fenway, LMA and North Station
- Cambridge, Somerville and Downtown Boston
There are major proposed projects along the new Green Line that are gaining serious traction as well. The City of Somerville recently received several million dollars in grant money to improve infrastructure in Union Square. This project is just part of the first phase of the area’s planned $1 billion revitalization, which is expected to result in 2.3 million square feet of commercial and residential space.
DivoWest/HYM’s Northpoint development also lies in the path of expansion along the Green Line. The site is fully entitled to develop roughly 2.1 million square feet of commercial space in addition to 2.4 million square feet of residential product. With plans to start construction on several hundred thousand square feet of office and/or lab space on the site, Northpoint has the potential to provide some much-needed relief to extremely tight market conditions throughout Cambridge and possibly a new hub for tech and life science firms.