Construction on the Boston Landing Commuter Rail station in Allston-Brighton began Tuesday morning in a large-scale public/private endeavor with New Balance footing the bill.
The new stop sits in the shadow of the New Balance headquarters on Guest Street, adjacent to I-90. The estimated $20 million project will add a stop to the South Station to Worcester and Framingham lines, bringing a functioning rail station to the Allston-Brighton area for the first time since the Turnpike expansion in 1962.
“This project is truly a community effort. It’s designed to improve the lives of our neighbors,” New Balance Chairman Jim Davis said. “This rail station is our expression of gratitude to our friends in Allston-Brighton for their support of our company and our mission. It opens the gates to the rest of our city and the thousands of visitors coming to Boston and New England.”
Governor Charlie Baker said that this idea came about 10 years ago, throughout a 30-year friendship between the athletic shoe company and the city. Baker praised both former Governor Deval Patrick and former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino for their efforts in getting this project going.
“As someone who’s a big believer in partnerships, especially public/private partnerships, who lived in this community for 10 years, I’m thrilled to be here and part of this initiative,” Baker said. “If not for those thirty years, where people make those kinds of relationships, it might have been an idea and nothing more. You can see fruits of those relationships in Boston Landing.”
The station is slated to open in the fall of 2016. It will provide access to the new Boston Bruins practice facility, the Warrior Ice Arena, at 80 Guest Street. The space will also house a hotel, residential complex, retail space, restaurants space as well as another sports complex with a track and field arena.
“A partnership like this is very important for the T now and going forward,” MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack said. “There is more to do than the T can ever do alone, same goes for MassDOT. When we have partners like New Balance who are will to step up to the plate and help shape a vision, we are continuing a new and improved future.”
Pollack said that teaming up with New Balance will bring new economic and neighborhood growth to the Boston Landing area while alleviating many concerns with the T.
“The Governor and I spend a lot of time worrying about the MBTA and its ability to deliver, and worry about something that New Balance knows plenty about: Performance. While we try to tackle the short term problems, we cannot fail to think about and prepare for the future.”