GLOBE NORTHWEST 1
NEWSMAKERS OF 2006 / MOTHER NATURE, ELECTORAL RUMBLINGS, AND YOUTHSPORTS SHOOK THE SUBURBS
Just try getting a table at one of the new restaurants at StationLanding in Medford. On weekend nights, diners have to wait an hourbefore sitting down for a meal.
'It's been crazy busy,' Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn said of thecity's newest destination for diners and shoppers. 'Every restaurantdown there is bustling.'
And McGlynn couldn't be more pleased. 'People are staying inMedford and spending their money in Medford,' he said.
Station Landing has been in the works for years, but for mostpeople it seemed to spring to life in 2006.
That's when a formerly barren stretch of industrial land emergedas a new village. In the last 12 months, restaurants and shops haveopened, condominiums have been built, and offices have begun bustlingwith workers. At lunch and after work, people stroll on thepedestrian-friendly main street and along a landscaped walking pathon the Mystic River.
And there's more to come in 2007: a 50,000-square-foot BostonSports Club.
Of course, not everyone is thrilled about the building boom. Somecity leaders have concerns about how to manage traffic on the alreadycongested roadways that surround the development, especially when itis built out.
But because the 16-acre complex sits next to a public transit hub -the MBTA's Wellington Station - Station Landing has been hailed as anational model for transit-oriented development.
Residents are linked to jobs and services via publictransportation. And because these developments are typically built onland with several types of developments, they are lauded for beingthe antidote to suburban sprawl.
City officials and Ted Tye, a partner at National Development, theNewton-based development firm that built Station Landing, recentlyaccepted a 2006 Massachusetts 'smart growth' award for thedevelopment.
But it's not cutting-edge strategy that draws the crowds.
Most people come for a sandwich at Kelly's Roast Beef, a well-done slice at Pizzeria Regina, or to get a look inside those newcondominiums with the jaw-dropping views of Boston's skyline.
'Staying in Medford, spending in Medford,' said the mayor. 'Whatmore could you ask for?'