Governors, Emerald Necklace Conservancy & More Support Using Arborway Bus Yard Instead of Redeveloping Shattuck Campus for Supportive Housing

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The state has proposed redeveloping the 13 acres of the Shattuck Hospital campus site into an integrated health care, behavioral health and supportive housing.

A virtual meeting was held on Tuesday night in which numerous people testified, including former Governor William Weld and former Governor Michael Dukakis. Both preferred the MBTA Arborway Yard Bus Facility site on Washington Street for the services instead of redeveloping the Shattuck Hospital campus.

Click here to review the proposed Shattuck Hospital campus redevelopment.

The following statement is from Karen Mauney-Brodek is the President of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy

The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) hosted a virtual public hearing yesterday evening to present the draft request for proposals for the aging Shattuck Hospital site at Franklin Park. Approximately half of the members of public who spoke at the hearing felt that the proposed alternative 18-acre MBTA Arborway Yard Bus Facility site nearby would be the best location for the supportive housing and services needed, whereas many others agreed it would be great, but they didn’t think the Commonwealth was capable of working in the community’s best interest.

Both former Governor Weld and Governor Dukakis spoke and insisted that the Commonwealth can, in fact, do this and insisted that the community deserves better than to rebuild on the Shattuck Hospital site, which was previously parkland. Both supported the alternative, identified as more suitable and also adjacent to the Emerald Necklace parks, Boston’s largest park system. This Commonwealth-controlled public property is superior in its proximity to public transportation and improved access to community services, and will offer:

  • a more accessible site for supportive services and the 75–100 housing units for the formerly unhoused, as proposed by Massachusetts Health and Human Services
  • eight acres for community-serving development, residential units and affordable housing
  • the opportunity to provide space for the MBTA’s electric bus fleet
  • continued direct access to Franklin Park.

Of considerable note, the MBTA has received over $1 billion in new federal funding between the last two coronavirus relief bills for its capital needs and in total will spend a record $2 billion in 2021 alone. It is anticipated that the MBTA and others will receive record support in upcoming infrastructure federal funding, prioritizing projects that focus on climate resiliency and transit orientated development and investments – as proposed here.

So far, over 20 organizations and nearly a hundred individuals have signed the Statement of Principles in support of the Arborway Yard site. Key organizations who have signed on so far include Boston Cyclists Union, City Parks Alliance, Franklin Park Tennis Association, Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association, Massachusetts Conservation Voters, National Association for Olmsted Parks, and Zoo New England’s Franklin Park Zoo. It seems clear that many of our citizens do not have faith that leadership can emerge from our elected leaders. The Emerald Necklace Conservancy looks to Governor Baker as well as elected and agency leaders to prove we can do great things and can work together to provide the best solution for all needs in the long-term.