Planning Board approves RiverFront Master Plan
Mayor Brian Arrigo has been focusing his efforts on redeveloping the city’s riverfront area in coordination with a community-based process that gained momentum in 2020.
Ward 5 Councilor John Powers, in whose district the property sits, has been a partner in the Mayor’s vision and the advancement of that transformational project – known as the RiverFront Master Plan – that will redevelop several of the private properties in that district as well as the improvement of public properties such as Gibson Park.
The RiverFront Master Plan also addresses climate resiliency strategies that will improve the flooding situation that has been a persistent problem in the Riverside neighborhood, not only from sea level rises but periodic rainfall events.
At its Feb. 9 meeting, the Planning Board unanimously adopted the RiverFront Master Plan that envisions the potential of the approximately 20 acres in the northern part of Revere on the Pines River bordering Lynn that is centered around Gibson Park.
The Planning Board’s unanimous vote signified a special triumph for Arrigo, Powers, and the many residents of the Riverside and Point of Pines neighborhoods.
“The Riverfront District has been historically underutilized, and the Master Plan will offer a new, dynamic public space for all of our residents to enjoy,” said Mayor Arrigo. “The redevelopment of the land will keep in line with our environmental goals and transform our precious riverfront into a local highlight of recreation, health, and stewardship.”
Meanwhile, State Rep. Jessica Giannino, who will play a key role at the state level as the total reconstruction plan for the nearby General Edwards Bridge moves into the spotlight, also sees the approval of the RiverFront Master Plan as a victory for the city and its residents.
“I commend the City of Revere for bringing together residents and community stakeholders of the Riverside and Point of Pines neighborhoods to begin a master planning process for the RiverFront waterfront, which faces the Pines River,” said Giannino (D-Revere). “If the recommendations of the group are implemented and come to fruition, this will provide a revitalization of the neighborhood, including an opportunity for community boating, which will be an asset to our community.”
Bob O’Brien, chief of planning and development for the City of Revere, said the city also anticipates the redevelopment of the current G and J Towing and Salvage Yard and the former Mirage site into a waterfront restaurant.
O’Brien indicated that the G and J Towing property is under agreement for prospective redevelopment with Redgate Residential Development “that has a long history in Revere.”
One of Redgate’s recent projects was 500 Ocean Avenue which is adjacent to the Markey Bridge.
“We’ve had a long and successful history with Redgate in Revere and one of the great advantages of the prospect redevelopment is that’s it a company that understands Revere and that the city knows well,” said O’Brien.
The Boatworks Property could make way for a community rowing center (North Shore Maritime Center) and the future establishment of a Revere High rowing team (see related story).
O’Brien said the goals of RiverFront Master Plan would not have been attainable without the superior leadership of Mayor Arrigo, Councilors John Powers and Patrick Keefe, and Rep. Jessica Giannino, who also serves as a councilor-at-large. “For Councilor Powers notably, there are two aspects of the RiverFront Master Plan which are really a reflection of his leadership – one is the proposed reuse of the Riverside Boatworks property,” said O’Brien. “John has been in the forefront of opposing the kind of development that the neighbors didn’t want, and as result of that, we’re now getting what the community does want. The other element is the new fire station at Point of Pines, which was also a longstanding cause of John Powers. In many ways, the Boatworks, the fire station, and the redevelopment of the tow yard are near and dear to John’s heart and a reflection of his leadership.”