By Mayor Brian Arrigo
For seven years, Wonderland has laid dormant – a decaying relic of a bygone era.
While the rest of the region is undergoing unprecedented economic growth, Wonderland continues to crumble, despite sitting steps from the beach and the Blue Line, minutes from downtown Boston.
That is finally changing. After years of delay, in my first few months in office we put pressure on the Wonderland owners to move toward a sale and rehabilitation of the property, or face heavy fines. As I said in my State of the City Address, a sale is imminent.
As you’ve probably read recently, Suffolk Downs is also on the verge of a sale after years of speculation. A collaborative effort between Boston and Revere will shape the future of the 160-acre property.
In the coming year, a community-focused master planning process will engage with you to solicit your ideas as we seek to turn both Wonderland and Suffolk Downs into economic engines for our City. Revere Beach should be a thriving hub of economic activity 365 days a year, providing jobs and amenities for Revere residents, and enhancing the city’s reputation throughout the region.
This is a transformative chapter in our history. Revere residents understand the potential this city has to build a sustainable 21st-century economy. You proved that by turning out in force to reject last year’s short-sighted slot parlor proposal. Our vision for Revere’s potential has always been greater than that.
These two major projects will usher in a new era for Revere. Revere will become a regional and tourist destination. Tremendous job opportunities will be created for Revere residents. Revere can become a model for transit-oriented, smart growth. This economic regeneration will provide the revenue necessary for improved quality of life across the city – delivering more funding for streets and sidewalks, schools, and public safety.
These are just the most recent signs that an economic renaissance is underway in Revere.
Last year our downtown business district welcomed a number of new cafes and restaurants. These small businesses are the lifeblood of any local economy.
The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center is moving their Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly to Revere this year, bringing more than 20 quality medical jobs to our city. This investment will also bring top-notch services for Revere seniors, including medical care, wellness, and recreation.
Work is underway on the mixed-use project on Revere Beach Parkway, beginning the transformation of a long-blighted site. This development will create hundreds of jobs and construct the city’s first new hotel in nearly 20 years.
We leveraged this important project into a $3.6 million infrastructure grant that will allow us to improve water delivery, sidewalks and pedestrian access for the Beachmont neighborhood.
My administration worked collaboratively with the developer at Revere Beach Parkway to press for increased community benefits. We insisted on a commercial component, fought for more mitigation money, and required a substantial investment in infrastructure in order to support the proposal.
We are setting the same high standards for the development of the final parcels at Waterfront Square, which will bring a new hotel and dining to Revere Beach.
We will continue to work to bring meaningful, right-sized, mixed-use economic development to the city – development that creates jobs and year-round economic activity, provides amenities for our residents, and allows the city to invest in our quality of life.
We will leverage Revere’s unique assets to build a local economy that we can be proud of, building the foundation for decades of prosperity.