LegoLand at Fresh Pond

603 Concord Ave.

603 Concord Ave.

You don’t have to truck all the way over to Somerville’s Assembly Square Mall to visit a LegoLand — we’ve got one right here on Concord Avenue at Wheeler Street, where a 6-story building is going up, lego-style, with factory-made modular components. Continue reading

Sayonara, Tokyo

tumblr_n1eneuBGRe1ttj5ufo1_1280Coming soon: A 4-story, 20-unit condo building will replace the former restaurant at 307 Fresh Pond Parkway (see developer’s plans).

Once popular, the restaurant has been shuttered for many years and the owner has neglected the site, allowing windows to remain broken and weeds to grow unchecked. Snow is seldom shoveled from the sidewalk, which is heavily used by pedestrians and cyclists to access the signaled crosswalk to Fresh Pond Reservation. An ugly chain link fence surrounds the parking lot. No question, the derelict property is an eyesore and the site could be put to better use.

But is a 4-story (45’) modern condo building — set only 10’ feet back from the Vassal Lane sidewalk — the most appropriate addition to a neighborhood of traditional detached wood-frame homes? Twenty units is roughly the equivalent 10 two-family houses, shoehorned onto to a single 13,910 s.f. lot. Continue reading

“Nobody Goes There. It’s Too Crowded.”

DSC_0797Or, “You can’t get there from here.” These expressions describe Fresh Pond Parkway at certain hours, and yet over 2,000 new units of housing are in the pipeline with no improvements to the transit infrastructure in the Concord Alewife corridor. Just because these units are within a 1/2 mile of the Red Line terminus at Alewife does not mean that every new resident will forgo driving and hop on a bike; the units are also conveniently located right on a major regional artery that leads to Route 2 and Interstates 95 and 93, and to points west, south and north of Boston where many people also happen to work. Continue reading

Mattress Capital of the World?

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Despite the tacky banners, this is not the intended way to enter these stores.

It’s official: With the grand opening of the Fresh Pond area’s third mattress store last month, we are in the running to become the “mattress capital of the world.” Jump for joy, a Sleep Number store, one of the company’s 425 U.S. locations, has come to the newly constructed retail building near the Sozio rotary on Fresh Pond Parkway. (Old timers will remember the site as the former home of Fresh Pond Seafood.) Sleep Number’s arrival will shake up — or wake up– the competition, the twin Sleepy’s stores located a pillow’s throw away, one in the Whole Food’s shopping center and the other just across the parkway in the Trader’s Joe’s complex. Continue reading