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SURVEY: Help Shape Malden Square's Future

A team of Harvard graduate students have teamed up with the City of Malden and the Metropolitan Planning Council to help develop a plan for Malden Square.

Do you live, work, go out or own property near Malden Center? What do you like about the square, and what drives you crazy? 

Your views will be the focus of a planning study by "Plan Malden Square," a new project between the City of Malden, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MAPC) and a team of graduate students from Harvard University's urban planning program.

Hundreds have already taken the online survey, with some students volunteering to physically conduct surveys in the square itself. 

"With public input gathered online, and through the variety of engagement events we have planned, the team will propose strategies for business development, urban design, redevelopment, transportation, open space and housing," a message on the group's Facebook page reads. 

For more information, you can contact the project at planmaldensquare@gmail.com.

jirkyrick February 27, 2013 at 01:56 AM
Wish a halfway cafe had opened at that site instead of John Brewers, but it a good bar scene
Diana February 27, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Malden needs more table dancing.
jirkyrick February 27, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Believe there is still a place in Malden on Clinton st where you can still get a lap dance.... Never understood how an adult business can operate in a residential neighborhood, but maybe Howard, chief wiggums and the ex mayor special assistant can explain that
Bobby James February 27, 2013 at 02:12 PM
@ Greg - I grew up in Malden, left, came back. I work and can afford to live in the city. I would prefer the amenities of living in the city, however I far prefer having ownership of my house and taking pride in my neighborhood. I chose Malden because of the convenience to the Orange Line and short trips into the Boston and the surrounding communities. Do I spend all of my money here? Heck no. I wish the city's businesses had more to offer me. I wish finding a parking spot to go out downtown was easier. Does it prevent me from EVER spending money in the city? No. Would I love the see a Station Landing/Assembly Row type project in Malden? YES! Give me parking! Give me restaurants! Give me retail that I can spend more than $10 in! Where will they put it? Both Station Landing and Assembly row are in areas where they are unobstructed and not challenged by the clustered architecture of previous generations. Are they going to cram it into the old Super Fitness/Mal's site? Why? So we can look at all the other dilapidated buildings around it? How about knocking down everything from City Hall up to the outlet street and building there? How's that for a start on the Malden Square Beautification project?
Bobby James February 27, 2013 at 02:18 PM
A brewpub along the lines of Cambridge Brewing Co, The Tap or Watch City would be amazing. This is a growing market segment that Malden just does not seem attractive to. In the last 2 years three breweries have opened in the immediate area - 2 in Everett, 1 in Chelsea. Both making world class beers. Why isn't Malden appealing to businesses of that sort? Why isn't Malden making the push to attract these types of businesses? Eat local, drink local is all the rage - why not in Malden? These new breweries don't even show up on the beer menus at Malden's "better" restaurants. Why is that? We are in the neighboring community and they don't even think to try and sell their beer in our restaurants or stores (natch - they ARE sold at the Kappy's on Route 1).
Kelley February 27, 2013 at 05:01 PM
@Bobby-I like the points you made. The Assembly Row/Station Landing projects are accessible by the T, which for Maldonians is a good thing. So it isn't necessary to have a project like that here. But I agree too about the clustered architecture. Somehow there didn't seem to be any thought about how buildings would work with each other when there was new construction. On some streets you can see the backs of short buildings, that are in front of tall buildings. It's like a hodgepodge of Lego buildings designed by a child. I realize you just can't knock down buildings that house businesses, but some plan should be put in place to pull it all together. Just sayin'
Antoine February 27, 2013 at 05:43 PM
I want to give a business perspective. Despite the number of students and that beer is beer. Brewpubs is not a low capital, low expense type of business. Meanwhile brewpubs is a type of business that a lot of people like to start because... well... you get to make beer for a living. That means the reason why there is no brewpubs is basically comparing Cambridge to Malden. A person above mention that the government needs to set the license higher. Well, I have to rebut that one cannot legislate/regulate to quality. Only having a large enough set of people willing to spend and some entrepreneurs who is willing to take the risk that there is a sufficient set of people matters in the end. The government's role help set the conditions as best as possible which depends on the situation and conditions.
jirkyrick February 27, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Yes they can, that's what zoning is all about, you can say no McDonald here, no fast food here, you have to have so many tables etc. there are plenty of people in Malden willing to spend for high quality dining, just look at all seasons table, the are packed 7 nights a week, and hopefully OYA will have the same success, no more fast food take out in the square, no more dollar stores
Jeremy February 27, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Please no more dollar stores. Please no more mystery stores.
Antoine February 27, 2013 at 06:24 PM
@Jirkyrick The ability to zone - ignoring the debate in philosophy of government roles - can tell someone they can't build a McDonalds, can't have this little seats or this many, "can't" many things. But can government legislate it way to a profitable brewpub? You can zone a place to be a brewpub only (ignoring the overreach in that type of thinking), but that won't mean someone will (voluntarily) build it or be profitable. @Mike I think any entrepreneur reading from here won't be that discouraged. There's plenty of positive comments in there too and I negative ones aren't that bad. It's the snark fights that make it feels worse. Either way entrepreneurs - successful ones, the ones we want - have to be both realistic in assessment, optimistic in execution, and thick-skinned in the process. So comments in a website shouldn't deter. That said, the first part lies with us and the government on making that environment as best as possible, the other two depends with the entrepreneur. Assuming, we do have the market and everything set up that an entrepreneur, there's still need to be a way to let them know we're an opportunity. In economics, that is called signalling. Hopefully things like the baseball stadium and/or whatever the Harvard people do will be that signal as well we really do have the market conditions to support those ventures.
Tellitlikeitis February 27, 2013 at 08:07 PM
it's a good idea paul,but one thing you are forgetting,if you put these businesses in malden,they cost higher to the customer than what they are paying now,i think melrose has a higher earning population compared to malden,that is why the places in melrose are doing good.i don't think the people for the most in malden would or could support new expensive businesses,it's just a fact.
Tellitlikeitis February 27, 2013 at 08:14 PM
what makes it a great idea,cause they are from harvard.please! some of the dumbest idea's i have ever seen, were from harvard graduates.just look at our government today.half of these nit-wits graduated from harvard. case closed.
jirkyrick February 27, 2013 at 08:24 PM
cant afford, have you been to All Seasons Table, not exactly cheap, packed every night, the cuban restaurant is not cheap either with entrees in the 20's (which is not expensive either) malden sqaure can easily support better than dollar stores and pizza take out
Antoine February 27, 2013 at 08:28 PM
We should listen to the Harvard kids, but do not doubt our own intelligence. If they propose something we do not agree with, then ask them what is the reasoning behind it. Harvard should be take as a strong sign of their intelligence (I do want to mention that Boston's City Hall was done by experts and I believe same with the idea was for ours), but it does not mean it is any idea came up is beyond any of us. If they are correct, they should be able to convince us. If they are wrong, we should be able to see the reasoning behind and see the failure. This requires both sides to take each other seriously and as equals (so not dismissing each other and/or turning to snarks wars).
Tellitlikeitis February 27, 2013 at 08:39 PM
hey mike,i absolutely do not have a problem with people who graduate from harvard,i have a couple of very good friends who graduated from harvard,but just cause they graduated from harvard does not mean they have the best answers or cures for everything,i am basing my judgement on what i see everyday from these so called cream of the crop intellectuals from harvard that are running this country,and it does not impress me one bit,it actually makes harvard look bad,to see so many bad ideas originating from one place. but that is just one man's opinion and i respect your's as i know you respect mine.
Tellitlikeitis February 27, 2013 at 08:50 PM
well mike,good for you,that you are not one of the millions who think that if it is said by a harvard grad,it is 100% right all the time.you know that this is still the case with alot of people.and i can agree with you,giving them a chance,but not agreeing with them automatically cause they are from harvard.
paul surette February 27, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Telli, your argument about not spending the money here, is the same thing folks who were against the outlet stores in Kittery, Maine, made. And now look at it. I think the only way anything decent would happen in Malden Sq, would have to be a massive entrepreneurial effort. A huge investment group could make it happen. As I said before, throw in a few brand franchise names, and watch it all unfold.
Tellitlikeitis February 27, 2013 at 10:56 PM
paul i was born here in malden and have resided here for the last 47 years,so of course i would love to see malden and malden square get upscaled,but your kittery maine point doesn't relate here.kittery makes most of their money from tourist's and people on vacation in that area,i don't see many people vacationing near malden.
Joe Mattick February 28, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Wrong!!! Before i moved to malden I would visit here all the time to buy tobacco. I use to drive one hour to get it in Malden because It was cheaper to buy a carton at (not saying). So i don't know if you know but When ever i smoked outstide the shop downtown I heard things about what nonsence was going on here with the government invading personal space but I didn't listen at the time, know after i live here I can see with my own eyes.
AnnieOMalden February 28, 2013 at 01:48 AM
I didn't mean to convey the idea that just because a group from Harvard was looking at our city to make improvements meant whatever they say, let's do. What I meant to imply was, for a change, people with qualifications to offer suggestions were being made available to us. Instead of just doing a poll and doing what the popular vote says, we have people who consider many options and the impact they have on the development of those options. Can't wait to hear what they come up with. Hopefully something better than what we have so far. I want to know what happened to those findings by the company hired to do a traffic study on the city? I sat through at least an hour explanation of an expensive study the city paid for and want to know when those findings will be implemented?
AnnieOMalden February 28, 2013 at 04:38 AM
Ok, thanks, Mike! Just wanted to be clear to Tellitlikeitis as they started flipping over Harvard's involvement here. Some people are just never satisfied. They can't all be buffoons at Harvard, right?
Tellitlikeitis February 28, 2013 at 06:00 AM
sorry annie,didn't know that just making a simple statement would be considered as flipping out,i will seek psychiatric help immediately,thanks.
Diana February 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Eh, lots of insecure people reflexively flinch at the mention of Harvard. It's the mental equivalent of tapping their knee with a hammer to make them kick, and just as amusing to watch.
Antoine February 28, 2013 at 02:58 PM
That's just an insulting comment. You implied anyone who express doubt as insecure while also Harvard as beyond reproach. Now as I said earlier, we should give Harvard a chance and follow a strategy that whatever ideas they have should be backed by reasoning. The same reasoning that convinces them should convince us regardless of education. That said, I can see plenty of reasoning of skepticism toward Harvard's involvement and it's not insecurity. I can point to history. You know Boston City Hall? Now perhaps you might rebut that you like the building, but no way one can deny it is unpopular with many. Ideally, a designer should have been to create one that have great aesthetics while pleasing to most at the same time. They didn't. And it was made by experts. I'm not sure about this claim. But I believe Malden City Hall was done under advice of experts too. The city turned to an expert who had a similar bright idea of building in the middle of the street a giant brick building right in front of new train station. Even so, it would mean it would live plenty of skepticism to Harvard as the last time we really had experts, we got city hall. I can point to another phase of urban planning history led by experts. The idea of knocking down neighborhoods for highways and the idea of urban renewal. Today, those approach to planning are dead. But this shows experts aren't always experts. While people like Tellitkeitis was a little harsh, there's reasonable reasons behind
Diana February 28, 2013 at 06:33 PM
No, I said that insecure people get het up about Harvard. Some of them reflexively worship it, and some of them reflexively loathe it. Both reflexes are equally stupid.
Tellitlikeitis February 28, 2013 at 11:50 PM
hey diana,why is it that everytime somebody does not tow the line with your thinking,you either directly call them names or start insinuating things about that person.i am not insecure with who i am,maybe you are,and i am not stupid,maybe that makes you feel better about yourself. read about that condition in some magazine,written by a couple of doctors from harvard. have a nice night diana.
Diana March 01, 2013 at 01:01 AM
It's "toe."
david mokal March 01, 2013 at 01:51 AM
I love being stoooopid..no one asks you to explain !
Z March 01, 2013 at 03:38 AM
Lets say they build these condos and then they do not sell them.. what happens to the condos ? I am pretty sure they turn them into Section 8 housing.. I don;t know I could be wrong but isn't this what happened to many of the condos at Revere Beach ?
Ben A March 01, 2013 at 01:46 PM
They should hold public meetings where we could all share ideas about ways to make this a better safer place. I know they have public safety meetings but those can only go so far. It is obvious they have not been working , just look at how many people attend them. Mix these meetings up a little and have regular policemen come in so we could speak with them and understand their jobs and concerns better. I appreciate the effort but it has become stale and I don't find it helpful.

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