Traffic, public safety and noise were among residents' top concerns during a hearing on a proposed minor league baseball park in the city Monday night.
Representatives from the Malden Redevelopment Authority, Mayor Gary Christenson's office and developer Boston Baseball Field of Dreams LLC took questions during the first of many planned public hearings on the project. This first hearing drew about 100 people.
While the hearing was held simply to collect – not answer – questions, Malden Redevelopment Authority Director Exec. Dir. Stephen Wishoski said these concerns would be addressed as the public process for the project moves forward.
Resident Paul Carroll said he was concerned about traffic, a problem with which he said the city already grapples at peak hours.
He also expressed hope that the increased tax revenue from the project – which, according to a study commissioned by the city, could reach $500,000 annually – would be used to offset the city's residential and/or business tax rate.
Resident and cyclist Naomi Brave said she was concerned not only about the traffic, but it's impact on pedestrians and those riding bicycles downtown.
Other nearby residents expressed concern about parking in their neighborhoods, already a problem exacerbated by their proximity to the Malden Center T station and Malden Courthouse.
Mystic Valley Regional Charter School Softball Asst. Coach Jack Curry said he understood the concerns of residents, but also praised the benefits the project could bring to the city.
“Malden is known for baseball,” he told those in attendance. “Around the area, we have an excellent reputation for baseball.”
During his remarks, Mayor Christenson cited a study conducted by FXM Associates that found the park could create 284 jobs and a $10 million in household earnings. Efforts will be made to hire Malden residents, according to a handout distributed at the meeting.
Christenson noted that the stadium would also be used for a variety of uses, including high school sports, graduations, private events like concerts.
For more information on the project, visit the developer's webpage.