Traffic, Parking and Public Safety Among Residents' Ballpark Concerns

What do you think of the proposed minor league baseball park in Malden?

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.

Frank February 05, 2013 at 01:10 PM
I'd like to apply for one of the 284 jobs - traffic facilitator. Oh! sorry those jobs are already assigned to hacks.
david mokal February 05, 2013 at 02:00 PM
I think it will be good for Malden. Hopefully a plus.Im for it.
Sean Hickey February 05, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Malden has very rich baseball tradition, both in the Commonwealth, and in the New England Area. Little League, Babe Ruth League, and our high school programs are very competitive, and have had several Major League draft picks, as well as a number of players playing NCCA Div.1 College Baseball. Malden is an area very rich in baseball tradition.
david mokal February 05, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Two Hundred and Eighty Four Jobs is nothing to sneeez at either. Thats a big plus.
Gene Pinkham February 05, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Devir Park was home field to the Malden Merchants, Malden Mets and the Inter-City League's Augustine's Athletics.
kate lipton February 05, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Chris Ceasar -I was told by a city official that Boston Baseball, Field of Dreams would be splitting the revenues from the MRA parking garage. That did't sound right to me, but never say never in Malden. Could you check this out and find out if there is any truth to this statement. The other question is- if it does turn out to be correct, I would like to know by what authority do they have to give away taxpayer revenue? There is alot of cash going into that garage. What kind of accounting controls do they have in place? Is there an income statement that a taxpayer may have which shows the results of that garage. Where does that revenue go and how is it used? Thanks.
Tony H. February 05, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Kate, there might be a revenue sharing agreement in place as part of the overall development agreement. For example, Malden High is able to use the facilities in exchange for a parking garage revenue share during games. The revenue share is unlikely to be a cost to the City as: 1) the garage is significantly under-capacity during evening hours right now and 2) event parking would yield higher rates per space. Purely for example, if the garage has 20 spots @ $5 each now, the City would get $100. If a revenue share agreement has 30% share and parking goes to 50 spots @ $10 each, the City would get $350 and developer $150. These numbers are only for example and do not represent actual. Chris, I am also curious on the actual.
kate lipton February 05, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Thanks Tony H. Chris, please investigate this further. Tony, I respectfully disagree with you when you say that "the revenue share is unlikely to be a cost to the city" since allowing Malden High to use the facililities in exchange for the revenue from the garage is a cost to the city in foregone revenue. You say event parking would yield higher rates per space. Again the taxpayers are forgoing revenue that they would have received making use by the highschool even more expensive. The shared or foregone revenue would be treated as an expense on the income statement since the city owns the garage (and MRA will disburse to Field of Dreams???). It looks to me, if this is in fact true, that the city is giving up an earnings potential for the taxpayers, since the baseball field deal is not dependent on sharing the revenues of the garage. Sorry, but this does not smell right. I would really like to know what kind of accounting controls are in place and where the money from the garage presently is going to.
Tony H. February 05, 2013 at 05:52 PM
I don’t disagree -- shared parking revenue would be treated as an expense on the City income statement. I can’t really pass judgment until all details are known, however. Public-private revenue share agreements typically have many negotiated pieces to benefit both parties. We don’t know the share %, length in effect, developer service agreements to City, developer revenue share for City, agreements to upfront cash match for infrastructure improvements, etc.
kate lipton February 05, 2013 at 06:14 PM
How about it Chris? Will you provide the details?
Elio February 05, 2013 at 06:58 PM
"While the hearing was held simply to collect – not answer – questions", Malden Redevelopment Authority Director Exec. Dir. Stephen Wishoski Really...this was in the palnning awhile ago and you could not answer questions?
kate lipton February 05, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Mike G - I am looking for a response to see if Chris is willing to look into the details. Why not look into the issue instead of sarcasm.
Matthew February 05, 2013 at 07:34 PM
I'd have to agree Mike, and I've been coaching baseball in this city for about 15 years, and played baseball here as a kid from Little League to Babe Ruth, as well as hockey in this city my whole life. If anything? Malden USED to be known for it's hockey. Where at one point we had three operating youth hockey programs. Malden Youth Hockey, Malden Independent Youth Hockey, and Malden Recreation Youth Hockey. All of which at the time had hundreds of players in each league. Now the one youth hockey program left had to merge with another city to stay alive, and the high school hasn't had it's own team in years.
Chris Caesar February 05, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Hey Kate. Technically those lots are not owned by the city so it's not 'taxpayer revenue.' They are owned and operated by the MRA; those earnings are used to finance their operations. Since it is their money, it is not the same as appropriating tax dollars for this project.
Chris Caesar February 05, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Some of the questions were too early to be addressed, but officials said they wanted the questions so they could be answered when more information was available.
Matthew February 05, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Elio, typical City meeting. Does it really matter anyway though if they answered questions or not? The City is just going to do what it wants to do regardless of the residents concerns. The public meetings, of any type in this City, are all for show and grandstanding anyway.
kate lipton February 05, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Hey Chris - So who is the MRA? What is the exact relationship between the MRA and the city of Malden? You are saying they are not funded by taxpayers dollars? If so where does their money come from? What is their connection with the city of Malden? How come so many employees from the last administration got shifted over there. There was one person who shared her job between the Mayor's Office and the MRA and now is at the MRA full time. Are you saying Chris that you will not look into this? What is the purpose of the Patch if you are not willing to investigate issues relating to this city?
paul surette February 05, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Sarcasm? On Patch? I don't believe that for a minute!
Matthew February 05, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Chris. How could any question be to early??? This has been in the planning stages for years now, and the questions being asked should have had answers to them, years ago when this city started this planning process.
Matthew February 05, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Paul go back to sleep. Your going to hurt yourself trying to think of something stupid to post.
kate lipton February 05, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Chris - from their website "Created by state statute, the Malden Redevelopment Authority was established on October 8, 1958. On behalf of the City of Malden, the agency administers the federal Community Development Block Grant program, oversees development in urban renewal areas, administers low-interest loan and mortgage programs for owners of residential and commercial properties, manages many public works improvement projects and oversees the off-street parking program in the downtown." Due to your interpretation Chris - they are not accountable to taxpayers?
Chris Caesar February 05, 2013 at 08:44 PM
For example there has been no traffic study done yet, as the land purchases have not even been finalized. So while it may seem like it's been a long time, in development terms it's quite short and a few of these questions would indeed be very premature to answer.
DannyBoy February 05, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Damn it, Chris! We taxpayers want answers!!! Don't you get it, Chris???
Chris Caesar February 05, 2013 at 08:54 PM
What? I never said they weren't accountable, as an organization, to taxpayers. They of course receive some public money as well. You asked about how a specific revenue stream could be given away for a private project, referring to it as "tax dollars." I looked into it and these weren't public tax dollars, so your question was moot. I'm not sure what else you'd like me to say.
Chris Caesar February 05, 2013 at 08:56 PM
I never said they weren't funded by some taxpayer dollars. You asked about a specific source of revenue and I was answering your question. >Are you saying Chris that you will not look into this? What is the purpose of the Patch if you are not willing to investigate issues relating to this city? Excuse me, lol, but I did look into it and answered your question. Investigative journalism doesn't necessarily mean being your personal Googler.
Chris Caesar February 05, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Hahaha. I don't even know what comments are sarcastic anymore. :)
kate lipton February 05, 2013 at 09:15 PM
I am glad you believe the MRA should be accountable. Let me rephrase - The MRA is a quasi government agency. Their source of funds are federal and state revenue whose source is taxpayers dollars. What I am asking for you to do is research and provide details of this arrangement if it is taking place by the MRA and Field of Dreams. If it is in fact not occuring, please let me know. Thanks.
Matthew February 05, 2013 at 09:15 PM
I'm sorry Chris. But your wrong about the longevity of this project. It has been in the works for a long time, and the questions being asked last night, should have already had answers to them, as they are questions and concerns that should be part of any original planning process. Just as the proposed new baseball park at South Broadway, that Babe Ruth has been told for years, it will be ready for next year. It's been at least three years that we have been told it would be ready,and look at it. At the end of the day. Would it be nice to say that Malden has a minor league baseball field, absolutely. I'm a sports fan to the core. But, there is a lot more things that need to be addressed in this city before anything of that stature should happen.
Matthew February 05, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Talk about a park that needs an upgrade. Great park, played and coached a lot of ball there.
Leonardo DaVinci February 06, 2013 at 02:10 AM
And Ralph Wheeler's great Malden City Club teams during the1950s. Probably before then, but before my time.


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