Governor Deval Patrick today broke ground on University Station, a major mixed-use development project including retail and restaurant space, along with housing opportunities that will grow jobs and opportunity in Westwood and the surrounding area. During the ceremony, Governor Patrick announced a $5.5 million award through the MassWorks Infrastructure Grant Program to support the reconstruction of the Canton Street/University Avenue intersection in Westwood and provide improved access to the University Station development, which will unlock significant private investment in the area. The University Station project is supported in part by funding from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED).
"Growth requires investment, and University Station is a true testament of how a little bit of government support can leverage significant private sector investment," said Governor Patrick. "If we want to expand opportunity in our Commonwealth, this is what government must do and do well."
The University Station Project will be built through a partnership between New England Development, Eastern Real Estate, National Development and Clarion Partners. The Station is a $750 million, 2.1 million square foot mixed-use development in Westwood and will take place on 130 acres of primarily vacant, partially cleared land located in the underutilized University Avenue Industrial Park, near the I-93/95 interchange and the Route 128 transit station. Phase I of the project will include 350 units of housing and approximately 600,000 square feet of retail space, and is projected to create 1,130 new construction jobs and 920 new permanent retail jobs.
"We remain committed to working with local communities to help identify opportunities to maximize growth and spur regional development," said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Bialecki. "I look forward to our ongoing partnership with the town of Westwood and private industry leaders to explore additional ways to promote continued growth."
"Transportation infrastructure plays a critical role in supporting development projects like University Station," said Transportation Secretary Richard Davey. "Not only will the roadway work we are doing around this project make the area more easily accessible for residents and patrons, but it will ease congestion and restore significant wetland space."
The final plans for University Station include 750,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, including a grocery store, 325,000 square feet of office space, 650 residential housing units, a 160 room hotel and an assisted living/memory care facility with approximately 100 units, with anchor tenants Wegmans and Target.
"This project has been a long time in the works and I am pleased that is finally coming to fruition," said Senator Mike Rush. "I want to thank the Patrick Administration, our local officials, and the citizens of the surrounding towns for their partnership in creating a mixed-use development project that will provide jobs and economic opportunities for the region."
This groundbreaking builds on a range of investments the Patrick Administration is making in the region to facilitate growth and opportunity. The Governor announced earlier this year his commitment to funding the $238 million I-93/I-95 Interchange project, which will significantly reduce congestion in the area. As part of that commitment, MassDOT is currently working on the reconstruction of the I-95/University Avenue Interchange (formerly Blue Hill Drive Interchange) and the widening of Dedham Street. The I-95/University Avenue interchange will make traffic and safety improvements and create a direct connection from I-95 South to University Avenue, providing direct service to the University Station development and is a necessary prerequisite for the early action development. The widening of Dedham Street entails the construction of a new ramp from I-95 North to Dedham Street, widening Dedham Street from two to four lanes and reconstructing three bridges -- one over I-95, one over the MBTA and one over the Neponset River.