Much has changed in Watertown over the past 10 years, that is for sure, and one area we should be proud of is the transformation of the East End and the revitalization of the Arsenal Street corridor – specifically turning the older and declining Arsenal Mall into a delightful destination for our community, and surrounding communities and neighbors.
This development and the ripple effects of its success have afforded and will continue to afford our little City quite a bit. There are the surface benefits – dozens of new restaurants and shops, hundreds of thousands of square feet of outdoor space, adding to a renovated Arsenal Park, and
weekly community events that frequently benefit local charitable organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club and the Food Pantry.
And there are the less obvious but glaringly important benefits – thousands of new local jobs, millions in real estate tax revenue which resulted in three new public schools that did not require a tax increase for residents, and not to mention the nearly 2,500 new life science employees and residents who will undoubtedly shop and eat in businesses ALL over Watertown, not just at Arsenal Yards.
Yes, we should be proud of this development. We should be proud of our City Government, which had the vision to include a development like Arsenal Yards in their last Comprehensive Plan from a decade ago. Further, as taxpayers and voters, we should encourage our City Government to support the economic success of the development, which is closely tied to the success of many aspects, including the revenue, of this City.
The signage proposed at the top of the 100 Forge life science building creates an iconic landmark that attracts customers to the Arsenal Street corridor. The signage is appropriate to the scale and illumination of the building itself and the project at large. The intention is to reach surrounding communities – Brighton, Newton, and of course, the Mass Pike. The architectural and development teams at Arsenal Yards have conducted extensive studies around visibility and its illumination impact on Greenough and the Charles River, finding little impact or extended visibility in relation to the activity from the rest of the property and comparable signs within 5 miles of the project.
Let’s support the efforts that drive economic success in our great City. If you agree, I urge you to write to your District City Councilor and the At-Large Councilors, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to express your view and ask to hear back from them. This matter will come before the Council on Tuesday, Sept. 27.