Grant, Mitigation Funds Will Help Pay for Arsenal Park Renovations, See Project Details

A drawing of the proposed renovation for the eastern section of Arsenal Park, near the Arsenal Yards development. The Town Council will be asked to consider funding a $1.65 million renovation of a section of Arsenal Park, but the Town will get some help paying for the project from a grant and mitigation money from the next door Arsenal Yards project. The Town received a $200,000 Housing Choice Capital Grant, which will be applied to the first phase of the Arsenal Park project, along with $500,000 in mitigation funds paid by Arsenal Yards developers Boylston Properties, Town Manager Michael Driscoll said. He added the construction bids may come in lower due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, so the might be lower than the original $1.65 million budget. The Town Council voted unanimously to let Town officials put the project out to bid.

Arsenal Park Renovation Plans to be Presented at Town Council Meeting

A drawing of the proposed renovation for the eastern section of Arsenal Park, near the Arsenal Yards development. The proposed renovation of the eastern section of Arsenal Park will be presented to the Town Council Tuesday night in a meeting to be held online. Project designers from CDM Smith will present the plans for the $1.6 million project during the May 12 Council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. The agenda item is an informational presentation, and no vote will be taken. The meeting will be televised and the public can join by computer or phone (info below). The section of the park being discussed is Phase A, which is the section of the park that abuts the Arsenal Yards property.

LETTER: Boylston Properties Responds to End of Agreement with Town Over Arsenal Park

A view of the planned renovation of Arsenal Park. The following letter is in response to the Sept. 11, 2019 story “Partnership Between Town, Arsenal Yards to Renovate Town Park Over Before it Began”


I want to clear up the facts of the state of our partnership with the Town on the Arsenal Park renovation, and to also put into context the recent exchange between the Town and Boylston Properties that you detailed in your piece. Mark Reich has been a great contributor to our early progress in this hoped for partnership, but his letter to the Town was a one-sided summary of that process. As you know, we firmly believe that Arsenal Yards will be of great benefit to Watertown.

Partnership Between Town, Arsenal Yards to Renovate Town Park Over Before it Began

An overhead view of Arsenal Park. The long red building is the Arsenal Mall, and to the left is the Commander’s Mansion and the Arsenal on the Charles complex. A public-private partnership between the Town of Watertown and the developers of Arsenal Yards, which was to speed up renovation of part of Arsenal Park, has ended, Town Manager Michael Driscoll announced Tuesday night. A disagreement over a construction management fee that Boylston wanted to charge the Town to oversee the construction was the main sticking point, according to Driscoll, who read from a letter from the Town’s attorney Mark Reich of KP Law. “Of particular concern, and the primary impetus for this letter, is the insistence of Mr. (William) McQuillan that the Town pay Boylston Properties a 5 percent construction management fee as part of the proposed public-private partnership,” the letter reads.

Funding to Design Arsenal Park Renovation Approved

A view of the planned renovation of Arsenal Park. The Watertown Town Council approved $250,000 to be spent on the design of the majority of Arsenal Park renovation, while another section is moving ahead with funding from the developers of Arsenal Yards. The money will be used to do the detailed designs to all of the park, except for the eastern most part, which is being worked on in conjunction with Arsenal Yards. The project includes a multipurpose field —including a softball field — a playground in the northwest corner with a new bathroom, a picnic area and an expanded splash pad. In addition, the plan includes two basketball courts and three tennis courts, next to a picnic area and space for community gardens.

Temporary Change to Access Road to Arsenal Park, Harvard Vanguard

The blue lines show the temporary traffic flow through Arsenal Yards to Arsenal Park and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates. Arsenal Park is in the upper right corner of the illustration. The following information was provided by Boylston Properties:

Starting July 1, Boylston Properties, the developer of Arsenal Yards, will make temporary changes to the access road for Arsenal Park and Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates (HVMA) to accommodate the next construction phase. Park Drive, the current one-way road accessing Arsenal Park and HVMA, will remain open during the 2-week construction period to build the temporary access road. The temporary road will provide 2-way traffic access with a right-in entrance from Arsenal Street and exiting via a right turn only onto Arsenal Street.