Monthly Archives: June, 2015

Update on Local Properties

I am happy to report that there have been very positive developments regarding several key commercial properties throughout Melrose in recent weeks. As Mayor, I am often asked about specific properties. I am extremely encouraged by the direction of each of these crucial pieces of property in the City that are under new ownership and/or agreement. In Melrose, where nearly 95% of the properties are residential, having thriving businesses in our commercial districts is especially important.

Here is a rundown of recent developments:

Additional parking for downtown Melrose!

Kimball Court

In addition to the positive real estate developments described below, I am happy to report that I have sent a bond authorization to the Board of Aldermen for the City to purchase the property located at 1 Kimball Court (abutting Dills Court or Shaw’s Parking Lot) that was for sale. The acquisition of this property, if approved, will allow the City to add 21 critical parking spaces to that municipal lot. This will add a significant amount of parking to our downtown area that will give an immediate boost to local businesses and their patrons.

523 Franklin Street (Corinthian Hall)

Corinthian Hall

This anchor property in the Melrose Highlands was recently purchased by Cambridge West Partners LLC. I am very excited about their vision for this property, which will be a tremendous benefit to this newly renovated business district. Sujit Sitole, a principal in the company, said, “Melrose is lucky to have many established neighborhoods full of local and national businesses, and of course three train stations.  The City’s investment in these neighborhoods and visible commitment to smart growth is creating a great opportunity for businesses and residents.  This is very apparent in the Highlands, where the City has set the table for the neighborhood to grow into a transit oriented village with the high quality of life that is unique to New England. “

530 Main Street (Moynihan Plaza)

530 Main St

This landmark property in downtown Melrose formerly housed Breads and Bits of Ireland and currently is where Spice Thai and several other small businesses reside. The property in recent weeks has been purchased by John Wise, a respected business leader in Greater Boston.  There are several exciting improvements and renovations in the works for this property. His goal is to restore this property and enhance our beautiful downtown.

681 Main Street (The Caruso Building)

Caruso Building

After several years of vacancy, this building has been purchased and we are enthusiastic about the renovation and development of this property. This property will soon be under solid ownership, and residents should see improvements in the near future. We will be having discussions with the owners in the coming weeks.

454 Main Street (Absolutely Fabulous)

454 Main St

I am pleased to hear that a lease is being finalized that will bring a high end Italian restaurant to the location previously occupied by Absolutely Fabulous. There will be much more on this in the weeks to come but this is certainly a very positive development at this property downtown.

As we go into the summer, please make it a point to shop local during this summer season. The future of our business districts is in our collective hands.

Have a great Fourth of July, Melrose!

Celebrate Independence Day on Melrose Common on July 3

Come join us for our Annual Bike and Carriage Parade around Melrose Common on Friday, July 3. Bring your decorated bike, wagon, carriage, scooter, skateboard, or other custom ride and take part in the festivities. Registration starts at 10 a.m., and the parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. sharp, so be sure to register early! Parade winners will be announced at 11:15 a.m. by Tall Uncle Sam. We will also have free face painting, games, activities, and entertainment. Concessions will be available at the event for purchase.

New this year, Mike Piazza will be performing his Flying High Frisbee Dog Show from 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Mike Piazza is the #1 K-9 Frisbee performer in the world, has been a world finalist multiple times, and is a former Long Distance World Record holder !

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

10:00 a.m. Parade Registration Opens
10:30 a.m. Parade Begins (10:30 a.m. sharp!)
11:00 a.m. Event Festivities Begin

  • Face Painting
  • Music
  • Entertainment
  • Games, Activities, and Crafts
  • Concessions

11:15 a.m. Parade Winners Announced
11:30 a.m. Frisbee Dog Show Begins
12:30 p.m. Event Ends

Trash and Recycling Reminders for This Week

Curbside trash and recycling will be on regular schedule during the week of June 29. The DPW Operations Facility and Recycling Center at 72 Tremont Street will be open regular hours Monday, June 29, through Thursday, July 2, and will be closed Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4.

DPW projects on Lebanon Street and Gould Street will continue Monday, June 29, through Thursday, July 2. There will not be any work on Friday, July 3, and the site will be made clean and accessible for the 4th of July weekend.

For more information, call the DPW Resident Service Office at 781-665-0142.

Family Night at the Americans Game on July 2!

The City of Melrose will team up with its hometown team the Melrose Americans of the Intercity League on Thursday, July 2, for family fun entertainment at Morelli Field during the Americans game against the Wakefield Merchants. The Melrose Recreation Department will be hand offering free slush, face painting, games, entertainment, music, and more. Concessions will also be available during the game. First pitch will be at 7:30pm with all recreation activities at the field beginning at 7:15 p.m. All kids are encouraged to wear their t-ball / little league shirts. More information on the Intercity League and the Americans can be found at http://www.intercityleaguebaseball.com

Road and Sidewalk Work to Start on Gould St. This Week

Sidewalk and curbing improvements will begin on Gould Street on Monday, June 29. Work is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m. during the week of June 29 and then will take place between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. moving forward. Construction will include removing and replacing existing sidewalks, adjusting curbing, and installing new curbing and sidewalks. Roadway grinding and repaving will follow sidewalk and curb work. Construction will continue for approximately 3-4 weeks.

There will not be any work on July 3, and the site will be made clean and accessible for the 4th of July weekend.

Come to the Senior Health Fair on Friday!

Senior Health Fair

Watch the Messina Fine Arts Awards Presentation

We presented the Melrose Messina Fine Arts Awards to local artists and arts organizations a few weeks ago, and now, thanks to Mike Miner of MMTV, you can watch the whole thing! I was gratified to learn that several of the awards allowed the organizations to start programs that are now growing into larger initiatives. I want to thank the members of the MMFA Committee, who worked hard on this all year, and congratulate the artists and organizations who have done so much to enrich Melrose’s cultural life.

Come to the Farmers Market Today!

The Sally Frank’s Farmers’ Market is on today, June 25, from 1 to 7 p.m. at Cedar Park.

At today’s market, you can expect to find strawberries, greenhouse tomatoes, radishes, turnips, broccoli raab, Asian greens, swiss chard, garlic scapes, summer zucchini, and kusa squash, and possibly raspberries and sugar snap peas. Also grass fed meat, chicken, eggs, pasta, gluten free pasta, spices, bread, popovers, fresh roasted coffee, tea, brownies, granola, fresh yogurt, fresh mozzarella, Egyptian and Lebanese food.

On the Edge Knife Sharpening will be at the market for their monthly visit, and Curious Creatures will be there with exotic animals from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. In addition, there will be a cooking demonstration by Holly Pierce at 3:30 and live music by Paul Harty from 4 to 6 p.m. Barre and Soul Yoga Studio is offering free outdoor yoga from 5 to 6 p.m.

Check the website for more details about today’s special activities!

City of Melrose Adds Electric Vehicles, Charging Station

City Engineer Andy Street with his new electric vehicle

City Engineer Andy Street with his new electric vehicle

The City of Melrose recently added two vehicles to its fleet: Ford Focus battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that will be used by City Engineer Andrew Street and Fire Prevention Officer Captain John White. The vehicles’ batteries will charge overnight at the newly installed ChargePoint electric vehicle charging station located in the parking lot behind City Hall.

“The City of Melrose has made a significant effort to reduce its carbon footprint over the past three years,” said Mayor Rob Dolan. “We have made our schools and other City buildings more energy efficient and installed LED bulbs in our Victorian streetlights. This is another area where we can make a smart choice that reduces emissions without sacrificing performance.”

The BEVs were partially funded through a $15,000 grant award from the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP), available from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The level 2 charging station and installation was completely funded by an additional $15,000 EVIP grant secured for the City by Martha Grover, Energy Efficiency Manager.

The BEVs can get 80-100 miles from a single battery charge for just a few dollars. Grover estimates that the annual electric costs to run each car will be just $150. And without an internal combustion engine, as in hybrid or fossil fuel vehicles, there is no need for oil changes or other regular maintenance other than the brakes, tires, and windshield wipers.

“It’s a great little car that drives a lot better than I thought it would,” said Captain White. Street agreed, saying “I don’t miss my old pick-up truck. The electric Ford Focus is great for getting around Melrose to all of my job sites.”

The dual-charging station in the City Hall parking lot is available to the public for use during the day from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Resident Evan Shu, owner of an electric vehicle, said, “I was overjoyed when I found out about them using the PlugShare app, because their location is perfect for my errands in town. The metropolitan Boston area has too few electric car chargers in the area, so it is always a cause for celebration for electric car owners when new ones go in. It makes me proud to live in a city that is taking the lead in energy saving with both Melrose’s recent solar initiative and now the installation of these new electric car charging stations.”

The Fire Prevention Officer's electric vehicle

The Fire Prevention Officer’s electric vehicle

The electric vehicle charging station in the City Hall lot

The electric vehicle charging station in the City Hall lot

Temple Beth Shalom Presents Jazz Concert on Saturday

Temple Beth Shalom of Melrose is proud to bring back its popular jazz concert series on Saturday, June 27th with a special performance dedicated to the late Irving Smolens, Keeping Jazz Alive.

The concert will feature Berklee College of Music professor and bassist Bruce Gertz and Trio Now. Popular Boston jazz vocalist Donna McElroy will join Bruce and his talented band. Also performing are fellow Berklee faculty member Steve Hunt on piano and Jack Diefendorf on drums. Trio Now has a newly released CD called Someday Soon, available on iTunes.

Bruce is a well-known and sought after musician in the Boston area and beyond. He has toured and performed with Gary Burton, John Abercrombie, Maynard Ferguson, Cab Calloway, and many others. Most recently, Bruce backed guitarist Larry Coryell and his Strings Attached project at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston. He’s a winner of the Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll, among many other honors and awards.

Donna McElroy has performed with Amy Grant, Bebe and Cece Winans, Garth Brooks, Billy Joel, Ahmad Jamal, Reba McEntire, and many other popular artists. She has recorded several CDs of her own, including a collection of sacred hymns called I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.

The TBS jazz series returns to Melrose after a hiatus of several years. Its renaissance is inspired by the recent passing of longtime Temple member Irving Smolens. Irving was an avid jazz fan and never missed a single performance in the series’ 15+ year history. Just a few weeks before his death he spoke to fellow Temple member Bruce Gertz about bringing the concerts back. While this memorial performance comes too late for Irving, Bruce and other Temple jazz fans believe there is no better tribute than to fill the TBS sanctuary with the music he loved so much.

The show begins at 8 p.m. and doors open at 7. Tickets are $20 and are available at several Melrose businesses: Hourglass, Bohemian Coffeehouse, Coffee, Tea & Me, La Qchara, and Miter Biter. Limited tickets will also be available at the door, but buying them in advance is recommended. Beer, wine and cocktails will be available. For more information or to make reservations, please call 781-662-5856.

Temple Beth Shalom is located at 21 East Foster Street in Melrose. Our building is wheelchair-accessible. There is ample parking nearby and we’re located near the Oak Grove station on the Orange Line.

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