State development chief awards Revere $1.5 million, praises Broadway plan

November 14, 2013

By Thor Jourgensen / The Daily Item

REVERE — The $1.5 million the city is getting to pay for a new Pleasant Street parking lot will also help revitalize Broadway as Revere’s main business street, state Development Secretary Greg Bialecki said.

Elected officials and local merchants who gathered Tuesday in City Hall to hear Bialecki’s announcement clapped as he credited the city with “doing it the right way” when it comes to improving local commercial areas.

“They have asked businesses, ‘what are your top priorities?’” he said.

City Economic Development Director John Festa said answers to that question provided by business owners include easing Broadway’s parking crunch. The $1.5 million will help pay to demolish the boarded-up Pleasant Street police station and garage next spring and replace them with a 51-space parking lot.

“The number one key factor is parking for businesses,” Festa said.

He said the state money is part of a $3 million city commitment over the next two or three years to add new street lighting and other improvements along Broadway from the Chelsea line to Squire Road and work with businesses to make storefront improvements.

The 30-member Broadway Advisory Group helping to plan the improvements includes local business owners, Festa said. By working with businesses to improve Broadway and soliciting their advice, Revere officials are taking steps Bialecki said other communities around Massachusetts are unwilling to take.

“We’re seeing a real commitment to new growth and making the community better by moving ahead and welcoming new residents and businesses: That’s the way to have a stronger future,” he said.

Mayor Daniel Rizzo said city officials worked closely with Revere Chamber of Commerce members since planning started on the Broadway work.

“They share the same ideas and goals the city has,” Rizzo said.

The Broadway revitalization work is also going to include new sidewalks, safer crosswalks along the busy street and construction projects, including housing. City Councilor Anthony Zambuto said new lighting installed along Broadway between the Chelsea line and City Hall represents an improvement applauded by local businesses.

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