SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

September 15, 2012

MBTA approves $25 million for garage

(Continued)

Suffolk estimated construction costs at $21,364,714. Consigli Construction bid $21,360,714, while Walsh Brothers bid $20,498,535.

Ed Hunter, the MBTA’s assistant general manager of design and construction, told the board that Suffolk’s proposal was the “most realistic” and “provided the best value, even at the highest cost, based on the very high quality of the proposed work,” according to notes from the meeting provided by the MBTA.

Suffolk Construction is based in Boston and has an office in Danvers.

The garage will be set back 75 feet from Rantoul Street to leave room for future development involving apartments or condominiums with retail space. Development could also take place on top of the garage. The state is encouraging such “transit-oriented development” near train and subway stations to promote public transportation and revitalize downtown areas.

The garage will be three stories tall with four levels of parking, including on the roof. The first story will be below ground level as you look from Rantoul Street.

The facade will be mostly brick, a design change the MBTA agreed to after listening to concerns of residents at public hearings last year.

“We’re pleased with the design,” Scanlon said. “If you’re on Rantoul Street you’ll be able to walk through or alongside the building and over Pleasant Street to the train station without having to take one step up or one step down.”

The garage will also feature solar panels on the roof and parking for electric cars, Zipcars, motorcycles and bicycles.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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