Business, Local Government and Politics

Developer makes a new bid for the old Malden Hospital site

MALDEN – A new redevelopment proposal for the 18.5-acre Malden Hospital site would include a $100 million investment in residential housing and more than $500,000 in improvements to the area.

The latest bid comes from Fellsmere Housing Group, which has been eyeing the property for several years. Malden Mayor Gary Christenson sent a letter to the Council this week stating in part, “this particular proposal is worthy of review and public discussion.”

The proposal comes just one week after a Malden City Council ad hoc committee held its first formal meeting and less than a month after Malden’s twice-extended, citywide moratorium of multi-unit residential housing construction expired after 18 months.

Fellsmere Housing Group, which holds a signed purchase-and-sale agreement with the hospital site’s owners, Hallmark Health, made a bid for an extensive residential construction proposal at the site in 2015. It would have included more than 200 units, but that proposal drew little community support and was ultimately rejected by the Malden Planning Board.

The would-be developers of the land would require zoning relief from the planning board for the residential units it would seek there. While the exact number of units in the new proposal were not defined, the mayor in his letter did state that significant tenets of the new proposal are the units would be owner-occupied and the number would be a substantial decrease from a previous development proposal.

The Malden Hospital Site Committee last week reflected on the concerns of the property’s neighbors over potential traffic and other related issues of a major residential development on the site.

Several at the meeting, including chairman and Ward 3 City Councilor John Matheson said there was strong support for establishing, maintaining, and preserving open space at the site, considered the largest undeveloped land tract left in the city.

Because the site is bordered on three sides by Medford’s residential neighborhoods, future plans are also considered a very important decision for Medford residents.

A similar Malden Hospital site development committee has been formed in Medford and Matheson said outreach to that Medford committee has already been made and plans are to work together in the future.

The information from the mayor’s letter has been referred to the City Council’s Malden Hospital Site Committee for further review and discussion.

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