Revere wants to spend millions of dollars on building new public buildings. The good news for the beachfront city with — not one, not two, but three mega development sites — is that there is abundant opportunity in Revere for generating new property tax revenue.
Revere Beach has already ignited a development resurgence with multi-unit residential projects newly opened or under construction. New projects are sliding down the development pipeline with Monday’s City Council agenda including a communication from a hotel builder to increase the project from 132 to 160 rooms to be built at 245 Revere Beach Parkway.
There are lots of communities, including neighboring ones, that would love to be in Revere’s shoes with developers itching to build hotels and planners and architects eyeing giant parcels like Suffolk Downs, the former Wonderland Greyhound Park, and, possibly, the NECCO site.
Communities like Revere that can afford to build big can also afford to think big. Revere is doing just that with councilors holding a preliminary discussion on the feasibility of building a new high school in the Cooledge Street housing complex “while simultaneously building apartment style housing for current and future residents.”
Not to be outdone by forward-thinking local educators, city public safety and public works officials want the city to spend money on new facilities.
These items for discussion on the council agenda may never lead to actual designs, much less shovels in the ground. But councilors and residents who sat in City Hall 14 years ago when the Eurovest project on Ocean Avenue was first proposed heard and saw plenty of critics say, “No one is going to spend development dollars locally in this real estate market.”
The march of time and a changing real estate landscape proved the critics wrong and demonstrated that there is no such thing as thinking too big in Revere. A new high school — even if it isn’t linked to new housing construction — is a realistic goal in a city that since 2006 has seen two middle schools and a handful of new, state-of-the-art elementary schools built.
Revere has enjoyed supercharged support from the state Legislature when it comes to building one new school after the other, beginning with the Whelan Elementary and Susan B. Anthony schools complex.
Modernized schools are a strong selling point for residents considering a move to Revere or children of Revere residents mulling whether to stay in or leave their hometown. Modern schools also counterbalance elected officials’ concerns about accelerating residential development placing too big a burden on the local public education system.
Future plans for Revere’s former racetracks have yet to fully materialize but their potential to add an entirely new dimension to local development looms on the horizon. With its panoramic view of the Boston skyline and straight shot by highway or rapid transit to Boston and Logan International Airport, Revere is poised to redefine the word “potential.”