(Courtesy of Arrowstreet)
A $53.5-million publicly funded parking garage and bus way at Wonderland Station in Revere officially opened over the weekend, officials said.
The seven-story structure at the terminus of the MBTA’s Blue Line subway features about 1,500 parking spaces making it the third largest garage in the T's transit system.
The new garage and bus way facility, formally called the Wonderland Intermodal Transit Center, is part of a plan to free up land occupied by surface parking in order to use that space for Waterfront Square, an ocean-facing private development slated to bring a hotel, residential units, office space and shops to Revere Beach.
State officials called the garage’s completion the first major milestone of that larger redevelopment project.
“This event marks a turning point in the City of Revere’s decades-long pursuit of a signature development at the heart of our historic beach,” Revere Mayor Daniel Rizzo said in a statement. “At the same time we are paving the way for a master-planned transit oriented development on acres of surface parking lots no longer needed for commuter use."
"The striking new Wonderland station entrance announces the special place that this area will soon become," he added. "This is a very exciting day for me as mayor of this proud city.”
The bus way, located under the garage, is designed to protect commuters from hot sun and inclement winter weather, state officials said. Other features of the building include bicycle storage and improved pedestrian access. The project broke ground in Sept. 2010 and construction did not interrupt Blue Line service or pedestrian access.
Arrowstreet, an architecture, design, and planning firm based in Somerville, designed the building.
“The new garage, the bus way, the improved roadway signals along Route 1A all increase connectivity for drivers, transit riders, pedestrians and cyclists,” said a statement from state transportation department secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey.
The T has also said it is planning to install solar panels atop the parking garage this fall to expand its use of green energy and potentially help save the other type of green.
The project was funded with $22.7 million in stimulus funds, $11 million from the MBTA, a $10 million state grant and another $6.5 million in state funds, $3 million from a grant from the Federal Transit Administration, according to an announcement from the state.
“I am proud of the strategic investment made to build the new Intermodal Transit Center,” Governor Deval Patrick said in a statement. “With the Transit Center as its hub, the continued redevelopment will benefit the local economy and also answer the growing demand from those who want to live, work, and play in an area served by sustainable transportation.”