Framingham blog postings

Framingham Postings

Earliest: December 15, 2009Latest: December 13, 2017Total: 127

September 21, 2016

Mt Wayte Plaza

Mt Wayte Plaza

The Mt. Wayte Plaza is a dead strip mall at the corner of Mt. Wayte Ave and Franklin Street Framingham. The once thriving plaza is now mostly fenced in and since February 2015, has only one tenant. A few years ago the plaza owners promised local residents a complete redesign which would revitalize the area.

The official Address of the Mt. Wayte Plaza is 444 Franklin Street, Framingham MA 01702.

Current owner is Framingham Franklin LLC and managed by Samuel Adams, who father use to own the plaza.

Recent Mt. Wayte Plaza Timeline

  • September 3, 2012 - Framingham Selectmen vote for a task force to see what can be done with the near-empty plaza. Emitted Domain is an option.
  • December 6, 2012 - Samuel Adams gives a sneak peak of the designs to the Framingham planning board. The redesign estimate value at $10 million.
  • March 6, 2014 - Developer formally asked for approval for redesign of Mt. Wayne Plaza project estimate is now $6 million
  • August 7, 2014 - Framingham Planning Board unanimously approves Mt. Wayte Redevelopment Project
  • December 23, 2014 - The Society of St. Vincent De Paul store closes and doesn't relocate elsewhere.
  • February 23, 2015 - Dunkin Donut moves out of the Mt. Wayne Plaza
  • February 28, 2015 - Dunkin Donuts opens at 430 Franklin Street (in front of the plaza)
  • August 11, 2015 - Planning Board grants an additional six months to expand plaza.
  • November 16, 2015 - Town Planning Board formally asks for the large blue signs to be removed.
  • April 27, 2016 - Mt. Wayte Plaza is put up For Sale for $5.5 million
  • August 6, 2016 - Planning Board complains about the lack of progress on the Plaza and unanimously votes not to extend the development permit.

Plaza Facts:

  • 6.7 Acres For Sale for $5,500,000 (As of September 19, 2016)
  • Property was assessed at $3.5 million in 2012
  • Main Building is 53,000 square feet formerly occupied by Big D
  • In 2012, there were rumors that Market Basket was going to move into the Plaza.
  • There are 198 parking spaces in the current parking lot.

Stores that Use to be in the Plaza

  • Big D / Price Chopper Supermarket October 1961 - April 2001
  • IGA
  • CVS
  • Rob Roy Coiffure
  • TCBY Yogurt
  • Taylor Rental Center
  • Optical Shop.
  • Swimming Pool store
  • Photomat
  • Friendly Cleaners & Laundromat
  • Jon Snow?s Shell Station
  • O'Brien's Package Store 1998 - 2004
  • St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Tony Maenzo Barbershop - Still there! It's the last business in the plaza.

What ever happened to the 400 Restaurant?

In 2007 the 400 Restaurant and Bar was re-opened into a quaint, neighborhood Italian-style restaurant. While the exterior still maintained its original charm and character, the inside was redecorated with the North End, trattoria-style design.

The 400 Restaurant closed its doors at the end of December 2013 because the owners, Bob and Amelia, were not able to secure a long-term lease.

Soon after the restaurant closed, Dunkin Donuts took down the building and put up a new Dunkin Donuts.

Dunkin Donuts vs Framingham Franklin LLC

According to local residents, there was a bit of a bad break up when Dunkin Donuts left the plaza. Immediately after they left new fencing was put up around the plaza to prevent Dunkin customers from parking in the nearly empty plaza.

Dunkin Donuts did have a bit of a hurdle opening their new locations, as the planning committee wasn't sure that there was enough parking for the anticipated morning traffic. This was partly due to the limited parking with the new fencing.

According to the aerial view, in 2013 the 400 Club had 21 parking spaces, whereas the new Dunkin Donuts has 17 parking spaces. 400 Club customers would park in the plaza when there were limited parking spaces.

Dunkin Donuts isn?t the first place to move out of the plaza and relocate nearby: O'Brien's Package Store did that back in 2004 and open next door, between the TD Bank and Convenient Store.

What could go in Mt. Wayte Plaza?

Just some thoughts...

How about converting the Jon Snow?s Shell Station to a Stop and Shop gas station or perhaps Cumberland Farms can open a gas station and future store? The could use the facility as a test market for their franchises.

The Plaza isn?t too far from Framingham State University, how about opening the first Amazon.com bookstore on the east coast?

Over the past few years, Micro Breweries seem to be the hot thing in Framingham. How about the newest microbrew restaurant: "A wonderful restaurant near downtown Framingham, Framingham Pale boasts one of the area's premier outdoor dining courtyards. A cross between New England tradition, Boston beer gardens, and a Revolutionary farm house, this truly is a unique destination."

September 14, 2016

Bowditch Field

Bowditch Field 2009

Bowditch field is a 18 acres athletic field in Framingham, Massachusetts. The field is home to the Framingham State University Rams football and baseball programs. The field also hosts football games from Framingham High as well as athletic events from Mass Bay. The complex is owned and operated by the Town of Framingham.

The field is located between Union Ave and Walnut Street in Framingham.

Current Amenities include Lighted NCAA regulation baseball diamond field, (4) Lighted Tennis Courts, Lighted Football, Lighted Outdoor Basketball, xBE Mile Jogging Area, 6-lane Track, Fitness Course with (20) Exercise Stations, Stadium Seating for 3,500 spectators.

Brief History of the Bowditch Field

The field was the town's "Fair Grounds" and had the first fair in 1869.

In 1917 the town of Framingham acquired the property from the South Middlesex Agricultural Society. At the time the land was used for horse racing and yearly agriculture fairs.

The stadium opened in the 1930s and was one of the Works Progress Administration projects during the Great Depression.

In 1946, the town of Framingham named the complex after Nathaniel Bowditch a long time park commissioner. ( It was not named after the mathematician Nathaniel Bowditch, who also wrote The American Practical Navigator.)

In 1959, 25,000 people gathered at Bowditch Field to celebrate Framingham's Jubilee Day. They gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Trust Company and the 100th anniversary of the Holliston's Hydrant Co. No. 3.

The complex last major renovation was in 2009 and a grand reopening was in October 2010. (The original opening was to be on September 15, 2010.) It cost the town $7.9 million. New stadium seats were added as well as a new concession was built.

In addition, a permanent monument was created near the entrance to highlight the history of the field.

Nathaniel I. Bowditch

Some brief information I found on Nathaniel I. Bowditch:

  • Died on April 3, 1945 at 72
  • Middlesex County Commissioner and founder since 1926
  • Trustee of Massachusetts State College (now UMass)
  • MIT Graduate

The Field today

Today most people use the running track as park of their daily exercise. The lights above the field are on every night until 11 pm. There are people that play team basketball until the lights go out.

Every Wednesday night in the summer the Framingham Running Club takes over the facility and conducts several races for kids of all ages. Ribbons are awarded for the first three runners that cross the finish line.

Metrofest has held its annual food truck event. The event features at least 20 food trucks, as well as activities for children, musical performances on two stages, and a tastings tent with craft beer, wine, and hard cider. The event as attracted some 13,500 guests to the Bowditch Athletic & Cultural Complex over the past few years

For one night in August, the town hosts a family movie night. People sit on the field and watch a movie on a large blow up screen. Past movie nights include The Lion King, Frozen and Zootopia.

Framingham High School Graduation and Commencement is held at the Bowditch field.

Parking is very limited with only 50 parking spaces in the immediate Bowditch field complex. The grass area, behind the concession stands, is open up during special events to accomodate more cars. There are some limited parking along Walnut street. Its highly recommend to arrive early for any major event.

Reservations Required

The public is invited to use the track when there are no events happening. The football field is off limits to the general public. If you are planning to have an event here, reservations are required. You can download an event permit from the Town of Framingham Park and Recreation website.

Pets are not allowed in the Bowditch field complex.

September 7, 2016

Framingham MBTA Parking Spaces

New Parking at the Framingham MBTA Commuter Rail Station

The MWRA is in the early stages of building a new parking lot right next to the existing Banana lot in downtown Framingham. There will be an additional 250 parking spaces.

Parking Lot Plans

Once completed, there will be 417 parking spaces available for daily commuters to Boston.

The new lot will allow commuters to park much closer to the station.

Current Status

The MBTA is in the process of cleaning out the 'Y' field area. This was used as a holding area for the rail replacement that has been in process for the past couple of years.

Yellow GateThis Falll commuters will be watching construction of the Parking space.

Framingham Pearl Street Garage

A source at the Framingham Facilities Management has told me that they will not be making any changes to any of their commuter parking lots - including the nearby Pearl Street garage. There are no immediate plans to sell the garage or change parking fees.

The Pearl Street garage will still be the cheapest option for Framingham residences. The MBTA does offer a monthly permit for $70. The Pearl Street garage is only $65 for Framingham residents, non-residents pay $80 a month. However, having the MBTA monthly parking pass doesn't guarantee parking.

Last year the town tried to "gift" the lot to MassBay Community College as an incentive to move to downtown. This didn't work out as the State of Massachusetts didn't approve the necessary funding that MassBay needed to relocate.

There are no assign parking spaces in the garage. You are asked not to park in the basement.

Waverly Street Parking Lot

The Town of Framingham leases the lot across from the Commuter Rail station from the MBTA. This is commonly known as the Waverly Street Commuter Lot. I have learned that there is a waiting list for this lot because of its easier for commuters from Natick or Ashland to get in and out of. At $90 a month, this is a very expense lot, although some people pay $100 or more to park at various businesses near the West Natick Commuter Rail station.

Its uncertain if the new Banana Lot extension will fill up every day since some commuters will have to drive through downtown to get to the lot. Framingham traffic is very busy in the morning.

August 21, 2016

Little Red Wagon Campfire Song

Last week the campers showed visitors to the YMCA camp in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, how to properly sing the 'Little Red Wagon' song.

This is a Repeat After Me song...
You can?t ride in my little red wagon
Front seats broken
And the axle's dragging
CHUG!...CHUG!?CHUG!

SECOND VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST
A WHOLE LOT LOUDER AND A WHOLE LOT WORSE!

August 14, 2016

Framingham MBTA Commuter Rail Parking

Framingham Parking Lot

It?s been a while since I updated on what?s going on for Commuter?s at the Framingham MBTA station:

Framingham commuter rail stop ranks as the 10th most-used station in the entire rail system with 1,400 riders visiting each day.

According to statistics by the MBTA, the Framingham station had the second most typical Boston bound weekday boardings on the Framingham/Worcester line (April 2013 latest data available!)

Worcester 1,475
Grafton 724
Westborough 759
Southborough 1,051
Ashland 691
Framingham 1,299
West Natick 1,121
Natick 1,077
Wellesley Square 804
Wellesley Hills 562
Wellesley Farms 558
Auburndale 325
West Newton 284
Newtonville 293

Commuter Rail Riders
Commuter Rail Riders

Waverly Street Commuter Lot - 65 Spaces

This is a very popular parking lot across the street from the MBTA station. Spaces are sold by permit only - costing $90 a month. New: All spot are full! Currently, there is a waiting list to get a parking spot.

Pearl Street Garage - 289 Spaces

Monthly permit parking, $65 for Framingham residences and $80 for non-residents. New: Monthly renewals are due no later than the Friday, a week prior to the first of each month. Example: renewal for September 2016 will need to be received no later that Friday, August 19, 2016.

Main MBTA Parking lot (Banana Lot) - 118 Spaces

MetroWest Regional Transit Authority(MWRTA) has signed a deal with the MBTA to take over the commuter rail parking lot. Terms of the deal have yet to be finalized but once completed they will take over full ownership of the parking lot. You?ll see new MWRTA bus shelters and expansion increasing the parking are to 200 spaces. Parking in this lot cost $4 a day.

July 3, 2016

Saint Bridget Church Flags

In the entrance room at the Saint Bridget Church in Framingham are three flags in a special built in corner display:

FlagsFramingham.jpg
Click on image for a larger version.

This is the message in the window of the display:

The flag on the right was made by the Sisters of Charity, Burlington, Vermont, 1917. It was presented to Chaplain M.J. O'Connor, 101st U.S. Infantry, and carried through World War I by that regiment. President Wilson lunched with officers of 26th Division at French Hospital in Montigny, Christmas 1918. This flag was draped on the back wall back of the President.

The flag on the left was the camp flag at Framingham when the 26th Division served there before going overseas.

May 21, 2016

New MBTA Framingham/Worcester Schedule

Heart To Hub

Monday is the start of the new MBTA schedule on the Worcester/Framingham line. The biggest change is the new "Heart to Hub" non-stop express from Worcester to Boston. The have been running promotions all over the Boston about how this will be the first time that people will be able to go from Worcester to Boston in about an hour.

The "Heart to Hub" starts at 8:05 each morning and arrives in Yawkey at 8:57. Which is great except that if you caught the 7:30 train from Worcester you would have arrived at Yawkey about 15 mins earlier. I am not sure how many people are going to want to catch the later train just to avoid the extra stops.

The other change is that p508 train (7am Worcester Departure) no longer stops at downtown Natick. The train now goes express from West Natick to Boston. This might be an issue because West Natick doesn't have a lot of available parking spaces. Many local businesses have made limited spots available for commuters. Many of the good locations are on waiting lists.

I updated the MBTA planner on this site. You can now easily tell when the next train is due to leave Framingham. In addition, the quick reference charts have been updated to when the trains depart Framingham station during peak hours.

Red Sox fans will want to catch the 5:40 (p590) or 6:01 (p524) train from Framingham to make it to the game!

May 14, 2016

Jordan’s Furniture Couches

A few weekends ago we said goodbye to a couple of our living room Couches. We have decided to replace some old Couches that we got from Bob's Discount Furniture to some nice ones from Jordan's Furniture. We bought the love seat rocker couch in 2003, and the bigger couch in 2005.

Old Couches

Both of the Couches were in fairly good condition. One problem was that the Sofa couch foot rest handle broke. As a result, this means that we were unable to use the footrest in one of the seats. In the love seat rocker, the plastic between the two seats had small cracks in them. We have two cats, and they didn't do any damage to the Couches. Instead of the donating the Couches, we gave them to a co-worker who was looking for Couches for their basement.

New Couches

The new Couches from Jordan's are very comfortable. They have power footrests, which will make it easy to put up the footrest whenever we need to. In addition, we won't encounter the same issue as the last Couch, the handle probably broke because of the constant use.

The only thing that the new Couch doesn't have is the pull-down table in the center of the sofa. We used this feature a lot to store TV remotes, drinks and assorted books and things. When we were looking at Couches, it seems that the center table isn't a choice anymore. All the manufacturers have removed it, or replaced it with a smaller table that doesn't function well enough to consider.

At some point, we will search for a sofa table as a replacement. This might be challenging because underneath the couch is a metal bar, and it will be difficult to side a table bottom underneath.

Shopping Experience

We had a good shopping experience at Jordan's in Natick. The process was very simple, and they answered all the questions that we had about the new couch. We are disappointed that they are changing out the Mardi Gras theme in the main entrance way. It was a fun area where kids can watch the show and look forward to visiting the store.

One of the things that we should have done is measure the existing Couches before going out shopping. That way we would have known if the new Couches were bigger or smaller than the existing ones.

We ended up getting a Love Seat and a Sofa. We felt got a great deal on them. Later we discovered that they were cheaper than anything similar that Bobs had to offer.

May 7, 2016

Saint Bridget School Auction

Saint Bridget School Logo

The Annual Saint Bridget School Auction is underway and this year there are 90 items are up for Bid!

Some of the notable items:
  • 8th Grade Graduation Front Row Seats
  • Red Sox Pavilion Club Seats
  • Duck Boat Tours
  • A Summer Vacation Week on Cape Cod! Walk to the beach!
  • Two Weeks at Camp Cody in New Hampshire

You may bid on as many items as you want. Bidding ends at 5pm on Friday, May 13, 2016. Once bidding closes, those bidders with the highest bid will be automatically notified via email. You will then be prompted to pay for your item via PayPal. If you would prefer to pay by cash or check please email Jenn Ryan to make arrangements for payment.

All paid items can be picked up at the school during the Murder Mystery Dinner and Auction on May 14th. If you've paid for your item and would prefer for us to send it home in your child's backpack, simply email Jenn Ryan to coordinate. If you are not a Saint Bridget School Family and have won an item, please send Jenn an email and we will make arrangements with you to have your item shipped or picked up.

Check out the Bidding Page!

May 3, 2016

Happy 70th Birthday La Cantina

Every now and again we seek for some good Italian food. This is challenging when you have to eat Gluten-Free as many fine Italian restaurants don?t have much to offer.

La Cantina in Framingham does offer a good selection of Gluten Free foods, include a tasty Gluten Free Pizza that my daughter loves to eat every time we eat in or use their take out. It's a 10? Gluten Free thin Crust pizza, a perfect size for one person. When my daughter orders it, we have some leftover for her to enjoy another time.

La Cantina

My daughter is also into Mac & Cheese. Do you know of a 5-year-old doesn?t want to eat that every day? At La Cantina, a good alternative is the Alfredo Gluten-Free penne. She tells me at its the best Mac & Cheese treat when she eats out. She likes it that she has a choice between yummy Pizza and Mac & Cheese.

Other dishes that can be made Gluten-free include: Chopped Sirloin, Veal Cacciatore, Veal Saltimbocca, Baked Penne Parmigiana, Penne Oil Garlic & Broccoli, Pasta Deyve, Grill Chicken Tenders, Roast half Chicken, Seafood Saute, Risotto con Frutti di Mare,

Today is the 70th birthday of La Cantina. It opened it?s doors back in 1946. Back then, Waverly Street was a busy Italian district with restaurants and grocery stores. They have a special roll back menu for today, unfortunately, they are not offering any gluten free dishes.

Check out the menu that I posted on July 22, 2008. The day after our first visit to La Cantina.

La Cantina is located at 911 Waverly Street in Framingham Massachusetts. You can reach them at (508) 879-7874.