• January 4 2019,  Malden

    Malden Hospital’s time may have arrived

     By Barbara Taormina   Three years ago, 71 percent of the residents who went to the polls for the local election voted in favor of the city acquiring the Malden Hospital site, and although it has taken some time, a plan in now in the works. The nonprofit group Friends of Fellsmere Heights has teamed up with Boston Architectural College to develop a conceptual community-based plan for the 18-acre site that straddles the border of Malden and Medford. Hospital site review committees from both cities hope the plan will help open negotiations with the site’s owners, MelroseWakefield Healthcare, formerly Hallmark Health, and provide the information needed to tap state grants…

  • July 6 2018,  Malden

    Hospital site debate heating up

     By Barbara Taormina   Residents who favor preserving most of the Malden Hospital land for community projects and public open space have been civil and almost cordial during the ongoing debate site, but that may change. Some of the Friends of Fellsmere Heights, and several of the friends of the friends, were unpleasantly surprised that Fellsmere Housing Group, which has proposed a large multifamily development for the hospital site, stepped into the City Council’s first public comment segment last week. Developers lined up out-of-town employees of the hospital owners, MelroseWakefield Healthcare (formerly Hallmark Health) and others who support the project to offer their positive view on the proposed 250-unit condo…

  • June 29 2018,  Malden

    Public comments on hospital fail to sway City Council

     By Barbara Taormina   Malden Hospital was back in the spotlight this week thanks to the City Council’s new public comment segment at the start of each meeting. Several supporters of the Fellsmere Housing Group’s bid to build roughly 250 condos on the hospital site used their two minutes at the podium to ask councillors to revive a proposal to have the Ordinance Committee explore a possible overlay district that would allow clustered multifamily housing on the 18-acre parcel. Two months ago, Councillor-at-Large Craig Spadafora proposed having the Fellsmere Housing Group and the Friends of Fellsmere Heights present their visions for the hospital site and an overlay district to the…

  • June 15 2018,  Malden

    Lantern Walk lights up hope to save Malden Hospital site

    By Joy Pearson and Barbara Taormina Malden’s annual Lantern Walk has crossed the Rubicon from a colorful and cool early summer event to a full-fledged Malden tradition. This year, residents gathered at Fellsmere Pond Park on June 3 to create and decorate handmade lanterns to light up the landscape as they circled the pond while evening set in. The event was launched three years ago by the Friends of Fellsmere Heights, a grassroots group of residents from Malden and Medford, to highlight their efforts to protect the Malden Hospital site from private development and preserve the unique piece of green space for the public. As Peter Conserve, the great, great…

  • Malden,  May 4 2018

    Converse family weighs in on Malden Hospital site debate

    By Barbara Taormina   The great-great-grandson of the city’s first mayor and benefactor extraordinaire, Elisha Converse, was in Malden this week to show support for the proposal to preserve the Malden Hospital site for community projects and open space. Peter Converse made the trip from his home in Jamestown, R.I., for a presentation by the Friends of Fellsmere Heights to the City Council on the group’s 16 +2 proposal, which would preserve 16 acres of the 18-acre site for the public with the remaining land being used for some type of development. The Friends have developed their plan as an alternative to the Fellsmere Housing Group’s proposal to build a…

  • Malden,  May 4 2018

    Residents present a community plan for Malden Hospital site

    By Barbara Taormina   The Friends of Fellsmere Heights were at the City Council meeting this week to present a proposal to redevelop the Malden Hospital site, a plan to help pay for the project and a strategy to get to the next step. Bob Doolittle, vice president of the nonprofit group, outlined the Friends’ proposal to devote 16 acres of the site to open space and community uses, such as athletic fields, gardens and a performance space. The remaining two acres would be reserved for private development, ideally for senior housing. “The great goal of the Friends, an alliance to bring together former adversaries, is to do something wonderful…

  • April 20 2018,  Malden

    City Council takes a new direction in hospital debate

    By Barbara Taormina   The City Council agreed this week to reach out to Hallmark Health with the hope of launching a discussion about the future of the former Malden Hospital site. Ward 3 Councillor John Matheson, who heads up the Malden Hospital Site Redevelopment Ad Hoc Committee, drafted a letter to Hallmark Health and Wellforce, Hallmark’s parent company, asking officials to meet with the council. Councillors want an opportunity to explain the community’s concerns about traffic and density associated with Fellsmere Housing Group’s proposal to build 214 condos, 18 town houses and 18 single-family homes at the former hospital site. Matheson said the ad hoc committee voted to send…

  • April 6 2018,  Malden

    Developers present new plan for old Malden Hospital site

    By Barbara Taormina Malden had a look at the Fellsmere Housing Group’s latest version of a redevelopment plan for the former hospital site during a presentation at this week’s City Council meeting. Developer Tony Green touted the group’s new scaled-down proposal for 250 residential units, which includes 214 condos, 18 townhouses and 18 single-family homes. A handful of councillors and residents responded with questions and comments about traffic, density, the impact of city schools, the desire for open space and the need for housing for local seniors and veterans. After signing a purchase and sales agreement with Hallmark Health, which owns the hospital site, Fellsmere Housing Group proposed a plan…

  • Malden,  March 2 2018

    Malden and Medford join forces to preserve hospital site

    By Barbara Taormina   Malden and Medford are teaming up to develop a plan for the redevelopment of the Malden Hospital site that will benefit both cities. Roughly 100 people turned up at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish center in Medford this week for a joint meeting of both Malden and Medford’s hospital site committees. City Councillors from both communities shared ideas and information with residents about the large condo development the Fellsmere Housing Group has proposed for the site, and about possible alternatives that would preserve much of the 18-acre parcel for the public. “This is the first time the two cities have had committees meet together for…

  • January 26 2018,  Malden

    Developer proposes new plan for hospital site

    By Barbara Taormina   The Fellsmere Housing Group is back with a revised plan to redevelop the former Malden Hospital site. Mayor Gary Christenson sent a letter to the City Council this week asking that Hospital Site Redevelopment Committee to review an updated proposal for a residential development on the 18-acre site. The Fellsmere Groups’s previous plan for a mix of 224 rental units, 72 condominiums and 18 single-family homes has faced opposition from residents concerned about traffic, safety, density, pressure on public services and the idea that the city would see its last major piece of land go to private development rather than public use. Christenson said the new…