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sustaining Economy & Place

A Revitalization Guide for Centennial Business Park Michael Blacketer Ashley Pelletier Jenna Webster Conway School of Landscape Design Winter 2009

City of Peabody Planning & Community Development Peabody, Massachusetts


Sustaining Economy & Place A Revitalization Guide for Centennial Business Park

City of Peabody Planning & Community Development Peabody, Massachusetts Michael Blacketer | Ashley Pelletier | Jenna Webster Conway School of Landscape Design Winter 2009


executive summary


Executive Summary Goal 4: Quality of Life Centennial Business Park provides opportunities for outdoor enjoyment and access to natural features. In preparing a revitalization plan, the design team conducted site analysis and market research, held stakeholder forums, utilized municipal and state mapping data and textual documents, and interviewed relevant experts. A review of the program and assessment of intentions followed the analysis process and led to the development of this document, which contains:

Centennial Business Park is an important aspect of Peabody’s commercial infrastructure, constituting ten percent of the tax base. In order to ensure Centennial’s future vitality and its appeal to current and future occupants, the City of Peabody contracted a student design team from the Conway School of Landscape Design to develop a revitalization plan based upon the following goals.

• the analysis of the site and the region, focusing on access and circulation, stormwater, development patterns, natural resources, employee quality of life, sounds, and views;

Goal 1: Site Identity

• recommendations for sustainable stormwater management practices, trail locations, and new gateway monuments schemes; and

Centennial Business Park offers a unique, appealing, and distinctive image that unites infrastructure, architectural styles, and natural features. Goal 2: Stormwater Centennial Business Park models sustainable stormwater management practices in a corporate landscape. Goal 3: Access & Circulation Centennial Business Park features clear, user-friendly wayfinding, integrating all modes of transportation.

a revitalization vision;

• a design concept with design directives and sample illustrated applications;

• suggestions for further study and a list of resources that serve the revitalization effort. The information contained in this document is for planning purposes only and is not intended for use as a land development plan for permits or construction. Any use of this document must be authorized by the City of Peabody’s Planning and Community Development Department.

executive summary

The City of Peabody is located on Massachusetts’s North Shore, approximately twenty miles north of Boston. First settled in the early seventeenth century, Peabody developed around an industrial economy but began to transition away from its industrial base in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, Peabody’s economy is diverse and includes high-end manufacturing, medical facilities, service businesses, and retail and technical operations. With one of the lowest commercial tax rates in the region, Peabody is regarded as a good place to do business. In order to maintain its economic significance, the City is committed to revitalizing and re-marketing its commercial districts.


contents Section II

Executive Summary Contents

site analysis

executive summary

introduction

Section I

Introduction

1

Context 2-5 Client, Goals, & Vision Stakeholders 8-9

6-7

Purpose of Analysis

13

Existing Conditions

14-15

Land Use

16-19

Stormwater

20-23

Slopes, Soils, & Geology

24-37

Access & Circulation

28-33

Vegetation & Wildlife

34-35

Views Sounds

36-37 38-39

Employee Experience

40-41

Implications of Analysis

42-43


Section IV

Centennial revitalized

Resources & Appendices

Section III

Design Concept

Acknowledgements

47

A Positive First Impression

Integrated Built & Natural Systems A New Approach to Access Flexible Use

Works Cited

48-49 50-51

Conclusion

54-55

59

63 68-79

A. Phragmites Mitigation 64-66 B. Gateway Design Schemes 67

52-53

Centennial Business Park Association

Appendices

62

56-58

C. Case Studies

68-69

D. Employee Questionnaire E. Employee Opinions F. Online Resources

72-77

78-79

70-71


Section I

Introduction


Introduction


introduction

Peabody boasts one of the lowest commercial property tax rates in the greater Boston region ($18.03 per thousand square feet) and is also the only community in the North Shore with a tax base reliant more on commercial and industrial properties than residential ones (Peabody Master Plan, II-3). One of the biggest contributors is Centennial Business Park, contributing ten percent of the City’s overall taxes.While Peabody’s North Shore Mall contributes more, municipal officials regard Centennial as essential to attracting and retaining large, stable corporations.

In order to preserve its economic significance in the region, Peabody has begun revitalizing its commercial districts to retain existing businesses and appeal to new ones. This has already been achieved at the North Shore Mall, along the Route 114 corridor, and, to a lesser extent, in the downtown. In 2008, the real estate developer Combined Properties approached the City of Peabody regarding the need to revitalize, rebrand, and remarket Centennial Business Park, which the City, with involvement from Combined Properties, had initially developed in the early 1980s.

Introduction

Throughout its history, the City of Peabody has served as an economic hub for Massachusetts’s North Shore. As early as the 1660s, leather production defined Peabody’s economy. This persisted well into the twentieth century. In the 1950s and 1960s, however, with the decline of the leather industry, Peabody began to reorient its economy to one that revolved more around ideas and services. The effort was largely successful. Today, a broad range of businesses, corporations, and high-tech industries fill the City’s shopping centers, business parks, and downtown areas, and Peabody is known as a regional economic and employment hub.

The renewal of Centennial Business Park reflects a nationwide trend of adapting aging suburban commercial development to accommodate changing social and economic conditions. Development practices that implement more energy efficient construction and building maintenance practices are also becoming more common, especially with implementation of national standards such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) rating system and the Energy Star label, extended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to include interior air quality in commercial and industrial buildings.

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context

Introduction

Water critically shaped much of Peabody’s economic growth. Streams that first attracted European settlers also brought industry, particularly tanneries, which require large amounts of water for processing. By 1915, over eight thousand men and women worked in the City’s one hundred tanneries and related industries, earning Peabody the reputation as the “Leather Capital of the World.” Tanneries remained central to Peabody’s economy until the mid-twentieth century, when the leather manufacturers and their associated industries began to relocate to the southern United States and abroad in search of cheaper labor. To bolster Peabody’s economy, the City’s Community Development Authority developed and marketed farmland and former industrial

properties to accommodate retail and high-end manufacturing as well as technology and service industries. Although downtown Peabody lies on the eastern edge of the City near the confluence of several brooks that form the North River, new commercial and industrial areas were situated in central Peabody in close proximity to existing highways as well as new expressways then under construction, including Route 128, a beltway around Boston. Built in 1950 and modeled after the nearby Interstate 95, Route 128 became known as “America’s Technology Highway” because of the many high-tech companies that arose along its path. The 108-acre North Shore Shopping Center (now the North Shore

Boston

Essex County, Massachusetts Peabody is located in Essex County north of Boston.

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17th Century Peabody, first known as Brooksby, developed near waterways and the port city of Salem.


Coinciding with changes in its economic base, Peabody, like most of America in the post- World War II period, began to suburbanize. With the rise of automobile transport, the implementation of the interstate highway system, and the need for housing for a growing population, suburban-style single-family residential subdivisions developed in what

had for generations been farmland in west Peabody. The population doubled from 1950 to 1970. Since then Peabody has remained relatively stable at around fifty thousand people, and due to near build-out conditions, this number is not expected to increase significantly. Remaining buildable land and former industrial properties in Peabody continue to be developed for commercial purposes. According to Peabody’s Master Plan, there is “significant potential” for industrial growth in the Golden Triangle, six hundred acres zoned as a Designated Development District just north of Centennial and Route 128 (I-6). As part of the revitalization of the City’s commercial areas, Peabody’s 2005 Downtown Action Plan outlined physical improvements to Peabody Square, which experienced decline with the growth of auto-oriented

18th & 19th Centuries

20th Century

The tanning industry developed along downtown Peabody waterways.

Successful economic development strategies resulted in the development of Centennial Business Park.

Introduction

Mall) opened in 1958, and commercial strips featuring restaurants, national chain bookstores, big-box retailers, auto dealers, and smaller storefront businesses developed along the Route 114 and Route 1 corridors. In the late 1960s, plans began for the three-hundred-acre Centennial Industrial Park, as it was first known. Meanwhile, other communities along the Route 128 corridor started to develop similar commercial districts (fig. I).

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Introduction

commercial districts elsewhere in the City. An associated mixed-use rezoning initiative failed, however, and the downtown continues to have a somewhat depressed character, lacking restaurants, cafÊs, cultural amenities, and small-specialized shops that typically characterize thriving, walkable downtowns. Smaller lot size, constrained accessibility, flood potential, and contaminated soils on old industrial properties make redevelopment of this area a challenge. MetroFuture, a twenty-five-year plan for regional development being prepared by the Boston-based Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC), positions Peabody as regional economic hub well into the future. In outlining goals for that future, MAPC encourages Peabody to adhere to the principles of smart growth, which concentrates development where infrastructure and services already exist. MetroFuture also recommends that a transit corridor be developed through Peabody as part of a long-term investment in multimodal systems capable of supporting growth and allowing people to circulate easily without the negative aspects associated with increased automobile traffic. It is Peabody’s hope that Centennial Business Park will help it continue to

Image adapted from Retrofitting Suburbia

Fig. 1: Route 128 Centennial Business Park is one of many business and industrial parks along the Route 128 corridor in metropolitan Boston, a region that, from 1960 to 1980, experienced rapid growth in high-technology industry. Centennial Business Park Route 128

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Business & Industrial Parks Boston


History of Centennial Business Park Centennial Business Park was developed in response to economic development plans set forth Peabody’s Community Development Department in the 1960s. The approximately three hundred-acre site was strategically situated with convenient access to Route 128. Prior to development, the land consisted of former sheep pastures, wetlands, and upland secondary growth on boulder fields. Building commenced in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and a number of smaller industrial parks, including the Summit Street Industrial Center and the Peabody Industrial Center, also developed nearby.

and infrastructure capable of attracting multinational corporations; large glacial erratics (some of which weighed several hundred tons) were reorganized to create a flat plateau able to accommodate large buildings and parking lots. Perhaps most significantly a section of Route 128 was moved to accommodate Centennial. The Massachusetts Highway Department also added an exit to serve Centennial.

Introduction

be the regional economic force envisioned by MetroFuture. As the City revitalizes its most important commercial areas, the challenge will be to determine how, among other things, to incorporate the smart growth and transit systems recommended by MetroFuture.

The Analogic Corporation and Combined Properties, a realty and development firm, were among the first to occupy Centennial, and large parcels were still being developed as recently as several years ago. Today, Centennial’s seventy buildings cater to a diverse range of large corporations and small service-oriented businesses. A number of the corporations are involved in high tech manufacturing whose products include precision-machined parts, high fidelity acoustic speakers, and computerized medical instruments.

In creating Centennial,the City of Peabody secured federal and state funds to help implement the necessary infrastructure improvements. Sizeable portions of ledge were blasted and removed to construct buildings

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Client, Goals, & Vision

Introduction

Peabody’s Planning and Community Development Department is responsible for guiding the growth of the City by providing processes and conditions for orderly development and stable public investment. The department has overseen revitalization planning for the North Shore Mall, the Route 114 corridor, and the City’s downtown. As the originator of this project, the Planning and Community Development Department identified four goals, all of which involve improving existing conditions in Centennial in order to ensure that it remains competitive and successful well into the twenty-first century. Achieving the goals requires a long-term vision that inspires and guides implementation.

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Goal 1: Site Identity

Goal 3: Access & Circulation

Centennial Business Park offers a unique, appealing, and distinctive image uniting infrastructure, architectural styles, and natural features.

Centennial Business Park features clear, user-friendly, and integrated wayfinding for all modes of transportation.

Centennial currently lacks elements that readily communicate purpose and site identity. Gateways are outdated and misleading, and buildings within the defined project area exhibit a range of architectural styles. Opportunities exist to highlight Centennial’s notable natural features, including wetlands and large granite boulders.

Much of Centennial’s identity and its success can be attributed to the Park’s accessibility via major expressways. Access and circulation within Centennial is more problematic due to traffic volumes; unclear, inconsistent, or non-existent wayfinding systems; and a lack of accommodation for convenient multimodal transport.

Goal 2: Stormwater

Goal 4: Quality of Life

Centennial Business Park models sustainable stormwater management practices in a corporate landscape.

Centennial Business Park provides opportunities for outdoor enjoyment and access to natural features.

Peabody is known regionally for its chronic flooding problems. During the past twelve years alone, five major floods have swamped the City, bringing up to four feet of water to the downtown. The Federal Emergency Management Association classifies neighborhoods immediately south of Centennial as special flood hazard zones. Given the City’s flooding problems, stormwater management practices within Centennial could be improved so that the Park does not contribute to flooding.

Twenty-five percent of business parks within the North Shore region are currently vacant, and those parks that are occupied offer amenities and services enhancing the quality of life for employees (Regazzani). If Centennial is to continue to attract stable, flourishing businesses, it needs to distinguish itself from regional competition and be a highly desirable place to work and do business.


Introduction

Vision Centennial Business Park capitalizes on its greatest strengths and is an inspiring place to work and do business. It is easy to access and navigate and is convenient to neighboring businesses, natural resources, and recreation areas. Its pedestrian networks and bikeways are integrated safely into vehicular traffic. It models sustainable stormwater management practices and progressive parking solutions, demonstrates flexible zoning, and communicates a rich sense of place, history, and quality of life.

7


Introduction

stakeholders Combined Properties: The full-service real estate investment and development firm holds an enormous stake in Centennial’s revitalization. Combined Properties has owned and leased four large buildings on more than thirty-six acres in Centennial Business Park since the early 1980s and stands to profit from new tenants and the continuation of Centennial as a positive place to do business. As a way of advertising Centennial and its properties available for lease, Combined Properties developed the web site www.peabodyworks.com.

Users of Centennial Business Park: Over four thousand employees come to work in Centennial each day. Centennial is also frequented by undocumented numbers of commercial truck drivers, business customers and clients, conference attendees, medical patients, and hotel guests. With the opening of a Boston Children’s Hospital outpatient branch in 2011, an additional 1,500 to 1,800 patients and their families will visit Centennial each day (Dumont). Improved wayfinding and enhanced site amenities will help create positive experience of place.

Corporations, Businesses, & Non-profits: National and regional corporations, outpatient medical facilities, and small service-oriented businesses that own or lease buildings or properties within Centennial have similarly vested interests in Centennial’s evolution. “Centennial Park was the ideal North Shore location to establish our North American headquarters,” stated Dr. Nicholas P. Economou, Carl Zeiss SMT’s President and CEO. “The property has the aesthetics, infrastructure and strategic location we were looking for” (Combined Properties). A number of these businesses are members of the Business Roundtable, a group of executives who meets periodically with the Planning and Community Development Department.

Residents of Peabody: Residential neighborhoods abut Centennial Business Park to the south, east, and west. Reduced stormwater runoff from Centennial will improve the quality of life for abutters as well as for all Peabody residents, who may see increased property values and diminished flood insurance costs. Public services also depend upon Centennial’s contribution to the municipal tax base.

Property Owners: The City of Peabody, numerous realty companies, the Peabody Essex Museum, and at least ten of Centennial’s businesses own parcels within the defined project area. Property owners stand to benefit from the Park’s enhanced identity, which could improve property values.

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Natural Environment: The natural environment within and beyond Centennial remains a silent stakeholder. Greater recognition and appreciation of the natural environment may lead to management practices that improve the integrity and overall health of wetlands, plant communities, and wildlife habitat within and around Centennial.


Community Members Peabody

Introduction

Abutters Municipal Government

Natural Environment

Centennial Business Park

Businesses

Employees

Planning & Community Development

Business Roundtable

Combined Properties

Fig. 2: Stakeholders The revitalization of Centennial Business Park affects a diverse range of entities with varying agendas and levels of interest.

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Section II

Site Analysis


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site analysis


Purpose of Analysis The purpose of site analysis is to gather and assess information regarding existing site conditions. Site analyses are combined and reviewed collectively in order to evaluate the opportunities and limitations of the site and the feasibility of the project goals. The findings of the analyses then determine design and planning implications and contribute to the evolution of the final design.

Site Analysis

GIS data collected by the City of Peabody and the Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs served as the basis for many of the analyses. Reports, spreadsheets, and maps produced by local and regional planning agencies, results of an employee questionnaire, and personal communication with municipal officials, scientists, regulatory experts, residents of Peabody, and property and facility managers in Centennial Business Park also informed analyses. In the eight analyses that follow, the full discussion of the findings is preceded by an analysis summary and followed by a list of design and planning implications. Instances in which the analysis reveals the need for more detailed study are as noted.

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existing conditions The 488-acre Centennial Business Park, as defined for this project, is characterized by a varied built environment and a diverse array of businesses.

site analysis

Project Area: The project area consists of over fifty parcels that were not originally developed as a single entity. Approximately three hundred acres along Centennial Drive, Technology Drive, Jubilee Drive, and Corporation Way were developed in the late 1970s as Centennial Industrial Park, as it was first known. Lots in the southwest portion of the project area were developed as the Peabody Industrial Center while the large parcel at the southeast corner was developed as the Summit Street Industrial Park. Roads and the unused rail line constitute approximately twenty-four acres of the project area. Parcels: The fifty-six parcels in the project area vary in size, from less than a quarter of an acre to sixty-seven acres, with most parcels averaging three to ten acres. All parcels are zoned as Industrial Park (IP) with the exception of seven parcels along Jubilee Drive that are zoned as Designated Development District (DDD). Buildings: Centennial’s over seventy buildings provide 2.5 million square feet of office and manufacturing space. Most buildings are steel-frame construction with brick, glass, or stone exteriors. Structures containing manufacturing and distribution enterprises tend to be largely windowless while office and research and development-oriented facilities are multistoried with windows. Buildings are often retrofitted or torn down to accommodate the needs of new tenants. Many of the buildings in the original Centennial Business Park portion have shower facilities for employees, and at least three buildings have cafeterias. No buildings offer exercise facilities.

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Occupants: Centennial Business Park is home to ninety-six small and large businesses and corporations, including high-tech manufacturing companies, an environmental engineering office, a food distribution service, legal firms, insurance companies, outpatient medical facilities, a car dealership, two small eateries, an extended stay hotel, and a Marriott with a restaurant, bar, pool, and conference facilities. Some of the businesses have been in Centennial Business Park for over twentyfive years. Retail & Service Amenities: Centennial’s retail and service amenities, located near the western end of Centennial Drive, include a childcare facility, a florist, and two small eateries serving breakfast and lunch. Utilities: Electric lines are predominantly buried, with a few exceptions. The City of Peabody provides water and sewer. A water tower is situated north of Centennial Drive. Historic Features: Little to no recognition exists for Centennial’s historic features. Ship Rock, a large glacial erratic weighing over 2,200 tons, sits perched on the edge of a high boulder field in a parcel owned by the Peabody Essex Museum. Once a local picnic spot and panoramic viewing area, this impressive rock is currently inaccessible. In Centennial’s northeast corner, the hill at 10 Centennial Drive, once known as Page’s Hill, served as a popular downhill skiing and toboggan facility in the 1950s and 1960s; little evidence of it remains. Marsh’s Tomb (1844), located on Centennial Drive near Summit Street, is the only feature with a historic marker.


Route 128

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Summit Street

Technology Drive

Site Analysis

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City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

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Map I: Existing Conditions The 488-acre Centennial Business Park sits immediately south of Route 128. The built environment is a dominant aspect of Centennial’s landscape.

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Legend Project Area

Railroad

Parcel Lines

Extant Road Beds Buildings

Roads

Parking Lots

Potential Vernal Pools

Streams

Prominent Ledges & Glacial Erratics Wetlands

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land use Developed Areas As part of an economic strategy begun in the 1960s, the City of Peabody developed two industrial parks: Peabody Industrial Park and Centennial Industrial Park. Today these two parks are generally considered together, forming what is now known as Centennial Business Park. Lot sizes range from just over an acre to sixty-seven acres at the largest. Buildings resemble those in other suburban office parks, although there is no mandated style. Lawns, ornamental vegetation, and large parking lots that

site analysis

Municipal zoning and other legal restrictions define how land is used in Centennial Business Park. Large buildings and parking lots are surrounded by ornamental vegetation regulated by the City’s zoning ordinance. The remaining open spaces that cannot be developed due to municipal, state, and federal restrictions are fragmented. The result, despite intentions, can be an uneven landscape, with distinct divisions between parcels, built areas, open space, and surrounding residential neighborhoods.

Map II: Land Use Land in Centennial Business Park is used for commercial and industrial purposes. Natural vegetation covers land that is undevelopable due to topography and legal restrictions.

Legend Project Area Vegetative Cover Commercial Industrial

City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

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surround buildings are regulated by the City’s Zoning Ordinance. As businesses expand or move, buildings are replaced and enlarged, further affecting land use. Zoning Districts & Requirements

Design and development requirements mandate the number of parking spaces, the nature of site improvements, and building sizes and styles. Guidelines assist developers in achieving coordinated signs, lighting, architecture, and landscape appearance. While the requirements and guidelines direct growth, they can limit design flexibility and do not encourage development density or infrastructure concentration. They may also lead to excessive parking lot size. Aerial photographs taken from the 1990s to the present suggest that many of the parking stalls in Centennial remain unused. IP parking requirements call for two to four parking spaces per one thousand gross square feet of floor area. Centennial’s two hotels need a minimum of one parking space for each unit plus one space per five employees. Warehouses must supply a minimum of two spaces per one thousand gross square feet of building area allocated for office use as well as

DDD parking requirements differ by use per one thousand gross square feet of floor area or, in the case of restaurants, hotels, and training and educational facilities, by such factors as seating capacity and the number of students and rooms. Commercial retail and wholesale businesses require the most spaces (5.0 per one thousand gross square feet) while light manufacturing and warehouses require the least (2.0).

Site Analysis

The majority of Centennial is zoned as Industrial Park (IP). As the Park approaches build-out, the City of Peabody looks to parcels north and west of Jubilee Drive for future development in an area zoned as Designated Development District (DDD) (map III). Created to encourage concentrated, compatible mixed uses in a campus-like setting, DDD stipulates regulations and design guidelines for the construction and maintenance of properties that accommodate such uses as offices, light manufacturing, and research and development, as well as hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, and recreational facilities.

one space per every one person employed. Based upon municipal regulations, the Community Development Authority determines parking for special uses (such as health and recreational facilities and training and conference centers). Throughout, an Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible space must exist for every twenty-five stalls.

IP’s minimum lot size is 1.14 acres, with minimum setbacks of fifty feet (front), forty feet (side), and thirty feet (rear). A minimum DDD lot size is two acres, and the maximum DDD building height is seventy-two feet or six stories, with minimum setbacks of fifty feet (front) and thirty feet from other property lines. IP areas abutting residential properties must have a 150-foot buffer with screening vegetation or fences while areas zoned as DDD must have a two hundred foot minimum buffer. Undeveloped Areas With the exception of approximately fifteen forested acres north of Centennial Drive near Analogic Corporation, the majority of the land in Centennial not devoted to buildings or parking lots consists of streams, steep slopes, and natural and constructed wetlands. How this open land is used and managed has critical implications for quality of life, water and air purity, and flooding within and around Centennial Business Park and Peabody itself.

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site analysis

City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

Map III: Zoning Districts

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Centennial Business Park is predominantly zoned as IP, with the exception of the northwest corner, which is zoned as DDD.

Legend Project Area IP: Industrial Park Residential Districts

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DDD: Designated Development District

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Open space that is not developable due to wetland regulations, the Rivers Protection Act, and ordinances protecting steep slopes are generally fragmented, although possibilities for connections exist. Much of this land features native plant communities and shows evidence of wildlife use. These open spaces are largely privately owned, and some are under conservation easement with the City of Peabody’s Conservation Commission.

Establishing these open space connections will require careful planning and negotiation between private and public entities. Most of the remaining undeveloped, unprotected lands in Peabody are owned either by the City, utility companies, or large corporations and are zoned for commercial, industrial, or residential development. Given the limited number of owners, numerous opportunities exist for creative public-private partnerships that can accommodate some development while preserving open space and quality of life for all. The centrally located Centennial Business Park could play a key role in initiating this effort and facilitating access between open space areas for both people and wildlife.

Site Analysis

As in Centennial, little undeveloped land remains in Peabody, and the City’s 2006 Recreation and Open Space Plan identified the importance of preserving this land in order to protect municipal water supplies, reduce flooding and pond eutrophication, prevent soil erosion, and link existing open lands and water bodies. The Recreation and Open Space Plan also prioritizes protecting open spaces and establishing a network of parks and trails emerged. Centennial Business Park, by being located near the center of the Peabody, abuts or has the potential through

access corridors to connect much of this remaining open space and is thereby situated to help execute initiatives set forth in the Recreation and Open Space Plan.

Planning & Design Implications • Review parking standards. • Consider development regulations that preserve public access to trails and open space. • Modify IP regulations to reflect the more progressive DDD regulations. • Prepare open space preservation projects for implementation when conditions are optimal. • Initiate public and private partnerships to achieve project goals as well as goals outlined in Peabody’s Recreation and Open Space Plan. 19


stormwater In light of flooding and water quality problems in the North Shore, stormwater runoff from Centennial’s nearly 240 acres of impervious surfaces need to be examined within a larger context. Centennial’s aging stormwater facilities also warrant careful review given preliminary analysis that suggests possible malfunction. Implementing vegetative, localized measures modeled on natural systems may provide ways of modifying these systems such that Centennial’s stormwater is reduced and processed effectively on-site.

site analysis

Peabody was once known as “Brooksby” in reference to the many streams that fed the North River in the City’s eastern half and the Ipswich River in the western half. Centennial Business Park lies within the North River drainage basin, the largest urban watershed emptying into Salem Sound. Through increased development, many of the North River’s tributaries have been confined to channels or sent underground, thereby altering the region’s hydrology. Today, Peabody lacks the benefit of natural control systems and so suffers significant flooding during larger-than-average rain events. Indeed, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) classifies Peabody’s entire downtown as well as residential areas immediately south of Centennial as special flood hazard areas. Sealing land surfaces with pavement and buildings also alters hydrologic balance by denying rainwater the opportunity to infiltrate into the soil, recharging groundwater supplies and allowing for subsurface flow (Ferguson, 24). Approximately half of Centennial’s surfaces are paved and impervious to rainwater; of the 488 acres within the study area, nearly 240 acres are devoted to parking, rooftops, streets, and sidewalks. Subsurface drains carry runoff from these surfaces to streams, wetlands, and stormwater ponds, which eventually discharge to Goldthwaite Brook, running along Centennial’s southern border. In a year of average rainfall, Centennial diverts enough stormwater from these impervious

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City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

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Map IV: Drainage Systems Streams, ponds, and wetlands are plentiful in Peabody. The stream running along Centennial’s southern border drains to the east and eventually into Salem Sound.

Legend Project Area

Water Bodies

Peabody Boundary


Site Analysis

City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

Map V: Stormwater Stormwater runoff from Centennial's roofs and parking lots drains into the Goldthwaite Brook on the Park’s southern border and then flows east through downtown Peabody. Evidence suggests that Centennial's existing wetlands and stormwater retention/ detention ponds are inadequate to prevent flooding in extreme storm events.

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Legend Project Area

Wetlands

Flood Zones

Streams

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areas to overfill the Empire State Building; provide for the water needs of 2,400 average American households; or refill Centennial’s water tower nearly 170 times.Water, once a valuable resource for Peabody, has become an expensive liability since any overloading of Centennial’s stormwater systems can contribute to the flooding of downstream neighbors.

site analysis

Although Centennial Business Park does not have flooding problems itself, it has been suggested by both residents and municipal officials that as many as five of Centennial’s engineered stormwater retention/detention facilities are not functioning properly (figs. 3-5). Possible reasons include collapsed inlet or outlet pipes; pond substrate that drains too quickly and does not slow stormwater; and overloading of stormwater systems in times of above-average rainfall. In light of such infrastructural problems, Centennial’s impervious surfaces are in a position to contribute further to Peabody’s

flooding problems. In addition, if Centennial is to attract new businesses and retain a positive reputation, properly functioning stormwater systems that are environmentally and economically sustainable are essential. Stormwater runoff in developed environments like Centennial is typically laden with contaminants including sediment, heavy metals, petroleumbased hydrocarbons, nutrients, pesticides, chlorides, bacteria, and oxygendemanding organic matter. Of particular concern is the degraded quality of runoff that drains directly to waterways, where contaminants increase toxicity, bacterial contamination, and excessive nutrient loads accelerating algal growth or eutrophication, a major problem in many of Peabody’s ponds.

Map VI: Impervious Surface Half of the land in Centennial Business Park is impervious due to the many large buildings and parking lots. Stormwater runoff volumes are significant during extreme rain events.

Legend Project Area Impervious Surface Pervious Surface

City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

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Figs. 3-5: Centennial Drive Culverts

Lateral view of previous culvert shows dual outlets, both of which appear unrestricted and free-flowing, but possibly undermined from severe storm events. The culverts should be investigated in order to prevent negative effects to the structural integrity of the road crossing above.

Detention pond-to-stream outfall has been blown out due to high flow and a possibly failed culvert. Note the water flowing from over the top the pipe, suggesting a collapsed pipe, or simply flowing around the pipe for its entire length, which can lead to future hydraulic stress and complete failure of the restriction mechanism.

Site Analysis

Slightly perched culvert allows outfall from a retention/ detention pond near the Route 128 gateway to Centennial. Undercutting behind the spillway suggests possible undermining and future failure of the structure.

Planning & Design Implications • Evaluate existing stormwater management systems for malfunction. • Reduce, retain, and infiltrate stormwater runoff on-site in accordance with current and evolving best management practices. • Consider ways in which stormwater systems could serve as landscape amenities and be a resource for irrigation and grey water use.

23


SLOPES, SOILS, & GEOLOGY Centennial’s topography, soils, and geologic characteristics constitute defining features, influencing hydrologic processes, plant communities, and even views.

Summit Street, the lowest point in the project area. South of Centennial Drive, a relatively continuous line of steep slopes runs from east to west. At this steep margin, the plateau drops off sharply to the more industrial area of Centennial and then to residential neighborhoods to the south. As discussed later in the views analysis, panoramic vistas are possible at the plateau’s edge (fig. 6).

Centennial Business Park sits poised on the edge of a rocky granite plateau in central Peabody. A hill with a municipal water tower serves as Centennial’s highest point, and from there the terrain generally descends to the south, east, and west, dropping over one-hundred feet in elevation to the wetlands around Christian Book Distributors, east of

site analysis

Higher elevations within Centennial are characterized by shallow depth to bedrock and a mantle of glacial till soil that is gravely to extremely

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A plateau with a dramatic vertical transition divides Centennial roughly into two sections. The shift in land use to the residential neighborhood to the south is stark.

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Fig. 6: Elevation Section (A-A')

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Site Analysis

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City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

Map VII: Topography Terrain descends from north to south in Centennial Business Park and influences drainage as well as views, vegetation, and the Park's character.

Legend Water Tower

Buildings

Project Area

Wetlands

Railroad Roads

Streams Ponds

Topography, Contour =10 ft.

N

25


bouldery. Granite outcroppings and the presence of large glacial erratics testify readily to the site’s glacial history. At lower elevations, surficial geology consists of swamp and coarse glacial stratified deposits with areas of artificial fill. Soil depths are generally thinner on steep slopes and more erodible. Soil is likely compacted around buildings and parking lots due to construction activity, making it difficult for ornamental vegetation to become established and thrive without appropriate, condition-specific mitigation measures.

Precipitation infiltrates readily into Centennial’s rocky, shallow soils, but because much of the soil is so well draining, water-holding capacity is limited. Centennial’s varying soil characteristics—from muck in wetland areas to sandy loams on steeper slopes—also affect the location and composition of naturalized plant communities in Centennial. The presence of blueberries and other plants within the ericaceous family suggests non-amended soils are acidic.

site analysis

Map VIII: Soils & Geology Higher elevations within Centennial are characterized by shallow bedrock and a mantle of thin till soil over bedrock outcrops. At lower elevations, surficial geology is characterized by swamp and coarse glacial stratified deposits with areas of infill.

Legend Project Area Artificial Fill Bedrock Outcrop Shallow Bedrock Coarse Glacial Stratified Deposits Postglacial Swamp Deposits

City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

26

N


Site Analysis

Planning & Design Implications • Avoid disturbance of steep slopes. • Capitalize upon the distinctiveness of Centennial's topography and glacial erratics to organize and enhance site identity. • Use boulders and glacial erratics for stonework on site, where appropriate. • Evaluate the degree of soil compaction and need for amendments when establishing vegetation in built areas. • In non-fill areas, utilize native plants tolerant of acidic soil conditions.

27


Access & Circulation Unclear wayfinding, inadequate sign legibility, ambiguous traffic patterns, and vegetative growth make vehicular circulation confusing and dangerous in Centennial. Interrupted and unmaintained sidewalks, inconvenient public transportation, and the lack of crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signs complicate pedestrian circulation and access. Meanwhile, commuter traffic volumes and the presence of commercial trucks affect quality of life for users of Centennial Business Park and its neighbors.

Address Signs

Wayfinding

Analysis revealed four problems involving the safety of vehicle access and circulation and three problems associated with traffic and quality of life.

site analysis

Centennial’s main entrance is confusing and misleading.Vehicles merging onto Centennial Drive from Route 128 and Forest Street to the north encounter a guide sign that, while it directs traffic left or right, fails to indicate what addresses are in these directions. The location and orientation of the gateway monument also suggest that Centennial’s businesses lie solely to the west when in fact businesses are also to be found to the east. The Lynnfield Street entrance, intended primarily for local use, features two conflicting and out-of-date signs. The “Peabody Industrial Center” monument lists businesses that no longer exist. “Centennial Park at Peabody” is hand-painted on a plywood sign nearby. Both are misleading and do not appropriately reflect Centennial’s character or the businesses within Centennial. Jubilee Drive, in Centennial’s northwest corner, lacks a gateway sign. This area, located within the Designated Development District and part of truck route to Route 128, could experience greater traffic with future development of the large tract of land to the west known as the Golden Triangle.

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Address signs, when they do exist, are inconsistent or difficult to read from a vehicle. In addition, many businesses post their own signs that, while in accordance with municipal regulations, do not contribute to a unified look and feel for Centennial. Vehicular Access & Circulation

Confusing & Unsafe Northeast Gateway: Access to Centennial Drive from the Route 128 exit ramps and Forest Street to the north is confusing and often dangerous due to attention-dividing conditions. Traffic speeds can be high, lane markers are faint, and guide signs at critical locations are confusing and hard to read from the distances necessary to accommodate safe driving maneuvers. Drivers unfamiliar with how to access Centennial Drive can find this area stressful and dangerous, an impression that does not contribute to a positive identity for Centennial. In addition, traffic volumes during commuting hours often exceed capacity, such that lines of slowly moving cars block intersections, leading to further congestion and increased potential for accidents. Problematic Driving Conditions near 10 Centennial: During commuting hours, the area near 10 Centennial (the most common accident location in Centennial) is difficult to navigate.Traffic speeds and volumes are high, and it is unclear whether there are one or two lanes of traffic. Visibility in the turning area to 10 Centennial to the north and 17-27 Centennial Square on the south can be limited due to lines of cars waiting in traffic. In January 2011, with the opening of the Boston Children’s Hospital


outpatient facility, an additional 1,500-1,800 cars will pass through this turning area (Dumont). Further analysis of lane drop tapers and guide signs is required in order to improve circulation here and to ensure that it does not become a more significant problem.

2005

2006

Site Analysis

Car Accidents at Intersections: According to police data from 2005 to 2007, 145 car accidents occurred at or near intersections along Centennial Drive (maps IX-XI). All of these accidents involved multiple cars; information about the cause or type of collision (angle, rear-end, or sideswipe) does not exist. None of the accidents included pedestrians. Sixty accidents (forty-one percent of the total accidents) could not be mapped due to a lack of geographic coordinates; thirty-four of these accidents occurred at or around the intersections of Centennial Drive, Forest Street, and the Route 128 exit ramps. Vegetation Obstructs Sight Lines: An approximately three-hundredfoot by thirty-foot stand of Phragmites australis reeds at a sharp bend in Centennial Drive obstructs driver sightlines. According to conversations with municipal officials, drivers attempt to negotiate the curve at unsafe speeds, and the reed’s height exacerbates an already dangerous curve. Black-on-yellow warning signs notify westbound traffic of the upcoming curve, but there is no warning sign for eastbound traffic. Guardrails are in place for the extent of the southern side of the curve and by the stream on the north side of the curve.

2007

0

N

Maps IX-XI: Accidents

0.1

0.2

0.3

Car accidents occur at intersections in the same locations each year. Most accidents take place in Centennial’s northeast corner, near where the new Boston Children’s Hospital outpatient facility will be located.

Legend Project Area

Roads

Accident Locations

0.4 Miles

City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

CommercialTraffic Presence: Centennial’s location near the convergence of Interstate 95 and Route 128 makes it attractive to layovers by tractortrailer trucks, some of which may not have official business within Centennial. Businesses as well as residents in abutting neighborhoods complain that, despite regulatory signs, truckers park and idle illegally overnight and stop illegally along roadways during the day. (Although a truck stop is less than one mile away, the stop charges admission and is not open twenty fours; the nearest twenty-four hour stop is over

29


thirty miles away.) Truckers have also been accused of obstructing signs, using residential streets rather than marked truck routes, and dumping trash and latrine contents along roadways and in streams, wetlands, and stormwater ponds (Anonymous). Trash associated with commercial trucks is especially evident in the vegetation by the truck turnaround and in the wooded area north of the Summit Street Industrial Center. Data for how many commercial trucks access Centennial daily is unavailable, although a recent inventory on a weekday morning revealed that one commercial truck enters Centennial Drive approximately every minute.

site analysis

Traffic Congestion: Current land use in Peabody and the region mandates automobile and truck transport, resulting in traffic congestion in and around Centennial. A 2005 study by Boston’s Metropolitan Planning Organization characterized the section of Route 128 near Centennial Business Park at 150 percent over capacity (Massachusetts Major Highways 2005 Daily Traffic Volume). Data for traffic volumes on roadways in Centennial is outdated, but according to the parameters of a 1998 study, 22,000 single occupancy vehicles use Centennial Drive daily, garnering the road a score of “F” (on a scale from A-F) for safety and convenience during commuting hours. In that same study, the twolane, two-way Summit Street averaged 22,600 vehicles per day south of Centennial Drive and received scores of “E” and “F” for safety and convenience during peak hours (Peabody Master Plan, IV-6)

30

Traffic Volumes Affect Air Quality: More than one hundred thousand vehicles use Route 128 and its intersections each day. People living, working, or attending school within one hundred yards of such roadways are more likely to suffer from cardiac or pulmonary disease (Heavy Traffic Affects Air Quality and Health map). Poor air quality levels will need to be considered when sighting trails and outdoor recreation spaces in Centennial, particularly in areas that might be used by children visiting the Boston Children’s Hospital outpatient facility at 10 Centennial Drive, which abuts Route 128.

Pedestrian Access & Circulation The poor state of sidewalks and the lack of crosswalks, pedestrian crossing signs, and walking trails preclude convenient, safe, and barrier-free pedestrian access and circulation in Centennial. Although sidewalks exist only on the odd-numbered side of the road, crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signs are generally not available to facilitate safe pedestrian crossings at intersections and bus stops. Meanwhile, the sidewalks have obstructions or are in poor condition, and are not maintained during the winter. The sidewalks are also narrow (three to four feet) and are not continuous in several locations (map XII). Employees in Centennial indicated overwhelming interest in sidewalk improvements. At least one property in Centennial Business Park has a campus-like feel that encourages pedestrian circulation. Employees at Analogic Corporation (8 Centennial Drive) walk and jog around the parking lot and the Summit Avenue loop, which receives relatively little vehicular traffic. Access to points of interest in and around Centennial, including Marsh Tomb, wetlands, extant stone walls, Cedar Pond, and Ship Rock (the second largest glacial erratic in Essex County) does not exist. All of these areas (with the exception of Marsh Tomb) are privately owned, and although several are under conservation easement, public access is not included in the easement. Public Transport According to an employee questionnaire conducted as part of this project, nine percent of employees in Centennial Business Park use public transport to get to work. Thirty-three percent of questionnaire respondents indicated that they would use public transport were it more convenient (see page 40). The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Bus Route 436 and the Peabody Transit Shuttle service Centennial. MBTA’s Bus Route 436 provides regular connector service to and from a rail and bus hub six miles away in Lynn (the


Map XII: Access & Circulation

Sidewalks are not continuous in Centennial Business Park and exist on only one side of roadways, making it difficult for pedestrians to access MBTA bus stops.

Legend Project Area Sidewalks Railroad

Buildings

Road Beds

Bus Stop

Parking Lots 0 N

The seven MBTA bus stops within Centennial and many of the Peabody Transit Shuttle waiting areas are not ADA-compliant. In addition, when waiting for a bus on the even-numbered side of the street, riders must stand in or on the side of the road and, during the winter, in a snow bank. The MBTA does not provide bus shelters. During the weekday, according to data collected by the MBTA, one to five people alight at each stop in Centennial on the outbound run, with

0.2

0.3

0.4 Miles

only one boarding. Most people disembarked at the Peabody Marriott (8A Centennial Drive). According to the same study, one to two people boarded the inbound bus at each stop, with no departures. Of the total 686 riders on a weekday, twenty-nine boarded and disembarked in Centennial, and on a weekend day, of the total 287 riders, only four people boarded or disembarked (Load Profiles). Whether bus ridership has increased or decreased since 2005 is unknown.

Site Analysis

twenty-eight-minute ride runs approximately every thirty minutes during commuting hours and every hour during the workday). The municipally operated and privately funded Peabody Transit shuttle, which offers only two runs per day, supplies connector service to MBTA’s commuter rail station in Salem. (A 2003 passenger count of Peabody Transit found a total of ten passengers on the morning run to the Salem Depot [Regionwide Suburban Transit, 72]). Restoration of a passenger rail service through Peabody was assessed in 2003 but did not receive high priority ratings by either the MBTA or regional planning organizations (Regionwide, 72).

0.1

City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

Bicycle Access & Circulation Bicycle circulation in Centennial Business Park is difficult due to the Park’s automobile-oriented infrastructure. As in the rest of Peabody, there are no designated bike routes on any of Centennial’s roads. No bike racks were observed at any businesses, although a representative from the Peabody Marriott indicated that its associates have expressed interest in biking to work (Business Roundtable). An employee participating in the employee questionnaire conducted as part of this project also

31


Fig. 7: Trail Opportunities & Constraints Constraints and opportunities for the development of an integrated trail system in Centennial Business Park revolve around infrastructure components, destinations (or lack thereof), and social and political factors.

Constraints

site analysis

Opportunities

Inside Centennial

Infrastructure

Destinations

Infrastructure

Destinations Social and Political

32

Existing sidewalks Three extant roadbeds An unused rail line Existing informal trails Conserved private land Health-related businesses Showers in select buildings Natural features Historic features Wildlife viewing areas Panoramic viewing areas

Trails require easements Lack of sidewalk continuity Sidewalks poorly maintained Lack of crosswalks No designated bike lanes Fences at potential access points Excessive traffic speeds Traffic congestion Roadway noise Steep, bouldery terrain Poison ivy in natural areas

Outside Centennial Municipal experience establishing trails Regional bikeway planning Peabody Bikeway

Abutting open spaces Peabody YMCA Higgins Middle School Summit Street retail Salem Country Club Bartholomew Pond Designated Development District

Major highways block pedestrian access to the north Poor air quality near Route 128 Busy arterial streets

No retail Limited nearby restaurant selection

Limited retail Train stations over five miles away

Potential landowner resistance Maintenance role undetermined

Potential abutter resistance

remarked that the orientation of storm grates in the roads is a hazard to bicyclists (see Appendix D). Trails When asked about desired landscape elements, employees in Centennial Business Park requested, among other things, a trail network, for which numerous opportunities and constraints exist. Besides providing benefits for employees, a trail network as well as a bikeway in Centennial could also respond to community interest in trails, as identified in Peabody’s 2006 Recreation and Open Space Plan. Air quality, topography, maintenance responsibilities, existing infrastructure, and destinations will all need to be considered as part of trail design. Unused circulation infrastructure within Centennial Business Park has the potential to be incorporated into a trail system. For instance, people currently walk, bike, jog, and snowshoe along a non-functioning rail line along Centennial’s southern border. Peabody’s 2001 Master Plan identified this rail line, which formerly served passengers as well as freight, as a potential “walking path/nature trail” (20). In addition, a raised roadbed passes through the largest wetland in Centennial and a paved roadbed covered in leaf matter, humus, and trash runs through a wooded area in the southeast section of Centennial. Remnants of trails that were originally part of Page’s Hill Ski Area on the north side of 10 Centennial may also still exist. In business parks that feature trails, the trails are typically designed and installed when the park is built. While a trail system was never implemented at Centennial when it was developed, opportunities still exist to realize a trail system by building upon the existing infrastructural components and linking destinations within and outside Centennial.


Planning & Design Implications • Use consistent, clearly legible wayfinding elements to help resolve identified access and circulation problems. • Analyze accident areas further to determine appropriate solutions. • Install crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signs at bus stops and intersections. Site Analysis

• Ensure all bus stops are ADA-compliant and provide ample, sheltered waiting areas. • Connect existing fragmented sidewalks. • Preserve and enable access to natural and historic features. • For air quality reasons, avoid locating trails or outdoor recreation areas within one hundred yards of Route 128. • When designing a trail network, consider external connections, plan for trail and rail banking, and utilize existing as well as extant circulation infrastructure. • Consider creating a wayfinding master plan.

33


Vegetation & Wildlife Centennial Business Park features both naturalized and maintained vegetation. Topography, geology, and hydrology determine much of the naturalized vegetation while maintained areas consist of turf, annual plantings, and ornamental trees and shrubs. The lack of continuity between areas of vegetation results in fragmented wildlife habitat.

site analysis

Centennial’s mixed deciduous upland forest communities occur on steep slopes and boulder fields and serve as buffers between buildings, roadways, and residential neighborhoods abutting Centennial. Invasive exotic species have colonized many of the forest edges (fig. 8).

Wetlands within Centennial support specialized plant communities, primarily tree swamps in poorly drained depressions characterized by wet soils and temporary spring flooding. These wetlands help control flooding, filter non-point source pollution, and provide wildlife habitat. There are no identified priority rare plant species in the wetlands, although Cedar Pond, to the west of Centennial, has a population of rare Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides), which, due to water level fluctuations, are dying. Determining wetland health within Centennial requires further analysis.

Fig. 8: Plant Communities Upland Species Trees Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) Hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) Red maple (Acer rubrum) Shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) White birch (Betula papyrifera) White oak (Quercus alba) Shrubs Bayberry (Myrica pennsylvanica) Huckleberry (Gaylussacia spp.) Low-bush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) Sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina)

34

Invasive Species on Edges Common phragmites (Phragmites australis) Garlic mustard (Allaria petiolata) Japanese bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) Norway maple (Acer platinoides) Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) Analysis during the growing season could reveal additional species.

Wetland Species Trees Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) Red maple (Acer rubrum) Swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis) Shrubs Alder (Alnus spp.) Pussy willow (Salix discolor) Shadbush (Amelanchier spp.) Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) Sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)


Peabody’s Zoning Ordinance provides detailed requirements on the location, appearance, density, and height of maintained vegetation on each parcel. Specific vegetation types are prescribed for the front, side, and rear of buildings; services areas; parking lots; roadways; the perimeters of built areas; and buffers near residential areas. The ordinance also makes recommendations of trees and shrubs. New development projects, meanwhile, must adhere to regulations regarding the preservation of existing trees and the minimization of soil compaction and erosion. In Centennial today, tree mortality appears to be common in and near roads, buildings, and parking lots, possibly due to plow damage, compacted soils, heat stress, overexposure to road salt, and/or poor planting techniques.

Undeveloped areas to the east, west, north, and south of Centennial provide important wildlife habitat. Over 140 species of migrating birds use areas of open water in Peabody, and although Peabody is fairly urban, twenty-six species of mammals including red fox, river otter, red squirrel and flying squirrel have been observed in the City. Evidence suggests that mammals frequenting Centennial include beaver, eastern cottontail rabbit, eastern coyote, gray squirrel, red fox, and white-tailed deer.

Site Analysis

According to data secured in 2000 as part of Massachusetts’s Natural

Heritage and Endangered Species Program, four vernal pools may exist north of Centennial Drive and one at the southeastern border of the park, near Christian Book Distributors. Although wildlife in these vernal pools have not been inventoried, blue spotted and yellow spotted salamanders have been documented in shrub-dominated pools in West Peabody.

Planning & Design Implications • Encourage the incorporation of native plant species with ornamental value into maintained landscapes as a way of connecting fragmented natural areas. • Expand the selection of native plants in the recommended plant lists included in the Zoning Ordinance and Designated Development District Design guidelines and remove from those lists the non-native plants with invasive qualities. • Develop measures to educate landowners, maintenance staff, tenants, and employees on appropriate vegetation management that minimizes plant mortality and prevents soil erosion and compaction. • Create invasive species management recommendations to provide to maintenance companies, businesses, and landowners. 35


views Centennial Business Park features a range of views shaped by zoning, the built environment, topography, and vegetation. Many views are meant to be experienced by car, while other views, including those of special natural features, such as Cedar Pond or Ship Rock, are not easily visible by any method. Located at one of the highest points in Peabody, Centennial Business Park also offers the potential for panoramic views to the south, east, and west.

site analysis

Windshield Views: Most visitors and employees experience views of Centennial Business Park from a car. Ornamental plantings and turf frame buildings and partially screen parking areas from view. Buildings block visibility of utilities and tractor-trailer parking, although these functions are sometimes apparent from neighboring buildings.

Figs. 9-12: Views from Outdoor Eating Areas

Panoramic Viewing Opportunities: Centennial’s varied topography provides for numerous panoramic viewing opportunities, which do not appear to be utilized currently. Highpoints for panoramic viewing include Ship Rock, 10 Centennial Drive, the ledge at 6 Centennial Drive, and parking lots located along a constructed plateau south of the Drive. Ship Rock, once a historic vista, is now largely inaccessible due to liability and security concerns. The aforementioned parking lots do not encourage sustained viewing experiences, and the expansive view from the top of the prominent ledge at 6 Centennial appears not to be accessed regularly, despite an old roadbed and path to the top. Views from Outdoor Eating Areas: Outdoor eating areas constitute one of the primary places in which employees can experience the outdoors during their workday. Views from outdoor eating areas range widely and

Outdoor eating areas in Centennial have views that have pleasant as well as unpleasant aspects.

36


rarely offer consistently pleasing vantages that are conducive to positive experiences in the landscape (figs. 9-12). While some outdoor eating areas offer vistas of natural areas, this experience is often complicated by the presence of parking lots, roadways, trash receptacles, and truck loading docks.

Views from & near Buildings: Due to project time constraints, only

Views into Centennial Business Park: Vegetation, topography, and fences limit views into Centennial Business Park. In accordance with zoning regulations, 150-foot wide stands of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs screen views into Centennial from the south and to a lesser extent from the east and west. Occasionally fences block views of Centennial from residential neighborhoods.

Site Analysis

Specific Unsightly Views: The southeast section of Centennial Business Park is unsightly. Developed as the Summit Street Industrial Center, this forty-acre, nearly impervious area consists of a network of truck parking lots, abandoned or broken vehicles, boxy, windowless buildings, and little vegetation. Since it is one of the lowest areas in Centennial, it is easily visible from higher points, including Ship Rock and the parking lots along the constructed plateau.

general observations could be made of views from the inside and near Centennial’s over seventy buildings. The parking lots and multi-story buildings at 10 Centennial Drive and 2 and 3 Corporation Way are situated high in the landscape and have especially panoramic views. Buildings that house manufacturing typically have few windows and so fewer viewing opportunities.Vegetation provides a visual buffer between most properties.

Planning & Design Implications • Integrate opportunities for appreciating vistas and focal points into pedestrian networks and outdoor eating areas. • Utilize topography, vegetation, and other natural elements to enhance desired views and filter undesired views.

37


Sounds Centennial’s proximity to two major expressways and heavily trafficked two-way arterial streets results in noticeable ambient traffic noise, especially north of Centennial Drive. Commercial truck traffic sounds are also significant. During lulls in traffic, birds and bubbling streams are audible in certain locations.

Traffic sounds are generally less noticeable south of Centennial Drive. When trucks are not idling in the truck turnaround, the unused rail line and naturalized areas south of the U.S. Foodservice building at 1 Technology Drive constitute one of the quietest places in Centennial.

Traffic Sounds

Noise associated with manufacturing or mechanized activities is generally contained within building envelopes, with the exception of the Summit Street Industrial Center. This forty-acre area, home to, among other businesses, a commercial truck repair facility and parts yard, produces a significant amount of noise. The beeping of trucks traveling in reverse is especially noticeable.

site analysis

Highway noise and sounds associated with traffic congestion and commercial trucks are noticeable and affect quality of life in some areas of Centennial more than others. Traffic sounds are especially significant north of Centennial Drive and during commuting hours along the Park’s roadways. Commercial truck traffic noise is evident everywhere but particularly noticeable in the truck turnaround (map XIII). Residents in the neighborhood south of the turnaround complain about trucks idling overnight, even though this is prohibited. Noises associated with engine brakes (i.e., “jake brakes”) and improperly functioning (and hence illegal) muffler systems are also noticeable. While the decibel level for engine braking is comparable to a large lawn mower, the low frequency of this machine gun-like noise can carry for long distances, particularly at night or in early morning.

Business Activity Sounds

Natural Sounds Despite the overwhelming presence of traffic noise, birdcalls and bubbling streams are still perceptible in wooded areas and during lulls in traffic.

Planning & Design Implications • Site trail networks, when feasible, in areas with the least amount of traffic and manufacturing noise. • Alert truckers of the need for noise abatement, no overnight idling, and federal regulations regarding exhaust systems. • Request that local police stop trucks suspected of improperly functioning exhaust systems. 38

• Consider designating quiet zones and investigate using earth berms to muffle sounds.


Site Analysis

City of Peabody and Office of Geographic and Environmental Information (MassGIS), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs

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Map XIII: Sounds Sounds associated with traffic and business activity affect much of Centennial Business Park, such that there are few quiet areas within the Park.

Legend Project Area

Vehicular Noise

Quiet Areas

Industrial Noise

39


employee Experience According to data provided by the City of Peabody, nearly four thousand people work in Centennial Business Park. As a way of assessing employee experience, an online questionnaire was distributed to employees at eleven small and large businesses. The results, which focused on amenities, outdoor areas, and access and circulation, can help guide decisions about making Centennial Business Park a desirable and inspiring place to work. Interpretation of the Questionnaire Results

site analysis

The questionnaire results can help shape decisions about what amenities and site improvements will most increase workplace satisfaction for Centennial’s largest user group. Employee requests and concerns can also be used to address other challenges faced by Centennial, including traffic and stormwater. For instance, if the thirtythree percent of Centennial’s employees who would like to use public transport had access to such transport, over 1,300 car trips could be avoided and parking spaces could be reduced, thereby decreasing stormwater runoff volumes and freeing up parking lot space for other uses.

2% 4%

How important to you is Centennial Business Park’s outdoor space?

Nearly all employees feel that outdoor space is an important aspect of the workplace.

Very important: 45% Somewhat important: 49% Not important: 4% No comment: 2%

45%

4%

Fifty-one percent of employees are satisfied to very satisfied with outdoor areas as they currently exist in Centennial Business Park.

Very satisfied: 4% Satisfied: 47% Not satisfied: 45% No comment: 4%

Do you use public transport to get to work?

Two percent of respondents currently use public transport to get to work.

No: 96% Yes: 2% No comment: 2%

If no, would you use public transport if it were more available?

Thirty-three percent of respondents would use public transport if it were more readily available.

No: 60% Yes: 33% No comment: 7%

What is your level of satisfaction with the current outdoor eating, gathering, and other outdoor spaces in Centennial Business Park?

40

4%

47%

45%

2% 2%

96%

Questionnaire Methodology The employee questionnaire (see Appendix D) was not intended to be a comprehensive survey. Small and large business throughout Centennial were selected, and human resource personnel were contacted by phone. If the business agreed to participate, the questionnaire link was sent to the appropriate contact, who then distributed the questionnaire electronically or, if arranged otherwise, on paper. Over 780 employees received the questionnaire, and sixteen percent responded. By virtue of being online, the questionnaire did not account for the experiences of employees without access to e-mail. The results also reflect a bias toward the observations and concerns of Analogic Corporation employees, who made up at least forty percent of respondents.

49%

7% 33% 60%

2%

Do you buy from nearby businesses on Summit Street?

Seventy-one percent of employees use the restaurants and other retail services at the nearby intersection of Summit and Lynnfield Streets.

Yes: 71% No: 27% No comment: 2%

27%

71%


What landscape elements would you like to have in Centennial Business Park?

What amenities or services would you like to see in Centennial Business Park?

Lawn and maintained plantings are the most appreciated aspect of current outdoor spaces or elements at Centennial, followed by natural areas and sidewalks.

Trails, improved outdoor eating areas, and ornamental gardens are the top three desired landscape features.

Restaurants, fitness facilities, and a farmers’ market constitute the top three desired services.

# of responses

# of responses

# of responses

What current landscape elements do you enjoy in Centennial Business Park?

Site Analysis

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Planning & Design Implications • Focus planning and design on the top three amenities and landscape features desired by employees. • Improve inter-multimodal transit and build upon employee interest in transit through low-cost measures, such as online ridesharing boards and events like Public Transit and Safe Streets weeks. • Encourage business participation in the North Shore Transportation Management Association.

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implications of analysis

site analysis

Analysis revealed that Centennial Business Park possesses numerous positive attributes that have the potential to enhance Centennial’s identity and the user experience. Vegetation, topography, and hydrologic and geologic features are distinctive and meaningful and can act as organizing themes, in addition to serving as means by which to improve site functionality. Centennial Business Park is fortunate to have evocative natural elements; most business parks located in similarly developed areas do not have such special assets with which to interact and build upon. Centennial’s central location in Peabody as well as in the North Shore region is also a tremendous advantage that can be utilized even more purposefully in order to realize greater benefit. Analysis revealed numerous problems as well. These problems detract from Centennial’s ability to function productively and may adversely affect the larger community. Unless resolved strategically, such problems could compromise Centennial’s ability to operate effectively and hence compete successfully into the twenty-first century. Wayfinding is often confusing, certain roads and interchanges are dangerous, and the existing circulation infrastructure does not satisfy the needs of all users. In order to determine appropriate, long-term solutions, the wayfinding and circulating experience will require further assessment. Stormwater also represents a serious issue due to Centennial’s large amount of impervious surface. Findings of this report underscore the need to evaluate existing facilities to ensure that Centennial does not contribute to or increase the already very serious flooding problems in Peabody. Given the age of infrastructural components that require assessment and might entail updates anyway,

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it is the ideal moment at to be considering alternative practices that could prove more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable over the long term. There is also a need to assess the role of zoning requirements in determining Centennial’s future and its ability to be flexible in response to future economic and social conditions.

Even though Centennial Business Park is a vital part of Peabody’s current economy, what the future could hold for Centennial needs to be carefully considered. If no action is taken to capitalize upon positive elements and to address Centennial’s safety and environmental challenges, Centennial may well cease to be competitive. Responsible planning suggests that all possibilities are considered, not just for the sake of accommodating change, but to avoid the high cost of making change too late, when amendments to infrastructure are extensive and perhaps prohibitively expensive.

Site Analysis

Any plans for Centennial that are to achieve truly beneficial and lasting change must expand those positive features and develop solutions to the negative aspects such that Centennial Business Park is known as a desirable place to work and do business. In seeking to ensure Centennial’s success in the twenty-first century, the City of Peabody requested a plan for rebranding Centennial and ideas for accompanying signs that would communicate this rebranding. The desired result was that Centennial would continue to boast high occupancy and therefore constitute a strong tax-base. Analysis suggested that a simple rebranding is not a sufficient response, to either Centennial’s problems or to its many virtues. A stronger, more strategic approach, one that incorporates the four project goals, capitalizes upon Centennial’s many strengths and endeavors to invest in Centennial’s flexibility.

It is therefore worth considering possible future scenarios if nothing is done to work toward achieving the revitalization vision. If parking and buildings continue to be added to Centennial in accordance with current zoning and existing stormwater facilities are not examined, could surrounding neighborhoods as well as downtown Peabody experience increased flooding? If the development of Centennial’s few remaining open spaces continues in accordance with current zoning, what will happen to the Park’s character and will such development allow Centennial the flexibility to adapt to changing economic and social conditions? While Centennial’s proximity to Route 128 and Interstate 95 is an undeniable asset, what if energy prices become so expensive that singe occupancy vehicular access to Centennial is unfeasible for many people? These questions are worth asking to begin to understand the full extent of no action and the subsequent need for a strategic revitalization vision for Centennial. Analysis of the site revealed that powerful and compelling elements exist to create a more coherent identity for Centennial Business Park but that problematic wayfinding and serious safety and environmental issues also need to be addressed. What has been developed then are design directives in line with the revitalization vision and analysis findings. The following section presents these design directives as well as specific applications that emphasize Centennial’s tremendous natural resources, its ease of access, and its ability to showcase progressive responses to difficult circumstances. Plans for phased implementation and discussion of roles and responsibilities follow the design directives and sample applications. The final major section of this report presents, among other items, materials that support and, with further work, can advance the design applications.

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Section III

Centennial Revitalized


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Centennial revitalized


Design Concept Site analysis and the revitalization vision for Centennial Business Park inform and inspire the design concept, which serves as a framework to guide improvements and structure retrofits and future development. The concept consists of three directives, which can be applied in phases and to varying degrees, depending upon funding and regulations. All three directives incorporate project goals.

location in the North Shore region, and its convenience to Boston. Push the envelope for all types of accessibility, including access by automobile, public transport, rail freight, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Utilize the site’s location between open spaces to the east, south, north, and west to plan for a citywide trail system.

Directive 1: Natural Features

Allow for permitted mixed use nodes that can accommodate industrial and commercial uses as well as retail and corporate residential. Locate the nodes within Centennial and at the edges, thereby providing employees and nearby residents with desired daily amenities that are within easy walking distance. Use employee interests and requests to determine what retail uses to encourage.

Directive 2: Multimodal Access & Circulation Capitalize upon Centennial’s proximity to expressways, its central

Centennial revitalized

Engage with natural features, using them as organizing elements to enhance site identity and functionality. Celebrate Centennial’s distinctive natural elements—including glacial erratics, streams, wetlands, and native plant communities, while enabling the built environment to interact positively with natural processes. By celebrating and interacting with the site’s natural elements and processes, a unique and timeless identity emerges.

Directive 3: Mixed Use

What follows are examples of how these design directives can be applied in specific locations in Centennial. Discussion and representation of an implementation plan and roles and responsibilities follow the sample applications.

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A

3

4

5 2

Centennial revitalized

1

A' N

Fig. 13: Northeast Gateway The northeast gateway near Summit Street and Route 128 is redesigned to celebrate the site’s iconic natural features and to showcase sustainable stormwater management. As the primary entrance, this area has significant visibility and is best positioned to communicate Centennial’s revitalized identity, including a commitment to reducing and treating stormwater using artful, low-impact practices.

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A Positive First Impression Rain Garden Showcase Rather than consisting of turf and scattered evergreens as is currently the case, the four islands at this gateway (figs. 13 & 14) function as rain gardens planted with broad swathes of native herbaceous perennials that shift subtly in color and form throughout the year. 2 Native shrubs and trees are situated as backdrops in locations that do not obstruct driver visibility. 3 Curb cuts enable road runoff to enter the rain gardens for treatment and storage before slow release into the nearby stormwater pond via subsurface drains. The replacement of turf with deep-rooted native vegetation offers greater water intake and reduces energy use and maintenance costs associated with mowing. Emphasis is placed on plants that absorb pollutants and can tolerate salt, frequent flooding, and drought. 4 The largest gateway island could also serve as a destination along the trail network, pending the implementation of crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signs and, if desired, seating areas. 1

Developing these design ideas further requires input from traffic and

stormwater engineers. Additional analysis will also need to be done to determine locations of roadway guide signs that accord with appropriate legibility distances and driver sight lines. Evaluation of the growing conditions on the four traffic islands should be conducted as well to determine suitable plantings and the need for soil amendments. Evocative Gateway Monument A new gateway monument welcoming users replaces the current sign and is oriented to be seen easily by drivers from Summit Street as well as by southbound drivers from Route 128 and Forest Street. The name “Centennial” is writ large on a long rectangular panel, with a stately granite boulder serving as a dramatic backdrop (see figs. 19-22) for exploration of this design scheme). By referencing the site’s glacial history, as well as Centennial’s contemporary style of architecture, the monument communicates key aspects of Centennial’s identity and provides a simple, timeless aesthetic that can be replicated on wayfinding elements, event banners, and marketing materials. 5

Centennial revitalized

3 1

1

Fig. 14: Traffic Island Rain Gardens (A-A') Rain gardens in the traffic islands at the northeast gateway reduce stormwater and maintenance and create an attractive entry that communicates the character and values of a revitalized Centennial Business Park.

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integrated built & natural systems Buildings and parking lots make up over half of the 488 acres in Centennial Business Park and significantly define Centennial’s look and feel. Strategically retrofitting this built environment in accordance with the three design directives will enable Centennial to become known for creative, progressive responses to stormwater runoff and energy needs and for providing an inspiring, value-oriented workplace for employees. A Green Parking Lot

Centennial revitalized

For example (fig. 15), the western-most parking lot at 8 Centennial Drive could be retrofitted to take full advantage of ecosystem services, including cooling and stormwater detention. 1 A bioswale spanning the length of the north edge of the parking lot replaces parking spaces that are currently unused. Native plants store and filter runoff before it enters the wetland to the north. The decrease in parking area also reduces the expense of wintertime maintenance as well as the use of polluting salts associated with plowing. 2 Some parking rows are reoriented perpendicular to grade, allowing for vegetated filter strips between the stall rows, thereby further decreasing and breaking up impervious surfaces. In addition, by increasing vegetation as well as the comfort and visual appeal of parking lots, these otherwise mundane and polluting spaces become pleasant multi-purpose areas for holding events, such as a summer employee party, an outdoor film festival, or a farmers’ market. Along the berm at the southern edge of the parking lot and in the island containing the large glacial erratic, communities of native upland vegetation provide visual interest and beautify otherwise desolate expanses of turf. The use of woody and perennial vegetation in large, cohesive groupings reduces maintenance work and costs. The native vegetation also uptakes and stores rainwater in far larger amounts than 3

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achievable with turf grasses, in addition to embodying a connection to native plant communities in Centennial’s remaining natural areas. 4 Trees shade the parking lot, thereby minimizing the heat island effect. While this example retrofits an existing parking lot, new or resurfaced parking lots could also include permeable overflow parking and designated compact car stalls. Regardless of design strategies, the City of Peabody will need to assess and modify parking lots standards to allow for productive design flexibility. Incorporated Pedestrian Circulation A proposed trail network constitutes an integral part of this design example. The trail weaves through the re-vegetated berm and connects to the old roadbed running through the wetland. 6 Crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signs at the intersection of Centennial andTechnology Drives help ensure safe pedestrian access to both the bus stop and the trail. 5

Energy- and Water-Smart Buildings Green buildings are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, particularly in commercial settings in which businesses can realize cost savings and positive reputations through sustainable building practices. Businesses in Centennial have numerous opportunities for, among other things, reducing and capturing stormwater as well as producing energy on existing structures. Nearly every building in Centennial Business Park, given its size and Centennial’s southerly aspect, has tremendous potential to generate solar energy. While there are major renewable energy incentive and reimbursement programs available, Centennial’s businesses do not themselves need to make substantial investments in photovoltaic infrastructure. Solar energy providers, which own, install, monitor, and maintain photovoltaic panels, are on the rise in the east


5 4

6

3 1

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N

Fig. 15: Parking Lot Retrofit Retrofitting an existing parking lot reduces stormwater runoff, the heat island effect, and maintenance costs while enhancing the visual environment.

coast, and corporate customers include Staples, Kohl’s, and Whole Foods. Green roofs and vertical green screens could also be implemented on existing buildings in Centennial and offer the potential for numerous benefits, including managing stormwater, cooling and shading the building, extending the roof ’s lifespan, and supplying habitat for beneficial birds

and insects. In addition, catchment of roof water runoff, a practice used by a number of forward-thinking corporations and institutions, represents a way to turn roof runoff into a resource; the captured water is then used for irrigation and to meet grey water needs.

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A New Approach to Access Centennial Business Park has long been known for vehicular accessibility. The design strategies described and illustrated here complete Centennial’s access spectrum by accommodating all types of transit such that the revitalized Centennial becomes known for its inter-multimodal accessibility and role as a crossroads at the center of Peabody, in the heart of the North Shore. (Note: Inter-multimodal transport, admittedly an awkward term, is the coordinated use of two or more modes of transport, such as bicycling combined with public transportation).

at or near bus stops, trail heads, and, when needed, between buildings on opposing sides of the road. Crosswalks could feature creative designs that enhance safety and the visual environment, as is being done in London, Los Angeles, and New York City. An annual Safe Streets Week could be established to emphasize Centennial’s commitment to safe transit for all. Some sidewalks sections should be replaced due to age and lack of maintenance (widths of five to six feet are recommended over the current three to four feet).

Integrated Pedestrian Circulation

Existing bus infrastructure is enhanced for easier use and accessibility. The seven MBTA bus stops are improved through organized maintenance and the addition of thematically designed shelters. Elements of the shelter design reflect the aesthetic of the gateway, further reinforcing Centennial’s unique and coherent site identity.

Centennial revitalized

Through an online questionnaire, employees in Centennial expressed overwhelming interest in trails, which have proven to be highly marketable amenities in business parks. Map XIV shows how Centennial’s existing sidewalks and proposed trail loops form a network linking natural areas, panoramic viewing spots, bus stops, and retail services.The network also incorporates 1 an old raised roadbed passing through Centennial’s largest wetland; 2 a buried, paved road in a wooded area west of Summit Street; and 3 an unused rail line extending along Centennial’s southern border. (Rail banking could allow utilization of the rail line for trails without precluding future train use.) 4 Connections to residential neighborhoods, public service amenities, and open spaces outside Centennial are suggested as well. Trail segments vary in length, surface material, and topography; some sections could accommodate bicyclists and provide barrier-free access to natural areas. Downloadable trail maps as well as interpretative stations guide and educate users. As part of this effort, sidewalk gaps are also closed and crosswalks installed. To alert drivers of pedestrian crossings, crosswalks are placed

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Convenient Public Transport

Building a Bicycle Network Bicycles constitute an accepted part of Centennial’s future transportation system. Unfortunately, bicycling immediately outside Centennial is difficult, and until city- or region-wide routes are continuous, biking within Centennial cannot be fully viable. However, Centennial can be part of a future regional bicycling network. That effort can commence with an assessment of how Centennial’s roads can safely accommodate bicycling through such measures as bike lanes and “shared roadway markings” (“sharrows”). Ways to connect to the Peabody Bikeway (under construction) through the unused rail line should also be considered.


1

2

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4 3

0

Map XIV: Trail & Sidewalk Network A network of trail loops, sidewalks, and improved public transport creates a new and more robust kind of accessibility for Centennial Business Park.

Legend Project Area Potential trail

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4 Miles

N

Points of interest Sidewalks

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Flexible Use Peabody’s current Industrial Park (IP) regulations prohibit retail activities in most of Centennial unless by special permit. Even though the presence of retail amenities has been shown to make mixed-use business parks more competitive than those zoned for single use, special permit applications are typically not approved for Centennial. Revising IP regulations in their entirety could prove cumbersome; it might be more strategic to modify IP to allow for mixed use in sectors or to rezone areas of Centennial as Designated Development District (DDD), which allows for retail and places greater emphasis on smart growth principles.

Centennial revitalized

Employees responding to the online questionnaire requested more

restaurants and cafés within Centennial. For these businesses and the experience they provide to thrive, however, it requires a human-scaled setting that is synergistic, offers a sense of place, and is appropriate to the specific needs of users of a business park of Centennial’s size. This streetscape section (fig. 16) illustrates a possibility for how such a mixed-use space could look. 1 Multi-story buildings, tall trees, and a parking lot flank the street. Restaurants, offices, ATMs, and small service businesses occur at the ground level. 2 Versatile spaces located on the upper levels could be available for short-term corporate apartments or additional retail space in response to market demands. 3 Broad sidewalks abutting the building fronts accommodate café tables and

2

1

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1 4 5

Fig. 16: Flexible Use Section

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Small-scale service amenities concentrated in a human-scale setting respond to employee needs and are made functional and beautiful through sidewalk bioswales and improved roadway vegetation.


similar uses, creating a pedestrian-scale social environment enhanced by 4 street-side trees that protect pedestrian areas from road activity. --5 Bioswales between the street and the sidewalks store and treat stormwater, providing a beautiful as well as functional feature to be enjoyed by pedestrians and motorists alike. Three sectors for designated flexible use are suggested (map XV)— one near the 6 center of Centennial and two near the edges, close to 7 existing retail and 8 residential uses. The strategic distribution of these sectors means employees across Centennial have a five-toten-minute walk to restaurants and other desired retail amenities. The corresponding reduction in vehicle miles traveled could decrease traffic within Centennial, as well as improve air quality.

If vertical mixed use proves difficult to fund, plans could be adapted to horizontal mixed use (although this will affect building footprint and thereby the amount of impervious surface). By being small, these flexible use areas are not meant to compete with other business districts in Peabody and are appropriately scaled to meet the needs of Centennial’s four thousand employees as well as some nearby residents. The large, unused brick factory building off Corwin Street is also worth considering for flexible use. The integration of existing uses and new restaurant and retail amenities, as well as short-term residential in select areas of Centennial, represents a way to respond to unmet employee needs and interests while encouraging energy and resource efficiency. It could also be a critical step in ensuring that Centennial is adaptable over the long term.

Centennial revitalized

6 7

8

Map XV: Flexible Use Sectors Designating sectors that allow for a variety of uses can ensure that Centennial Business Park is able to respond flexibly to current and future needs.

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Centennial Business Park Association Achieving the revitalization vision requires the collaboration of the City of Peabody, nearly one hundred businesses, and the more than twenty landowners within Centennial. Any revitalization program, regardless of its scope, necessitates some degree of cooperation. The revitalization program recommended here, in being ambitious, requires an especially organized and motivated public-private partnership. Through this partnership, more can be achieved than is possible with unorganized individual efforts.

In terms of roles and responsibilities (fig. 17), the City of Peabody would be responsible for integrating the revitalization vision for Centennial into its Master Plan. The City would also need to enact the necessary regulatory changes and appropriate tax incentives, facilitate trail easements, and serve as a link to the relevant state and federal agencies. Landowners and businesses, meanwhile, would be responsible for preventing stormwater runoff, enabling trail access, and implementing recommended sustainable landscape management practices.

LANDOWNERS & BUSINESSES Centennial revitalized

> Reduce stormwater runoff > Manage invasive species > Enable trail access

CITY OF PEABODY > Coordinates with state & federal agencies > Offers incentives for green practices > Facilitates transportation planning > Facilitates & holds trail easements > Modifies zoning

CENTENNIAL BUSINESS PARK ASSOCIATION Fig. 17: Roles & Responsibilities Achieving the vision for Centennial Business Park will require the involvement of the City of Peabody, businesses and landowners, and a central association that represents all three entities.

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> Maintains trails & common areas > Develops & maintains web site > Conducts events


Establishing Centennial Business Park Association A foundation for a public-private partnership already exists. Peabody’s Planning and Community Development Department, executives from half a dozen businesses within Centennial, and Combined Properties, a major landowner in Centennial, meet periodically as the “Business Roundtable.” It is recommended that this Business Roundtable seek official recognition as a non-profit corporation, the Centennial Business Park Association (CBPA). Centennial has existed for nearly thirty years without an official publicprivate partnership, and such associations rarely form so late in a business park’s history. Typically, business park associations are established at the start of development, with mandatory membership outlined in covenants affiliated with property ownership. When a business park is under single ownership, tenant fees include membership dues in a central association.

While establishing and operating CBPA could be complicated, Centennial Business Park is a product of significant fiscal, political, and engineering achievements, which, given their scale, underscore that establishing CBPA is well within the scope of what is possible. Acknowledging from the outset that the CBPA’s organizational structure will likely need to be experimental is important, as is recognizing that active participation

Poway Business Park Association (PBPA) outside San Diego, California, is a cooperative of over six hundred businesses, a hospital, a local college, the City of Poway, and Poway's Chamber of Commerce. PBPA started as the Poway Economic Development Association, and the current member businesses, which employ over twenty-two thousand people, are notably diverse, spanning agriculture and mining to business services to insurance, manufacturing, and retail. PBPA’s mission is to promote economic development and business prosperity in the nine-hundredacre park. PBPA achieves its objectives by providing opportunities for member networking and education, coordinating with state and local government, and advocating for constituent interests. Centennial revitalized

Organizing and motivating CBPA could be difficult. Covenants do not exist due to Centennial’s largely unplanned development and evolution. Only about ten percent of Centennial businesses own their own properties, and some landowners are not even based in the metropolitan Boston region. Businesses and property owners in Centennial also have varying resources, interests, and agendas. The role of Peabody’s Chamber of Commerce will need to be considered as well.

amongst Centennial’s many businesses may take time to establish. It may also be necessary to secure public sector investment in order to jumpstart private involvement. While making specific recommendations for CBPA’s governing structure is beyond the scope of this project, potential models from which to draw are discussed here.

Community improvement districts (CID) and business improvement districts (BID) are geographically defined areas in which property owners vote to impose a self-tax (typically six percent of annual real estate taxes) to fund improvements to the district’s public realm. To enact an improvement district, a simple majority (fifty percent plus one) of affected property owners holding at least seventy-five percent of the assessed property value of the area must vote affirmatively. In the case of rented properties, the tax is typically passed on to the tenants. A board of directors elected by participating property owners oversees activities within the district, which supplement municipal services and can include open space maintenance, marketing, capital improvements, security, and street and sidewalk upkeep. CIDs and BIDs are sometimes criticized for privatizing the control of public spaces.

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transportation planning

I N

implement transportation plan

POLICY

modify zoning

update Peabody Master Plan stormwater facility improvements trail implementation

T E N S

form CBPA

CBPA web site

INFRASTRUCTURE

community gardens

employee conservation corps

farmers’ markets safe streets week

T Centennial revitalized

stormwater facility assessment

wayfinding master plan

I

Y

trail easements

green office challenge

EVENTS

film series geology tours

secure funding monitoring

Baseline monitoring

PHASE 1

PHASE 2

Fig. 19: Timeline Design implementation occurs in phases as a way of mitigating risks and reducing initial funding requirements. Tasks are grouped generally into policy, infrastructure, and events, with the intensity of each varying over time. Policy activities, the purview of the City of Peabody, are intense for the first two phases and then decline. Infrastructure activities, the responsibility of the City as well as businesses and landowners, start with moderate intensity, increase, and then decline. Event activities, primarily CBPA’s responsibility, with support from businesses, landowners, the City, and the Chamber of Commerce, become more intense and plateau. Baseline monitoring occurs at the outset, providing information against which to assess accomplishments.

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PHASE 3


Conclusion Centennial Business Park has had a strong presence in the North Shore for nearly a generation and is a known and respected place of business in a global commercial landscape. Now, when Centennial’s strengths and shortcomings are being assessed, it is an opportune time for municipal agencies, businesses, and landowners to come together—as the Centennial Park Business Association—to overcome the identified hurdles and achieve the revitalization vision.

These are no small feats; indeed, they are made possible through the strategic cooperation of the private and public sectors. In order to ensure continued success in challenging times, it is necessary to draw inspiration from these past successes, and to work together to find innovative and elegant solutions to contemporary problems. Most of Centennial’s challenges are not unique—they have been overcome in other regions, and analysis suggests that Peabody and Centennial's businesses have the foundation on which to build a vibrant, sustainable future together.

Centennial revitalized

As a result, well into the future, stable businesses, motivated employees, and proud citizens of Peabody, will be able to say that Centennial Business Park capitalizes on its greatest strengths and is an inspiring, unique place for people to work and an effective, flexible setting for corporations to do business. It facilitates safe navigation and is convenient to neighboring businesses, natural resources, and recreation areas. Its artful, sustainable stormwater management practices have awakened awareness and respect for water, the original reason for Peabody’s settlement. Formerly reliant largely on the automobile, Centennial now embraces access and circulation by many means and encourages healthy lifestyles that lead to greater workplace productivity. Its beautiful and varied landscape is ripe with opportunities for individual reflection, social interaction, education, and community engagement. Above all, Centennial Business Park communicates a rich sense of place, history, and extraordinary quality of life.

develop Centennial Business Park, similarly significant hurdles were overcome. At its inception in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Centennial represented a major initiative for a municipality of Peabody’s means, requiring substantial outside funding to order to realize implementation. Busy Route 128 needed to be moved to accommodate Centennial, and an exit was added to serve the Park so that thousands of cars could access Centennial directly from the freeway. Centennial was also established on bedrock and boulder fields, requiring extensive blasting and the moving of many tons of large boulders. Over time, Centennial established a strong footing in the region, attracting prominent businesses and corporations, including most recently the outpatient facility for the highly regarded Boston Children’s Hospital.

Admittedly there are hurdles to achieving this future, from improving access and circulation to resolving stormwater runoff. But, in order to

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Section IV

Resources & Appendices


acknowledgements Many individuals generously contributed their time, energy, and expertise to the completion of this project.

Resources & Appendices

We are grateful to Brendan Callahan, Jean Delios, Blair Haney, and Nathan Jones of the City of Peabody Planning and Community Development for facilitating site analysis and design. Jean Delios and Blair Haney defined project scope while Brendan Callahan and Nathan Jones shared the City’s GIS data and organized meetings of the Centennial Business Park Business Roundtable. Scott Dumont of Boston Scientific Development kindly gave of his time to help us understand the presence Boston Children’s Hospital will have at 10 Centennial Drive. Executives at Analogic Corporation, BMW Peabody, Boston Acoustic, Inc., CAB Health & Recovery Services, Carl Zeiss, Cross Agency/Energi Reinsurance, Hickory Hill Advisors LLC, Innovent Standex, Pediatric Health Care Associates, Suburban Publishing, and Weston & Sampson Engineers encouraged employees to participate in the online questionnaire. We are tremendously grateful to the over one hundred employees who so willingly shared their experiences of Centennial Business Park and thereby enriched our understanding of the Park, its problems, and its virtues. Analogic Corporation deserves special thanks for hosting a meeting at which the findings of this report could be presented. We wish the City of Peabody and the Centennial Business Park all the best. Scientists, planners, landscape architects, and other specialists assisted with site analysis and offered important design feedback. We are grateful

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to geologists Joe Balsama, Richard Little, and Tom Vaughn; Reid BertoneJohnson of Dodson Associates; Jim Gallagher of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council; Robert Mitchell of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development; Elizabeth Moore of the Metropolitan Planning Organization; Glenn Motzkin, forest ecologist; Joel Russell, land use attorney and planning consultant; and Liz Vizza, planner. Each of these individuals generously shared their knowledge, provided us with critical data and contacts, and expanded our understanding of Centennial Business Park and its potential. Students, faculty, and staff at the Conway School of Landscape Design warrant thanks for their numerous contributions. They shared resources and contacts, questioned our assumptions, pushed design development, and motivated us with their own work. Bill Lattrell answered our many questions regarding vegetation and stormwater while Dana Tomlin generously gave of his trove of GIS knowledge. The Conway School of Landscape Design is the only institution of its kind in North America. Its focus is sustainable landscape planning and design. Each year, through its accredited, ten-month graduate program, eighteen to nineteen graduate students from diverse backgrounds are immersed in a range of applied landscape studies, ranging in scale from residences to regions. Graduates have gone on to play significant roles in various aspects of landscape planning and design with an eye to sustainability.


Works Cited Anonymous. Personal interview. 13 Jan. 2009. Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization. Heavy Traffic Affects Air Quality and Health. Map. 2007. —. Load Profiles: MBTA Bus Data Collection. Winter 2005. —. Massachusetts Major Highways 2005 Daily Traffic Volume and Volume to Practical Capacity. Map. 2005. —. Regionwide Suburban Transit Opportunities Study. 2003. Business Roundtable. Meeting. City of Peabody, Mass. 2 Feb. 2009. Combined Properties. 19 March 2006. <http://www.combinedproperties.com> Dumont, Scott. Phone interview. 24 February 2009. Dunham-Jones, Ellen and June Williamson. Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. 008.

Planning and Community Development Department, City of Peabody, Mass. City of Peabody Designated Development District Design Guidelines. —. City of Peabody Master Plan: Existing Conditions & Trends Analysis. 2002. —. City of Peabody Recreation & Open Space Plan. 2006. —. City of Peabody Zoning Ordinance. 2003. Regazzini, Greg. Phone interview. 11 March 2009. The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation. Best Management Practices for the Control of Common Reed, Interim Guide. 2007 Wang, Jiangbo et al. Blocking Phragmites australis Reinvasion Of Restored Marshes Using Plants Selected From Wild Populations and Tissue Culture. July 2006.

Ferguson, Bruce K. Stormwater Infiltration. London: Taylor & Francis, 1994. Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. MetroFuture. Forthcoming.

Resources & Appendices

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A. Phragmites mitigation A common, aggressive wetland plant, Phragmites australis threatens not only the biodiversity of Centennial Business Park’s valuable aquatic habitats, but also poses safety concerns for users of Centennial’s roadways. Improving quality of life for all living beings in Centennial requires attention to this invasive species for the sake of greater environmental health. Controlling any plant species can be an ongoing battle, but through sustainable management practices, perseverance, and vigilance, Centennial Business Park can overcome this challenge and do right by its many inhabitants—plant, animal, and human alike. Background Phragmites (Phragmites australis, herein referred to as P. australis) is a large perennial grass that grows to a height of nearly twenty feet. Found in wetlands throughout the world, it forms extensive monocultures (often referred to as reed beds) that can extend for miles. In conditions suitable to its growth, it can expand across a wetland at a rate of nearly twenty feet per year. Such expeditious colonization is due to a variety of factors: it reproduces via three highly effective means, grows very tall to shade out other species, and tolerates poorer water and soil quality than many of its competitors. P. australis grows well not only in damp ground, but in standing water nearly five feet deep where it sometimes even persists, if uprooted, as a floating (and therefore highly mobile) mat. Resources & Appendices

Once thought to be a strictly European native, P. australis is now widely believed to have existed in North America long before European colonization. American forms of the genus, however, are reputedly less vigorous than European forms, and the contemporary perpetuation of P. australis in North America may be the hallmark of Europe’s vigorous, but otherwise almost indistinguishable, variety. Unfortunately, the distinction of the American versus the European strain is best verified by genetic analysis as opposed to field observation. Used for thousands of years in Europe as a building material, especially for

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thatch roofing, P. australis has numerous beneficial applications. Primarily, it is employed to improve water quality due to its great ability to extract heavy metals and excess nutrients from soil and water. Wastewater treatment plants and soil contamination mitigation sites regularly utilize this species for this very ability. Additionally, the plant has a recent historical use in controlling erosion from damp slopes and streambanks. This partially explains its proliferations in urban landscapes (in which it has escaped captivity through its thrice-effective reproduction) where toxic conditions due to stormwater pollution render wetlands inhospitable to other, less stress-tolerant species. Status in Centennial Business Park Peabody’s 2006 Recreation and Open Space Plan references P. australis as the City’s most ubiquitous aquatic (21). Centennial Business Park is no exception—indeed, this aggressive common reed lines several roadways adjacent to wetlands within the Park. Of particular concern is the inside of the sharp bend on the south side of the road between 7 and 9 Centennial Drive, where a wooded wetland complex boasts several thousand square feet of P. australis, which can grow to over twelve feet in height. Currently, the management at the BMW service center in that location assumes responsibility for cutting P. australis in order to preserve sightlines across this already dangerous curve. The question of how to control it without compromising safety is critical. The problem in this location is two-fold: 1. While the plants need to be removed in order to make navigating the curve safer, P. australis is an aggressive wetland species that reproduces by seed dispersal, vegetative stoloniferous growth, and by rhizome fragments drifting downstream to colonize new areas clonally. Controlling P. australis must take these means of


reproduction into account and seek to not only physically remove the plant, but also to suppress further growth and alter conditions such that P. australis cannot reestablish itself. 2. In order to ensure prolonged suppression of P. australis, it is necessary for alternate native species to colonize all areas in question in order to make them less hospitable to invasive species. However, many species that might be excellent replacement plants (especially trees, that would shade out P. australis) are typically rendered inappropriate for the dangerous roadway curve in question, as their height conflicts with sightlines as a key safety factor. Controlling P. australis

Effective primarily for small stands of fewer than one hundred plants, hand pulling of P. australis is a successful, albeit labor-intensive method of removing invasive plants from sandy soils. Requiring stalwart repetition, this method must be repeated for several years to successfully diminish the spread of P. australis. When addressing control of larger stands of P. australis, hand pulling proves too laborious, and mechanical control offers the greatest results. Indeed, the prominent tactic of controlling

The most effective time to cut P. australis is during its early flowering stage at the end of summer. During this time, nutrients are not being stored in the plant’s roots, but rather in the aerial portion of the plant in order to facilitate flowering, and therefore seed production. Removing the energy-rich stem and flower head of the plant thus depletes its nutrient reserves and diminishes its health. Cutting below the plant’s lowest leaves, and thus leaving a short stump, further inhibits the plant’s ability to recharge rhizomatous nutrient reserves through photosynthesis. Repetition on an annual or biannual basis is required for perpetual control of the colony. Furthermore, since P. australis is a grass, multiple mowings during a single growing season must be avoided since they contribute to an area’s stem density and therefore future growing potential. When cutting larger stands (where high stem density, and therefore rhizome density) is a factor, most efforts can be near-futile unless coupled with immediate application of glyphosate-based herbicide via brush or injection to freshly-cut stems. In no instance should herbicide be applied in aquatic habitats by broadcast spraying, especially during or before windy or rainy weather. It must be noted that application of glyphosate often requires dual application over a two-year period, plus additional monitoring, and must, by law, be performed by a licensed technician approved by governing municipalities. It is also interesting that many studies, as well as casual observations, have noted that strong suppression of P. australis occurs where livestock grazes regularly. Under such conditions, any small shoots that emerge from the plant’s rhizomes are eaten immediately, thus eventually depleting the energy reserves of the plants and effectively killing them off. While livestock may be an effective control of P. australis in many

Resources & Appendices

Many publications outline methods for control of P. australis (Ferguson, Wang). Outlined here is a summary of typical controls. In all cases, these methods require the utmost attention to cleaning all tools and clothing after contact with P. australis, composting cut vegetation to the extent that all plant materials (especially rhizomes) are liquefied or otherwise rendered infertile, and close monitoring of all growth to determine the best course of control for any given stage in the plant’s life-cycle. Selecting a method of management for P. australis must consider the size and age of the area colonized by the plant, as well as methods of control used previously, the season of application, weather conditions, and patterns of land use in the surrounding area.

P. australis entails mowing or otherwise cutting the stalks of the plant during the summertime when it is in its growth phase. Research indicates, however, that while mowing is an effective measure against the growth of P. australis, the timing of the mowing is crucial.

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Resources & Appendices

rural areas, such an approach is obviously inappropriate in Centennial Business Park. Additionally, the persistent grazing of livestock also decimates any plant species that might succeed P. australis, consigning such areas to remain populated by livestock.

mulching with several layers of recycled cardboard and several inches of straw suppressed invasive species growth long enough for willow and dogwood stakes driven through the mulch layers to leaf out and begin shading out invasives.

Similar (non-chemical) suppression can be achieved after mechanical mowing by the application of black plastic weed barrier. This method of control, however, like hand pulling, is most effective for small stands of P. australis where there are fewer than one hundred plants. By applying the barrier to the mown area and anchoring it down with sandbags, branchless logs, or round-edged rocks, plants can be expected to die off in approximately one week.

Finally, as just mentioned, replanting with native species is highly desirable. All of the previously outlined methods for controlling P. australis are aimed at reducing or eliminating the plant so that bio-diversifying native plants can reestablish ecosystem stability that is less susceptible to invasion by undesirable species. In many cases, removal or reduction of invasive species populations may be adequate to re-establish native species dominance on a site.

Although not indicated for specific control of P. australis in New England, a similar barrier-based approach has been tested against reedcanary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) and Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) in the Pacific Northwest. In cases where a three-mil plastic weed barrier proved penetrable by the shoots of invasive species, employing a Mirafi速 500X woven geotextile fabric to an area and strapping it to the ground with stakes and twine has proven effective for long-term suffocation of problematic plants. After eradication of the invasive species, removal of the fabric was followed by revegetation with desirable plants, during which small-scale manual control of invasives was manageable through periodic monitoring and hand cutting.

Additional site-specific research for Centennial Business Park is suggested for controlling invasive species with any of the methods previously outlined, including exploring appropriate plants for revegetation of mitigated areas. A list of native wetland plant species that are much shorter in stature than P. australis and improve water quality, especially through excess nutrient and heavy metal uptake, includes: Barberpole sedge (Scirpus microcarpus) Blueflag iris (Iris versicolor) Broad-leaf cattail (Typha latifolia) Narrow leaf cattail (Typha angustifolia) Soft stem bulrush (Scirpus validus) Sweetflag (Acorus calamus) Woolgrass (Scirpus cyperinus)

In areas where application and removal of the fabric proved laborious or erosive to soils (e.g., stream banks), a process of mowing and mulching proved similarly effective. After removal of invasive plant cuttings, sheet

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B. Gateway Design Schemes The design applications explored in this document present ways in which natural features and the contemporary built environment in a business park can be complementary. The four gateway monument schemes presented here (figs. 19-22) are similarly conceived. In each scheme, “Centennial” is writ large in dark-colored lettering (in some cases as individual block letters) on or juxtaposing a long rectangular steel or polycarbonate panel. Large rough-hewn slabs of granite or, in the case of the fourth scheme a dynamically shaped granite boulder, serve as a dramatic backdrop and contrast to the text and geometric panel. Throughout, the font is simple and easy to read, with adequate distinction between the letters and the background against which they are viewed. By referencing both Centennial’s glacial history and the contemporary style of the Park’s built environment, the schemes communicate key aspects of Centennial’s identity and provide simple, timeless aesthetics that can be translated to wayfinding elements, event banners, and marketing materials. The monument size can vary in accordance with the purpose and specific conditions of the gateway in which it is situated. Placement of any monument should take into account common sight lines, while material choices, illumination, groundcovers, and maintenance should ensure fourseason visibility.

It would be inappropriate to implement any of these monument schemes without first thoroughly assessing the functionality of the existing wayfinding system, in which a gateway monument plays a key role. It is therefore recommended that a wayfinding master plan be prepared before implementing any of these monument schemes. Such a plan, usually drafted by designers specializing in information design, typically includes a wayfinding experience audit, a design concept, a budget, and a phasing plan.

Resources & Appendices

Implementing a Monument Scheme

Figs.19-22: Gateway Monument Schemes These sketches represent four alternatives for a new gateway monument for Centennial Business Park.

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C. Case Studies Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A, South Campus Headquarters, Torrance, California In 2006 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, Inc. centralized its operations on a 135-acre master planned facility outside of Los Angeles. The goal was to place energy-efficient building pods in a sustainable landscape, demonstrating to shareholders the economic savings of green building practices that are employee and environmentally friendly. The five new buildings, totaling 624,000 square feet, received gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program while the exterior environment emphasized employee access to the outdoors as a way of improving employee productivity. Each office looks into a small garden space while larger gardens allow for gatherings that traditionally occur indoors to occur outdoors. The landscape design also reduces energy use: pedestrian paths connect building pods, lessening car use on the campus; the plant palette incorporates native and drought-tolerant species; and turf is used sparingly, decreasing the need for expensive, fossil-fuel intensive maintenance.

Resources & Appendices

Relevance to Centennial Business Park LEED buildings and sustainable landscape design prove more cost effective than traditional practices. A high quality outdoor setting improves the employee experience. Prairie Stone Business Park, Hoffman Estates, Illinois The Prairie Stone Business Park, located thirty miles outside of Chicago, offers amenities and natural elements that distinguish it from

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other suburban business parks. Employees and corporate visitors make extensive use of a childcare facility, a 100,000-square foot wellness center, and a recreational trail winding through the 788-acre Park while a transportation management association supplies commuter services and lobbies for cooperative traffic mitigation. Prairie Stone’s identity is also enhanced by its conservation-based approach to landscape management. A restored prairie, central to Prairie Stone’s image and celebrated in the Park’s signs and marketing, integrates Prairie Stone with the surrounding Midwestern landscape; the restored prairie has also proved less expensive to maintain than traditional turf and annual plantings. Relevance to Centennial Business Park Multimodal transport and amenities emphasizing natural features provide a competitive edge.

Ford River Rouge Plant, Dearborn, Michigan In the late 1990s, the Ford Motor Company faced a critical decision. The Company could renovate the outdated 1,100-acre River Rouge Center in Dearborn, a historic assembly facility burdened with heavily contaminated soils, or the Company could build a new production plant in a new location. Despite skepticism from industry analysts, Ford executives chose to redevelop the River Rouge facility using green practices. Chairman Bill Ford explained: “This is not environmental philanthropy; it is sound business, which for the first time, balances the business needs of auto manufacturing with ecological and social concerns.”


The Truck Assembly Plant is perhaps the most well known aspect of the revitalization. Its plant-based stormwater management approach cost $13 million—$35 million less than a conventional stormwater treatment system. Completed in 2004, the Plant features an awardwinning ten-acre green roof. In addition to absorbing and filtering water that would have otherwise be runoff, the vegetation protects the roof from wear and thermal shock, provides extra insulation, mitigates the heat island effect, and supplies insect and bird habitat. The Plant’s porous fifteen-acre parking lot filters and stores rainwater for slow release into canals and wetlands while greenscreens—trellises for deciduous vines and other plants—take up additional water, help shade and cool buildings, and provide wildlife habitat. Relevance to Centennial Business Park Vegetative stormwater systems prove less expensive than conventional systems, and the needs of the environment and businesses are balanced. SEA Streets, Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle, Washington

Relevance to Centennial Business Park Such a project could have similar application to the landscape in Centennial Business Park. Not only do the wide roadways and property frontages in Centennial offer accommodation for bioswales along the road, tiein to existing wetlands is possible. Similarities exist in topography, geology, and soils, too. Seattle and Peabody are both shaped by water and glaciation. As such, they both have well-draining glacial till soils into which stormwater, when allowed, can infiltrate naturally to recharge groundwater systems.

Resources & Appendices

Seattle Public Utilities initiated the Street Edge Alternatives project, or SEA Street, in a one-block stretch of 2nd Avenue NW, an urban residential road covered in pavement and compacted gravel. When rainwater flowed over this impervious surface, it picked up pollution on its way downhill to Piper’s Creek and eventually Elliot Bay. To remedy the negative effects of this impervious environment on natural waterways, project designers applied a Natural Drainage Systems

(NDS) approach to managing the stormwater from the neighborhood. The NDS approach performs many of the same functions of natural streams and wetlands by increasing the ability of the landscape to absorb rainwater with plants in shallow depressions. This maximizes the site’s detention volume and therefore also maximizes the time that stormwater has to infiltrate into the ground. It does all of this without compromising homeowner access and parking needs. SEA Street was the first project of its kind and serves as a benchmark for other stormwater reduction projects.

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D. Employee Questionnaire Dear Centennial Business Park Employee, The City of Peabody and the Conway School of Landscape Design, a graduate program in sustainable land use planning and design, have partnered to develop a Landscape Revitalization Plan for Centennial Business Park. The goal of the plan is to improve the overall usability of Centennial and to forge a new, modern identity for the Park, including a better outdoor experience for employees. The following questionnaire has been developed to obtain feedback on Centennial Business Parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s landscape and amenities. Please take a few moments to respond to the following questions and submit by March 13, 2009. If you are willing to offer further feedback, please provide your name, phone number, and email. Your contact information will not be shared, and any information you provide will remain confidential. Thank you for helping guide the Centennial Business Park Landscape Plan. If you have any further questions please contact ________. Sincerely,

Resources & Appendices

The Centennial Business Park Landscape Revitalization Team The Conway School of Landscape Design Graduate Program in Sustainable Planning & Design www.csld.edu

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Do you work in Centennial Business Park? Please select one.

Full-time

Part-time

Telecommute

Other

What do you like best about the Centennial Business Park landscape or site experience?

What would you like to change about the Centennial Business Park landscape or site experience?

What current landscape elements do you enjoy in Centennial Business Park? Please select no more than three. Lawns, flower beds, and other maintained landscapes

Wooded tracts, wetlands, and other naturalized areas

Sidewalks

Outdoor eating areas

Outdoor gathering areas

Other


What is your level of satisfaction with the current outdoor spaces in Centennial Business Park? Please check only one. Very Satisfied

Do you buy from nearby businesses on Summit Street in Peabody? Yes No

Satisfied

Not Satisfied

What kind of amenities or services would you like to see within Centennial Business Park? Please select all that apply. Fitness center

How important is outdoor space to you in Centennial Business Park? Please check only one. Very important

Restaurants and cafĂŠs

Retail shopping

Somewhat important

Farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; market

Not important

Housing

Other

What landscape elements would you like to have in Centennial Business Park? Please select no more than three. Ornamental gardens

Do you use public transport to get to work? Yes

No

Outdoor eating and gathering areas

Sidewalks

Trails

If no, would you use public transport if it were more readily available? Yes

Bike Paths

Exercise Trails

Open space

Playgrounds

Other

No

Resources & Appendices

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D. EMPLOYEE OPINIONS What do you like best about the Centennial Business Park landscape and site experience? (question two in the employee questionnaire) What would you like to change about the Centennial Business Park landscape and site experience? (question three in the employee questionnaire) Clean and friendly More conformity, more places to walk outside

Pleasant landscaping More flowers

Location

Sidewalks—but they don’t go the entire length and aren’t consistent

The grounds are kept pretty nicely. I especially like to see it when the landscaper plants impatiens around the trees near our entrance.

More grass, trees

Taking a left onto Summit Street is difficult. Tell the smokers to go somewhere else to smoke. It is absolutely disgusting to be hit with their puffs of smoke at the entrance way. Also, there are cigarette butts all over the place. That needs to be addressed! I like to use the outdoor eating area outside the café but they need to get new umbrellas that actually work. It would also be nice to have a few picnic tables on the grass. I think it’s well kept. The sidewalks need to be improved. It’s relatively clean of trash. Better sidewalks or walking paths that allow for both runners and walkers Access to the expressway Better maintenance of sidewalks during the winter

Resources & Appendices

The availability of sidewalks so you can do a three mile walk at lunchtime It’s very difficult to find individual addresses in the Park. People are frequently lost and asking for directions. Also, the islands and driveway layouts are not good. Awkward front parking lot at 1 Corporation Way, no place to put snow, etc. The flowers Make it more pleasing for walking. I would like a map of walking or running trails near my workplace. Convenience to highways I would like to see a more pleasing landscape with, flowering trees, and planted annuals in the summer.

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Being able to walk at lunch Being able to walk at lunch without concern for traffic In general, it is very dull. More colors are needed. It looks like one endless field of mulch. The front of the Marriott where the flags are located is awful. The wooded areas Maintain the walkways for maximum safety. Incorporate bicycle paths in, through, and around the Park that allow for a safer bicycle commute. Overpasses for pedestrian and bicycle traffic would help. The open, non-crowded space along the Analogic landscape and the “natural” undeveloped sections that are visible are very pleasing. Overall blocking of the highway traffic and noise is very well done. A few dirt path trails that could be walked during a half-hour-to-hour lunch or after work in the area would be an improvement. It’s clean and accessible. Something for people to do during lunch breaks Easy access to Route 128 and I-95 Better plowing in the winter and better maintenance of the sidewalks, including trimming shrubs and trees that overhanging the sidewalks I like to walk the Park at lunch. Traffic often heavy and traveling too fast. It is sometimes difficult and scary to cross Centennial Drive. Add more lunch or breakfast options within the Park. Diversified companies that are represented


There is not much of a “Centennial Business Park Landscape or outdoor experience.” Better walking and outdoor eating areas 1. BMW of Peabody has nice landscaping. 2. Marriott Hotel just made significant improvements along the roadway last year. Their on-property landscaping (not so visible while driving past) is very nice. 3. The island near the traffic light isn’t bad, but cannot be enjoyed up close as it is an island. 1. Sidewalks on both sides of road. 2. Marked crosswalks (there aren’t any) 3. Improve the red light as traffic exiting Rt. 128 and entering the park at 5:15 to 5:30 PM will not stop at the red light and continually block opposing traffic when they get to the green light. I have telephoned the Peabody Police Department and they have done nothing. 4. Add a red light traffic camera. Isn’t there one at the Rt 1 “jug handle?” 5. Clean up the swamp area on southern side of Centennial Drive between the traffic light and Summit Street. What an eyesore when walking along the sidewalk. 6. Years ago, there were driveways and roads which exited Rt. 128. One led into the old landfill and was paved. I used to be able to walk from the old Rt. 128 down this road and into the grove of trees adjoining Analogic’s “helicopter / big rock” parking lot. Perhaps this grove could be reclaimed as well as the old paved road? Unfortunately a guardrail and extensive poison ivy now makes it impassible. I don’t venture past my company during the workday. I would shop after work if something were to develop. I do enjoy the spring clean up. It gives a lift to the spirit.

LEAVE IT ALONE. LEAVE IT ALONE. Availability of mailboxes and newspapers on Centennial Drive Traffic coming off Rt. 128 that will not yield to drivers heading out of Centennial Drive by the Cancer Center and traffic back-up on Summit Street It looks very rural. It’s a nice setting. I believe just maintenance is really needed. It’s a nice place. I believe a small Dunkin Donuts would be a QUALITY addition.

There is no park for enjoying outdoors during lunch break (i.e. for walking, etc.). Proximity to Rt. 128 Additional traffic lights along Centennial Drive to alleviate traffic congestion for both normal business day endings and inclement weather Easy highway access The snow blowing around the mailboxes is terrible. Could use more restaurants and an ATM. Sidewalks need work. Proximity to major highways More deli and eatery places, an ATM machine within the park. Traffic can be congested on Summit and Lynnfield streets. Many employees walk at lunch. It would be great to have trails in the woods and along wetlands or other unmaintained landscapes to walk. This would also attract wildlife. The amount of grass and trees versus the parking lots and buildings is not too bad. I would like to see a bike path for people who commute by bike in the summer. I know that people also enjoy taking walks during their lunchtime and breaks. Open space, close to shopping and Peabody Center, traffic flow to Analogic for me is good coming from Lynnfield Need a bike path, a true pedestrian/running/biking loop between Centennial Drive, Farm Ave., and Forest Street. Sidewalks

Resources & Appendices

There should be a traffic light installed at the beginning of Centennial Drive. Trying to take a left hand turn out of the Park is death defying.

People drive too fast along the road. Drivers get angry if you’re not going forty-five miles per hour! Add a bike lane to each side of the road. The road is wide enough and should be easy to add. Possibly add signs warning drivers of bike lanes.

More colorful flowers, benches along the sidewalks, picnic tables The view of the landscape I would try to make sure that the sidewalks are clean in a timely manner. Amount of trees and lawns is good. Walking trail that connects businesses and is parallel to Centennial Drive

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Trees, flowers, natural wetlands The building numbers are not sequential, making it confusing to people trying to find their destination. Convenience to Rt. 128 Hard to say because Analogic is somewhat separate from the rest of Centennial Park Landscaping give the feeling that the park is not overly crowded. Easy access to highways, accessible by bicycle, and high quality businesses More food businesses in the park (currently the only two that I know of are Greg’s Deli and Brandi’s Cafe). The Rt. 128 off-ramp is dangerous to navigate. Some storm drains have gratings parallel to road—this is dangerous for bicycles.

Resources & Appendices

I would want either a sidewalk on the even-numbered side or some crosswalks to get to the side with the sidewalk. As it is now, it is somewhat dangerous to leave Analogic and take a walk down Centennial Drive.

It’s close to the highway. When adding plants and trees, include more edible types. Rather than just a bush, how about a blueberry bush? The large island at the entrance from Route 128 should go. The back up at the light is a danger in both directions, the hill is a blind curve, and the backup is long at rush hour. Cut down some of the bushes so we can see around the curve at the hill. The Route 128 off ramp needs to be better. Congestion at entrance to the Park is a danger!! The cross over pattern is a bad merge of both north and south bound traffic. This is a large area with some amazing wildlife (birds, hawks, and a beautiful fox). It would be nice to be able to get out into it a bit more to enjoy it.

Close to highway with easy access. Sidewalks for noon lunch walks. Peabody Marriott’s seasonal flowers. Shaded sidewalks on east side of Centennial Drive. Redesign the Summit Street traffic controls and flow to eliminate traffic back-ups onto Centennial Drive. Sidewalks down both sides of Centennial Drive. Sidewalks on streets connecting Centennial Dr. with Jubilee Drive. Would like to be able to drop my car off for a simple oil change and lube within the Park and still get a ride to work. More sidewalk/sandwich/hotdog vendors in the summer months. Park area and walking paths out to Ship Rock. Sidewalks or a walk/bike path connecting from Centennial Drive to Forest Street. Easier visitor access to medical center buildings. Historical marker depicting old Pages Hill Ski Area location behind Avnet Park.

It feels very sterile, disjointed and business-like without any connection between the businesses and the employees who work here. I’d like to see more public transport available and shared car-pooling between the businesses. Sidewalks, exercise trails, cross-walks for employees during their lunch hour, bike paths to allow for bike commuters, and the consideration of lot space for community gardening (vegetable or flower and try to make it organic)

Access to I-95 and Rt. 128 Add bike paths and/or walking trails.

Lots of sidewalks. Not a lot of traffic through the Park so it is safe for walkers and joggers.

The Park identifies with an out of the ordinary experience. Too close proximity to each work place would make us feel cramped.

Need more flowers and flowering bushes.

I would like to see maybe a median where trees and shrubs could bring out more a natural setting. Clean Place for activities The best thing is Greg’s Deli. Analogic has nothing but crab grass and rusty stones and signs

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Great place to walk at lunch There are several places in the sidewalk across from the visitor entrance to Analogic that the manhole covers stick up above the sidewalk and I fell last year and injured my knee. It’s very dangerous if you don’t expect it.

Easy layout Create a pond or park area where one could eat lunch. Sidewalks Off road trails Adding a simple basketball court would be nice. Some of the employees wouldn’t mind being able to get some physical activity during lunch.

Near the Marriott it’s fairly wooded. The sidewalk on the south side of Centennial Drive is a pleasant walking area from the Marriott up to the BMW site. Then it’s very drab and ugly. Outdoor eating/gathering areas are needed. It’s very clean. It would be so nice to have some restaurants or lunch type eateries close by.


The Marriott’s landscape is kept up pretty well. Otherwise it’s dull. Need sidewalks on both sides of the street. Would like to eat outdoors during the summer, but there’s no place to do that. I like the variety of architectural styles from various periods; I would not want to update buildings from the 1960s or 1970s because I feel they give the Park a comfortable and settled appearance. I appreciate the open and wooded areas, and the stone walls that border the sidewalks in the lower part. I like the fact that the Park is relatively friendly to pedestrians. I especially like the pedestrian access along the south side of Proctor Pond. I would add more sidewalks and marked pedestrian crossings, so that employees who walk for exercise can do so safely. For the same reason, I would clear sidewalks in the winter. I would like to provide some pedestrian access to wooded areas and upland meadows. Companies should provide marked pedestrian corridors or pathways through their grounds; these might be created along the edges of parking areas. For example, Analogic could provide access for pedestrians between Jubilee Drive and Centennial Drive. Also, the bluffs south of Corporate Way provide a wonderful view, including Ship Rock to the east, and this view should be enjoyed by more people. I sometimes see elementary or middle school children in the Park, and would like to make the Park more child-friendly. A playground somewhere near the intersection of Jubilee Drive and First Avenue would be useful. Granite rock with the name of the Park Landscaping, great location for walking and working, easy access for customers and visitors

The businesses keep the grounds looking good, and the buildings are in good shape and spaced out. There is an abandoned stand at the end of Centennial Drive that should be removed. Trees and grass Add walking trails.

Resources & Appendices

I have no comment about the landscape. I would like to see the Rt. 128 north and south change the way they enter Centennial Business Park. Rt. 128 north vehicles coming of the highway at high speed without realizing the traffic from the lights at the intersection of Centennial Business Park and not realize it could be back-up and causes them to slam on their breaks. Rt. 128 south coming over the bridge has a yield sign which not everyone yields, they come close to hitting the vehicle coming off of Rt. 128 north and Rt. 128 south also has a hard time going to the right lane due to Rt. 128 north blocking the right lane waiting for the lights to change to green at the intersection of Centennial Drive. My suggestion is that Rt. 128 north should have lights installed for them before the Rt. 128 south merges together to stop at the same light cycle as the intersection in Centennial Business Park and Rt. 128 south should have lights at the 128 south merges together and have them change to red when the intersection lights at Centennial Business Park and Rt. 128 north lights changes to green.

Easy access from the highway, sidewalks for summer walking, and light traffic. 1. The road entrance/exit to the Park at the bottom of the hill has uninituitive right of ways (yield signs). Most people don’t understand them. Clearer road signs and more signs should be erected. 2. Let’s face it, lunch hour is the only real time people will make use of outdoor features, and that’s only in good weather. The Park is spread out per a mile. People aren’t going to walk a half mile to an eating area on their fifteen-minute break. Companies tend to have their own picnic tables. Although some religious walk and job during lunch, I don’t see “meeting areas” as being useful. Facilitating the dedicated walkers and joggers with up kept sidewalks is probably most useful. 3. The Park is mostly seen from inside a car. Perhaps flower beds and aesthetic improvements for the benefit of the commuter. 4. The improvements you list as possibilities below seem more fitting for a retirement community than an industrial park. We work eight hours/day and have comparatively little time to enjoy outdoor distractions. Hourly workers have a half hour for lunch, and salaried employees have forty-five minutes that keeps long walks to the exercise buffs. Trails and features would probably see more use from Peabody residents than by employees. 5. The nice thing about this Park is the traffic is light. This is because there are no retail businesses drawing in more traffic or impeding the flow. Adding retail would hinder traffic. 6. Sometimes the best improvement is to just leave it alone. Just fix the road right of ways and keep the sidewalks repaired. All else is fine.

I find this a waste of taxpayer money. The “Park” is a place of work. Better sidewalks, traffic patterns. There are no common areas that “invite” usage. I pretty much just go to work everyday in the morning and leave at night without utilizing the Park in the nice weather. It seems kind of unsafe at points to walk because of the lack of sidewalks. I see people walking in the street and having a hard time trying to cross.

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Make it more exercise-friendly. For example, have wider/safer sidewalks and possibly markers that inform the walker how far they have walked. Benches would be nice. If a fitness center was put in the Park that would be wonderful. Landscaping seems to be nice on the east side of Centennial Drive. The landscaping on the west side (Analogic side) is much too industrial and needs to be “beefed-up.” The intersection down near the records retrieval company needs to be cleaned up, overgrown trees trimmed, a sidewalk across from Goodrich. A worker in the park should be able to walk a circuit without having to walk along Centennial Drive (too noisy). Parking is good. Access to Rt. 128, North Shore Mall and Rt. 114 shopping is great. Lynnfield Street access to Rt. 1 and Peabody Square is handy. Better walking trails around the perimeter of the Park so you don’t have to walk along Centennial Drive, which is too noisy and busy. Jubillee Drive by Boston Acoustics has a nice sidewalk and is usually quiet. Landscaping is okay except in front of Analogic. There needs to be a higher and more forested berm. It would be nice to have some benches (shade and sun). And also trash cans. Although my company has a very nice patio where you can eat your lunch, it would be nice to take a little walk, sit and read a book. This year, there was a vendor selling hot dogs and lemonade down the street. I notice a lot of people getting a quick (and very good I understand) lunch, and talking to each other, which is very nice.

Resources & Appendices

I love the greenway [median strip] between the buildings and Centennial Drive. Not enough exit and entrance ways, traffic backs up quickly given how traffic lights work. Near the Rt. 128 ramps, too many people block the intersection when the lights change, preventing the traffic with the right of way from moving. The traffic signs in that area seem opposite to the way they should be given the right of way to the traffic that is entering the main flow of traffic and making the main flow yield to traffic. Not too crowded, little traffic Add a coffee shop and/or drug store. Add a sidewalk on the ‘even’ numbered side. I enjoy talking a walk at lunch on the sidewalks. I feel that traffic travels too fast on Centennial Drive, making it dangerous when taking a walk and difficult to enter when leaving work in your vehicle. Walking along Jubilee Drive is enjoyable, with few cars and trees. Sidewalks are damaged from years of construction, with little or no repair to them when completed. Convenient to Rt. 128 Safe walking trails would be nice. The trees and the feeling of being in the country Need more flowers

The triangle at the lights at Forest Street should be spruced up with some color.

I like the fact that there are two entrances and exits to the park. A few of the business have nice landscaping.

Easy access Remove yield sign from Rt. 128 off ramp.

The Lynnfield Street entrance sign is old and in disrepair and does not make a good first impression. The area where the old Fed-Ex booth is could use some attention.

The buildings have stayed nice to look at. Easy to find locations. Most of the businesses keep the landscape looking taken care of. There is always a lot of trash around. I’m not comfortable walking along the street.

The grounds, taking walks, and convenience to highway and shops Add some type of childcare facility or inside play space, picnic areas and shopping facilities

Great to walk at lunch Less mulch and more flowers

I enjoy all the green areas of the Park. It is spread out nicely.

Large boulders were left in place. There are ample trees. More colorful flowers in the spring and summer, more blooming trees (apple, weeping cherry, magnolia, dogwood, etc.), more flowers on the median strips when you’re at the signal light.

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The exit Need walking trails, bike trails, a park area

The Park needs sidewalks for the even numbered side of the road. Regarding the death defying traffic situation, if a traffic light is not warranted, how about installing a STOP sign on Summit Street at the beginning of Centennial? The drivers on Summit will not let anyone trying to get off Centennial going left.


Wide open space and freely flowing traffic on Centennial Drive. More lunch time food options Easy access to highway. There is little to no retail shopping in the Park (we have enough traffic already without adding this crap; leave these businesses over in the North Shore Shopping Center and the Liberty Tree Mall). There are no neighborhood kids hanging around. I’ve worked in Centennial Park since May of 1988. More law enforcement at yield signs, but ABSOLUTELY NO more traffic lights. The exits need better signage starting back on Rt. 95. People are constantly driving in the right lane and then cutting across to left exits. This happens on Rt. 95 south mostly with tractor-trailers heading to Rt. 128 south and happens mostly with cars and SUVs (and even state vehicles!) on the approach ramp where the exit to Rt. 128 north goes left and Centennial is straight ahead. Then it happens again when the right lane goes to Centennial and the left lane goes to Summit Street. Summit Street traffic is a pain during rush hour too. It backs up from the Lynnfield Street light back to beyond the Centennial Drive light. Traffic coming off Rt. 128 heading to Summit Street goes from two lanes to one, becoming a free for all during rush hour. Then as the traffic backs up they end up parked in the intersection so the Centennial Drive traffic can’t access the highway. I like that it’s not all parking lots and the building are set a little bit back from the road. I like that there’s some greenery left. I would like to have more sidewalks and outdoor spaces. A lot of people go for walks during the lunchtime as the only form of exercise, and it would be nice if there were sidewalks. It’s pleasant enough. I haven’t really thought much about it. The sidewalks could be cleared of any trees, rubbish, etc. and crosswalks clearly marked. There is one down by Lynnfield Street on First Ave. that has a huge tree stump growing right in the middle of the sidewalk that forces you to walk in the road.

Better walking paths

Open space, close to shopping and Peabody Center, traffic flow to Analogic for me is good coming from Lynnfield Need a bike path, a true pedestrian/running/biking loop between Centennial Drive, Farm Ave., and Forest Street. Sidewalks and wildlife More colorful flowers, benches along the sidewalks, picnic tables The view of the landscape I would try to make sure that the sidewalks are clean in a timely manner. Amount of trees and lawns is good. Walking trail that connects businesses and is parallel to Centennial Drive The amount of grass and trees versus the parking lots and buildings is not too bad. I would like to see a bike path for people who commute by bike in the summer. I know that people also enjoy taking walks during their lunchtime and breaks. The wide roads Better walking trails and slower traffic. I walk at lunch and I need to cross the street to reach the sidewalk, and I rarely bother since people drive so fast along Centennial that it feels unsafe to cross. So I just end up walking around the parking lot. Grassy areas, trees More flowers and walking trails Resources & Appendices

There are still significant wooded areas & a good number of trees along the road.

There are a lot of employees in the Park and surrounding area who like to get out of the office environment for the lunch break, and while it is nice to be able to walk along the roadside on a sidewalk for that time, I can’t help wanting some kind of path/park away from the road to walk that may even have sitting and table areas.

Forested areas and the wetlands. It’s easy to get to. We need a Dunkin Donuts here.

It looks nice. Improved walking areas Plantings and landscape among the industrial buildings and pleasant walking area during nice weather

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F.online resources A wealth of resources relevant to this project are available online. Below is a select list of useful sites, many of which offer downloadable resources and publications.

• U.S. Green Building Council http://www.usgbc.org

ECO-PARKS

STORMWATER

• A discussion of eco-industrial parks http://www.smartcommunities.ncat.org/business/ecoparks.shtml

• Artful Rainwater Design www.artfulrainwaterdesign.net/

• National Center for Eco-Industrial Development http://www.usc.edu/schools/sppd/research/NCEID/Websites.htm COMMERCIAL-SCALE GREEN BUILDING • American Institute of Architects Top Ten Green Projects (the COTE Awards) http://www.aiatopten.org/ • Energy & Environmental Building Association http://www.eeba.org • Green Building Initiative (assessment protocol, rating system, and guide for integrating environmentally friendly design into commercial buildings) http://www.thegbi.org Resources & Appendices

• Green Roofs for Healthy Cities http://www.greenroofs.org • Sustainable Buildings Industry Council http://www.sbicouncil.org • Sustainable Facility (publication for energy, resource management, and high performance building in commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities) http://www.sustainablefacility.com

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• Building Better II: A Guide to America’s Best New Development Projects (ten examples of new developments that use innovative, environmentally sensitive stormwater management methods) http://www.sierraclub.org/healthycommunities/buildingbetter/intro.asp • Center for Watershed Protection http://www.cwp.org • Green Values Stormwater Toolbox http://greenvalues.cnt.org • Innovative Stormwater Management Inventory University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center http://www.erg.unh.edu/stormwater/index.asp • Fact sheets, design manuals, and information resources on low impact development, assembled by the United States Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov/nps/lid • Low Impact Development Center, Inc. http://www.lowimpactdevelopment.org • Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) University of Connecticut http://nemo.uconn.edu/tools.htm


• Stormwater (the journal for surface water quality professionals Water Environmental Research Foundation http://www.stormh2o.com • Water Environmental Research Foundation, “Using Rainwater to Grow Livable Communities” http://www.werf.org/livablecommunities

• North Shore Transportation Management Association http://www.northshoretma.org • Public Transportation (extensive archive of reports on the importance and benefits of public transportation) http://www.publictransportation.com

• North Coastal Watershed Action Plan http://www.northcoastal.net/ncw/

• Reconnecting America: The Center for Transit-Oriented Development http://www.reconnectingamerica.org

MULTIMODAL TRANSPORTATION • American Public Transportation Association http://www.apta.com

• “The Road Less Traveled: An Analysis of Vehicles Miles Traveled Trends in the U.S.,” Brookings Institution http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2008/1216_ transportation_tomer_puentes_aspx

• Bureau of Transportation Statistics http://www.bts.gov

• Transit Oriented Development http://www.transittowns.org

• Center for Transportation Excellence http://www.cfte.org

• Transportation Research Board http://www.trb.org

• Federal Transit Administration http://www.fta.dot.gov

• Victoria Transportation Institute (independent research organization developing innovative and practical solutions to transportation problems) http://www.vtpi.org

• Massachusetts Bicycle Transportation Plan http://massbikeplan.org • MassBike http://www.massbike.org

• MassRides (ridematching service offered through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation) http://www.commute.com • National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates http://www.napta.net

• American Institute of Graphic Arts www.aiga.org • ClearviewHwy Font (a font that improves upon the visibility and legibility of standard highway sign fonts) www.clearviewHwy.com

Resources & Appendices

• MassCommute (a collective of Massachusetts Transportation Management Associations) http://www.masscommute.com

WAYFINDING

• Society for Environmental Graphic Design (a professional organization of designers specializing in wayfinding, identity communication, and information design) www.segd.org

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Thirty years ago, the City of Peabody overcame significant hurdles to develop Centennial Business Park. Bedrock was blasted and tons of large boulders were moved. Busy Route 128 was shifted to accommodate the Park, and an exit was added to provide direct access. Forward-thinking strategies and effective partnerships made such achievements possible. Today, the City of Peabody and businesses in Centennial are coming together to address contemporary challenges. This document puts forth a vision to help guide their endeavors. Available at www.csld.edu/whatsnew.htm

Sustaining Economy & Place

A Revitalization Guide for Centennial Business Park

Sustaining Economy and Place: A Revitalization Guide for Centennial Business Park  

By Michael Blacketer, Ashley Pelletier & Jenna Webster, Conway School of Landscape Design, Winter 2009. Today, Peabody, Massachsetts’s econo...