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Malden ballpark plan adds conference space, with $80M price tag

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Proposed Malden ballpark

The price of a proposed new Malden (Mass.) ballpark for an independent Atlantic League team has risen to $80 million after the addition of a conference center, but part of that cost could be covered by the state.

Funding for conference space at the ballpark is part of the state's capital bonding bill, according to a press release issued by State Sen. Jason Lewis. The conference space was not part of the original ballpark plan, but it was added after community input, as locals expressed a desire to see a year-round facility. That addition significantly added to the cost of the privately financed project, which has been delayed several times.

Another factor in the rise of the ballpark cost from a last estimate of $51 million: cleanup of site contamination.

From Wicked Local:

MRA director Deborah Burke said the conference area would include 15,000 square feet of community meeting space, 6,000 square feet for a restaurant, plus a kitchen and storage space. Burke said the meeting area would be located on an upper level of the ballpark, near the corner of Commercial Street and Route 60....

Plans for the ballpark were unveiled in January of 2012, but groundbreaking has been pushed back several times. Cost of the ballpark was estimated at $51 million in 2012, but that figure has since grown to $80 million.

Asked about the rising costs, Bok said the two figures aren’t really an "apples to apples" comparison.

"We’ve added a restaurant and a conference center…that combined with the environmental costs due to the site conditions, leads to a total project cost of $80 million," said developer Alex Bok.

The new ETA for a ballpark opening is 2017 -- if it happens. Bok is reported as saying he may pull the plug on the project if more roadbumps emerge. His firm doesn't yet control all the land needed to build a ballpark, and it sounds like there are serious new costs at every turn. A decision on the future of the project is set for the fall.

RELATED STORES: New Malden ballpark pushed back to 2016; Letter of intent signed for new Malden ballpark; Lease approved for proposed Malden ballpark; Lease issues delay Malden ballpark planning; Parcels eyed for new Malden ballpark; Malden ballpark plan on path for preliminary approval; New ballpark pitched in MaldenArchives: Sept. 3-9, 2006Archives: March 5-11, 2006

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