MassDOT today announced an agreement to swap land at Lechmere with land by North Station that will lead to a new rail service north and west of Boston - and actual construction of the long stalled North Point development.
Under the deal, the state will give Pan Am Railways the land used for the current Lechmere Green Line station in exchange for the former Pan Am rail yard, which is across the Charles River from Massachusetts General Hospital, and rights to use other Pan Am tracks in the area.
The move means the state can begin work to bring some Worcester Line commuter-rail trains into North Station via tracks in Cambridge and a bridge over the Charles River by Boston University.
A related agreement for use of Pan Am tracks between Boston and New Hampshire paves the way for new commuter-rail service to that state, MassDOT says. The state is also kicking in $12.5 million - about $5 million less than it had originally thought track rights would cost, MassDOT says.
The Lechmere land swap, meanwhile, is part of a deal in which the state will move the current Lechmere station to a new location on the east side of O'Brien Highway as part of the extension of the Green Line into Somerville and Medford.
Pan Am and the HYM Investment Group will use the Lechmere land as part of their planned mixed-use development of 2,800 residential units, more than 2 million square feet of office space and 185,000 square feet of retail.