2024 Brockton construction projects to watch

BROCKTON — While Brockton has its share of empty storefronts and under-utilized buildings, a wave of construction projects, both major and minor, should shape the city in 2024.

If schedules hold, you’ll have a new drive-thru Starbucks across from the high school, a flurry of activity at the city’s new public safety complex, resolution for what the Merian Tuxedo site will become, a design for new public space next to Joe Angelo’s and the opening of new Hilton hotel at the mall. Oh, and maybe, just maybe, the future of the old fairgrounds will finally become clear.

Here are six development projects that should be completed or make major progress in the new year:

Starbucks on Belmont

A new Starbucks is being built between the McDonalds and Taco Bell on Belmont Street, right across from Brockton High School. The city’s planning board approved the project in April 2023. The parcel is part of Belmont West Plaza at 683 Belmont St. It’s under construction now.

The new coffee shop will feature a drive-thru. The spot was previously part of the sprawling parking lot. So, even with the new building, the plan calls for more trees and green space than it had before. Starbucks customers will be able to use the larger parking lot, but 15 spaces will be available at the front door.

Public Safety Building

The $98 million transformation of the old Brockton High School site into the new home for Brockton’s fire, police, emergency management and information technology departments made big strides in 2023. Most notably, crews demolished the old school, while saving some decorative elements for reuse. The project takes up an entire large block along Warren Avenue between Highland and West Elm streets.

The current timeline calls for the building to open in summer 2025, as Mayor Robert F. Sullivan announced in his inaugural speech on Monday. In 2024, residents should see most of the construction work finished.

Merian Tuxedo

Various plans for the iconic Merian Brothers property at 137, 141 and 147 Main St. downtown have come and gone over the years, including a charter school that wound up in Campello instead. The planning board unanimously approved the current proposal on Dec. 5. The previous proposal was for 99 market-rate units.

“Merian on Main” would be a five-story, 83-unit multifamily housing project. The second, third and most of the fourth floors would be rented out as affordable units with 15 one-bedrooms, 35 two-bedrooms and six three-bedrooms. Family-friendly three-bedroom units have been rare in recent downtown developments that focus on one- and two-bedrooms aimed at professionals commuting to Boston. The fifth floor would be condos for sale with 19 one-bedrooms and eight two-bedrooms. The two-bedroom ownership units would two stories, with the bedrooms on the fourth floor.

Developer Mark Pillotte of Dakota Partners was granted up to three years to start the project. He told the planning board he would need to secure tax incentives to move forward.

Some city councilors bridled at the approval process, saying it needed further vetting in council’s finance committee. In the end, council voted 7-2 with one abstention to declare a city-owned parcel surplus, paving the way for the project to go forward.

Sycamore Grove

The new year could be a turning point for a public-spirited plan to turn an alley and parking lot by Joe Angelo’s into green space. “Sycamore Grove” would transform the area, once home to a bus depot, into outdoor public space.

City officials said in December that they are working with a handful of abutters to obtain clear title so work can begin. The goal is to have a design approved by summer so the project can be eligible for $2M in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. Daniel Pallota, a consultant the city hired to manage ARPA projects, told city council he wants to make sure all land issues are settled before spending money on design.

Brockton Fairgrounds

The 800-pound gorilla of Brockton development projects is no doubt the old Fairgrounds. Mayor Robert F. Sullivan had floated a plan to pay the Carney family, which owns the 65-acre site, about $55M to give the city control over how the area gets developed. The idea had some momentum in summer 2023, despite skepticism from some residents and politicians.

That was before the revelation of multi-million-dollar deficits and mismanagement at the Brockton Public Schools. Fresh off reelection, city councilors may take up the mayor’s proposal in 2024. Meanwhile, the site remains in private hands, and the Carneys could sell or lease it as they wish.

Tru by Hilton Hotel

Brockton’s newest hotel is now being built at Westgate Mall. It is slated to be a Tru by Hilton. The developer of the four-story, 78-room hotel agreed not to use the facility for long-term residents. That’s to allay worries by some residents that homeless persons and refugees will be put up there.

The hotel would open in late summer 2024 if the current schedule holds.

Send your news tips to reporter Chris Helms by email at CHelms@enterprisenews.com or connect on X at @HelmsNews.


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