Approximately 150,000 square feet of office space at Trade Center Park will be leased to Middlesex Superior Court. This is expected to be a temporary location for the Court for three to five years, while the state completely renovates Edward J. Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge.
Any community in any state is typically delighted when presented with the opportunity to host a courthouse or other significant government entity. In addition to the prestige and community pride, a large operating courthouse like this will inject many hundreds of thousands of dollars each year into the local economy.
This economic gain will come not only through the creation of new local jobs, but also through significant added revenue for area hotels, restaurants and other local services. One very unusual difference in this situation is that, unlike state-owned facilities, this courthouse building will be fully taxable to the city of Woburn.
As a direct result of the Court’s presence, Cummings’ staff expect that both Trade Center Park and the entire neighborhood will soon be served with direct MBTA bus service. Ride-sharing services will also be organized to facilitate easy, dependable access to the site for jurors, justices, and attorneys, as well as other court staff and the general public. For neighborhood convenience the developers will add a concrete sidewalk from the edge of the site on Pearl Street to a covered bus stop in front of the Courthouse.
Robert A. Mulligan is Chief Justice for Administration and Management of the Massachusetts Trial Court, and is the person most directly responsible for the rebuilding of the existing courthouse in Cambridge. Justice Mulligan attended one Public Hearing in Woburn for the new courthouse already, and has indicated that he expects to attend and participate in the December 12 meeting, as well. He has told Cummings staff that he is very concerned about the urgency of the project, because he wants to relocate the Superior Court to Woburn as soon as possible.
Although State laws provide that public buildings may be constructed, if necessary, without local oversight or review, Justice Mulligan has indicated from the start that he wants this building built to conform with all elements of Woburn’s Zoning Ordinance and to be a welcome addition to the community. In his remarks at the November 2 public meeting, Justice Mulligan stressed the Court’s deep commitment to being an excellent neighbor within all of the dozens of communities in which it has courthouses.
That same evening, Woburn Police Chief Philip Mahoney testified that he and his department have extensively collaborated with Court staff to establish a joint security plan, and that he has no public safety concerns, whatsoever, relating to the Courthouse in Woburn. Chief Mahoney also noted that he had spoken with the Cambridge Police Chief, who reported that the Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge, which houses both the District and Superior Courts, has no adverse public safety impact on that community.
Justice Mulligan, during his December 12 visit, is expected to urge Woburn Planning Board’s early action on the matter.