By Seth Daniel
City officials are raving over the new FBI building, just in very uncertain terms.
As the new FBI building prepares to change hands from the developer to the federal government in the near future, City officials late last week were able to embark on their own journey into the building that rises higher than any other in the City.
Officials weren’t allowed to speak about what specifically they saw inside, but eight of the 11 councillors and City Manager Tom Ambrosino took the two-hour tour and said it was a great project. The consensus was the views were amazing, the technology top-of-the line, and there will likely be a lot of opportunities to grab business from the 500 estimated employees that will be coming to work there daily.
“This is a milestone, but there are still some things left to do,” said Patricia Simboli of ACS Development, which has developed the highly-specialized building…This is the development of a lifetime – emotionally, financially and physically. It has taken 10 years to complete this and that is something unheard of in this city. It’s exciting in so many ways and in time we’ll understand how special it is for the city and what a tremendous impact it will have…There was no money spared on the design. We could have built something more cookie cutter. We wanted something special and this sets a new standard for design and construction in the city.”
She pointed out that it took three years to secure the contract from the government, three years to wade through litigation regarding that award and three years to design and construct the building.
It is now the tallest building in Chelsea, eclipsing Broadway Glen by several stories.
City Manager Tom Ambrosino said there are business opportunities, as well as the prestige of having such an important regional agency in the city.
“I expect it to be a real positive for the city,” he said, pointing to the positive relationships that have already been built between the Chelsea Police and the local FBI office. It’s a beautiful building and well-designed. I think the FBI is going to be happy there…I also think the nearby businesses will experience an increase in traffic and foot traffic. That’s 500 employees there that weren’t there before.”
That was also pointed out by Councillor Roy Avellaneda, who said that while he couldn’t talk about the technology or the infrastructure – he could point out that there was no cafeteria.
“I thought it was important to note that they don’t have a cafeteria in the building,” he said. “They have a coffee shop, but no cafeteria. That will tend to drive a lot of employees to shop locally when looking for a bite to eat. It’s going to be great or all the businesses there.”
Councillor Matt Frank was very excited also about the tour on Thursday, Oct. 20, and he believed it would take an area that is already on the upswing.
“That’s a building that I think will revolutionize Everett Avenue,” he said.
Councillor Leo Robinson agreed.
“The tour was excellent,” he said. “It’s a very important building and we’re lucky to have it here in our city. The building is going to be a city changer.”
Simboli said she was glad to have the Council and the city manager come for the tour.
“We were very happy to have them here,” she said. “We had eight of the 11 councillors. That was very encouraging to us. The Council had a lot of interesting questions and gave a considerable amount of their time.”