Revere is set for new show on Broadway
By Thor Jourgensen / The Daily Item
REVERE — Dr. Randy Bock’s confidence in a city plan to spruce up Broadway is so strong, he has already hired a contractor to replace brick storefronts on his central business district building.
“It’s going to be wonderful. We have a cooperative, insightful team in City Hall,” Bock said.
The key members of that team — Mayor Daniel Rizzo and city Economic Development Director John Festa — visited the building Bock owns between 352 and 374 Broadway Friday to announce a $150,000 project to pay for additional storefront improvements to the 10 businesses in the building.
Festa said the work will be done over the next three months with additional work beginning in October across Broadway from Bock’s property. The storefront renovations will continue along the length of the city’s main commercial street over the next two years.
“We want to finish Broadway by 2016,” Festa said.
Rizzo prioritized Broadway and central business district improvements among his goals during the 2011 city election and, on Friday, he praised longtime business owners like Bock for helping the city improve Broadway’s appearance.
Bock was a young doctor in 1987 when he stopped practicing medicine in Danvers and came to Revere to provide outpatient ambulatory care. When 352-374 Broadway’s former owners faced foreclosure in 1989, Bock bought the building.
In addition to his doctor’s office, the building tenants include a nail salon, a market, a storefront church and restaurants.
Bock sustained serious damage to his building after a tornado ripped through the city’s center last July.
“It sucked up the roof beams and blew out the side of the building,” he said.
He has since made repairs and the brick work undertaken by Revere-based Hill.
Contracting is not tornado-related, but intended to improve his building’s appearance.
“Our goal is to have it look really nice. If the buildings have a really good look and feel, people will want to come down to Broadway more,” Rizzo said.
Revere House of Pizza general manager Arthur Pirint agreed. He credited the city with assigning more police officers to walk Broadway and said people feel safer at night on the street.
“Cosmetic improvements outside the building are going to look nice,” Pirint said.
The city has opened a police substation off Broadway and the 51-space parking lot behind City Hall opened in 2013. Rizzo said city planners are discussing ways to improve the Shirley Avenue area and he said $100 million in new construction is underway on Revere Beach and Broadway.
“We’re starting on Broadway but we are not going to stop on Broadway,” Rizzo said.