The Rise of Malden’s New Developments

Malden's Gaming District sign located outside at the Malden Center Orange Line station. ZHI ZHU

From the many developments occurring in Malden in recent years, especially around Malden Center, Malden has become an oasis for foodies, thrill seekers, and gamers! Through easy access to the T, Malden has been able to attract many from across the Greater Boston Area.

Since the teardown of the old Malden City Hall, it has made space for new businesses and apartments to be constructed. Businesses from Zuru Zuru Ramen and Donburi, More Than Coffee, Boda Borg, and most notably Tous Les Jours and Starbucks, in addition to Malden’s Gaming District, have given the city new life, not just for people around the Greater Boston Area but also for residents.

Tyler Edmond, who is a Junior attending Malden High, describes that it is “great that we have so much variety and choices to go to after school if you’re feeling hungry or just want to hang out!” He mentioned that the “accessibility that we have is really great.”

Prior to many of these types of businesses settling in Malden, many had to travel into Boston in order to get similar food and entertainment that Malden offers now. As Edmond emphasized, “Normally we would have to travel far, into Boston.”

An outbound train arrives at Malden Center, as people deboard, it gives them direct access to the Malden Center area. ZHI ZHU

“Malden Square is definitely my favorite [part of Malden], there's everything there from Starbucks to Boda Borg, literally everything that you can ask for!” Edmond mentioned. Although, he stated, “From a student standpoint, sometimes students feel excluded if they can’t afford the food sold at the cafes and restaurants.” True, as some of the stores do tend to be on the expensive side.

There have also been many smaller unique businesses that have opened up here in Malden as well. A new Chinese herbs store has popped up recently selling Eastern medicine, a traditional medicine widely used in China, probably the first store opening up in Malden.

Workers putting up signs for a newly opened Chinese herbs store that sells a variety of Eastern medicine right across the street from the Faces Brewery Company. ZHI ZHU

Jacob Mullin-Bernstein, who lives in North Reading, has worked at the Malden Teen Enrichment Center for four years since 2019. He has seen many different developments that have happened over the years he has worked in Malden.

“I don’t really have an image of what old Malden Center looked like,” Bernstein said. However, he states that he knows there were many changes in Malden when he worked at Malden City Hall when people would go and pick up a birth certificate.

“A lot of past Malden residents that lived in Malden their whole lives, who since moved to other parts of the state or country, had something to say when picking up their birth certificate like: ‘Oh wow, I don’t even recognize…this is so beautiful and nice now.’ They really were proud of the city and everything that it's done,” Bernstein emphasized.

The biggest thing that Bernstein noticed in Malden was “the building up of the gaming district and new restaurants.” As a foodie, when the Phantom Gourmet food festival was hosted last summer in Malden, it truly “highlighted Malden” Bernstein said, as it was something that he always wanted to go to.

Bernstein mentioned, as someone who works with the youth of Malden, specifically the high schoolers, “knowing that they have so many places to go like the Gaming District with the new mini golf place, the gaming cafe, and the pool hall, there’s a lot of places where they can go to spend their time recreationally and safely.”

He emphasized that it is “something that I really enjoy seeing as someone who works with the kids, knowing that in one small area, the center of Malden, there’s a lot of places where they can go and spend their time constructively and I really enjoy seeing that.”

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