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Chinatown Registry to move to Haymarket

The Chinatown branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles will move to a state-owned ­Haymarket building in April 2014, a move that will allow the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to cease paying a lease for the most heavily used Registry office in the state.

Transportation officials ­unveiled the plan at Wednesday’s meeting of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation board of directors.

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The Registry location will move into a site called ­Parcel Seven, which sits at Congress and New Sudbury streets and was designed to cover vents that pump fresh air into the Central Artery tunnel. Since the conclusion of the Big Dig, the building has been empty.

Registrar Rachel Kaprielian said moving the flagship office to Haymarket will provide the Registry with some badly needed space.

The state will pay Nauset ­Construction $12 million to turn the space into offices.

The lease for the Chinatown space on Washington Street is up this April, but transportation officials have asked for a one-year extension as they prepare the space in the Haymarket building, which should be ready April 1, 2014.

Frank DePaola, highway ­administrator for the depart­ment, said a market will open on the first floor; the Registry will use two upper floors. The vision, DePaola said, is that customers will be able to put their name on a waiting list at the Registry, then browse the market downstairs.

Martine Powers can be reached at
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