Westborough developer Bob Moss says he knows residents will have concerns about the 140-unit 40B apartment complex he wants to build in town. Comments on this blog suggest he’s right. But Moss told the Planning Board earlier this month he thinks residents will feel better once they know more about the project.
“I want the facts to get out there, so there aren’t misconceptions,” Moss told the board.
Moss said he has an agreement to pay $2.1M for 15 acres of land south of Route 9 along Crystal Pond Road. Those of you who have been in town a while might remember that’s the same parcel of land on which Avalon Bay wanted to build a 200-unit 40B development several years ago. When the economy took a dive, Avalon Bay abandoned the project.
Moss was involved in the proposed Avalon Bay development, but said his current plan bears little resemblance to the former project. Moss called the eleven 3-story apartment buildings he wants to construct “much more distinctive and more appealing” than similar types of projects.
Moss said he expects concerns about the number of school kids the project will bring to town – and the fact that property taxes from the prjoect may not cover the cost to educate those kids – will be a “big issue” with residents.
But Moss said families typically want 3-bedroom apartments, and his plan to make 60% of the units one bedroom and the other 40% two bedroom will “lock out families.”
“Case studies will show remarkably fewer kids than anyone thinks come out of these projects,” he told the Planning Board.
Per state regulations, 25% of the units in the complex, or 35 of the planned 140 apartments, will be marketed as affordable. Moss said he expects to rent the standard 2-bedroom apartments for $1700 and the 1-bedrooms for $750.
Moss said he expects increased traffic is another concern he’ll hear from residents. With an anticipated 7.3 cars per unit, Moss said the area will see an average of 900 car trips per day in and out of the complex. He proposes driveway access to Crystal Pond Road, with no direct access to Route 9. Moss said a traffic study will be conducted as part of the planning process.
The 40B off Crystal Pond Road isn’t the only project Moss is eying in town. He has also proposed a 10-home English cottage style development off Deerfoot Road just across Route 9 from the proposed 40B. The town recently waived its right of first refusal on the 13-acre parcel clearing the way for Moss to purchase it.
Moss was expected to file a 40B application with the state this month. He said he believes it will take about four months for the application to be reviewed and acted upon. After that, Moss will need to file an application with Southborough’s Zoning Board of Appeals for local approval.
If you’re curious about the type of apartments Moss wants to build, swing by the new Madison Park development on Route 9 in Shrewsbury (just east of Route 140). Moss is wrapping up construction on that project and says the units in Southborough would be very similar.