Southborough developer William Depietri of Capital Group Properties will go before the Board of Selectmen tonight to share details of his plan to build 180 apartment-style condominium units on a parcel of land located behind the Red Roof Inn near the intersection of Routes 9 and 495.
According to a letter Depietri sent to the town, the development, to be called The Residences at Park Central, would be a mix of one-bedroom units (60) and two-bedroom units (120) spread over five separate buildings. Forty-five would be deemed affordable under state guidelines. The development would be built on just over 25 acres of currently undeveloped land that is zoned industrial.
The inclusion of the affordable housing units qualifies the project for 40B consideration. If the project is approved by Mass Housing, its 40B status would enable Depietri to bypass certain zoning restriction related to density and other factors.
In his letter (which you can read for yourself here – scroll through to page 16), Depietri said his plan includes a new access/egress road onto Flagg Road, and that has some neighbors concerned. Area residents tell me they fear the new road will increase traffic in an area that is already overburdened and unsafe.
Neighbors in the past have vigorously resisted large developments in this same area. Some of you might remember back in 2006 [a Braintree-based developer]*, who owns the land behind the Red Roof Inn, proposed a 500-unit mixed use development there. The plan was ultimately abandoned.
If Depietri’s project is approved, it would make for the second large 40B development in the immediate area. Construction of Madison Place, a 140-unit 40B apartment complex, began this summer just down Route 9 at Crystal Pond Road.
Selectmen tonight will hear more about Depietri’s plan. While the board does not have the authority to approve or reject a 40B proposal, they do get to weigh in with their opinion. In a letter to Chairman John Rooney, a representative from Mass Housing said, “As part of our review, we are soliciting comments from the local community and we would appreciate your input…Your comments will be considered as part of our review.”
The Board of Selectmen meeting starts at 6:30 pm tonight at the Hearing Room on the second floor of the Town House. The 40B agenda item is scheduled for 7:00 pm. The meeting is open to the public. You can see the complete agenda here.
*Updated by Beth Melo (9/15/2018 11:22 am): Curious about the origins of the development controversy, I was reading the first blog post that Susan wrote. It included a broken link to a news story on the failed proposal in 2006.
Searching for that story, I discovered that the article incorrectly credited the proposal, causing her to refer to “Braintree-based developer Bill Flately”. Other information I found, including this March 2007 story, indicate that the project was owned and spearheaded by real estate magnate Thomas Flatley. It’s worth noting that Flatley passed away in May 2008 after a long battle with ALS. (No, he didn’t have a son named Bill or William.)
In December 2013, the assessors still listed property as owned by the Flatley family members and trusts c/o Park Central LLC – as did Depietri’s February 2014 paperwork. Apparently, he had an agreement to purchase the parcel.