Rendering courtesy of The Hanover Company
Watertown may soon see yet another large mixed use development.
Developers submitted a proposal to Watertown planners this month to raze the vacant industrial building and other offices at 202-204 Arsenal St. and 58 Irving St. and build 300 residential units and 6,500 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Developers also plan to construct an additional 30,600 square-foot building for retail use on the same site.
Watertown Planning director Steve Magoon said the land owners are also hoping to build a grocery store there.
The site plan submission comes about a month after the Watertown Planning Board approved a special permit for a 65-unit mixed-use complex at 60 Howard St. and 45 Bacon St., where Circle Supply used to operate. That decision came even after dozens of residents protested the development.
Many railed against how the proposal would add more units to a neighborhood already crowded with hundreds of units in new complexes, approved in the past few years by the board.
The push on the so-called Pleasant Street corridor, which runs west of Watertown Square along the Charles River, has been in keeping with a vision by town planners that sees it changing from an area of industrial companies and warehouses to one with more apartments, condos, and stores.
But after residents have continuously bemoaned the developments in the past year or so, leading to the defeat of a 14-unit condominium complex at 192 Pleasant St. this spring, even planning officials said it might be time to revisit and change the vision.
Magoon said he wouldn't be surprised to see push back from residents on the Arsenal Street development, which is not in the Pleasant Street corridor.
"I think there’s some concerns with the impacts or results we've gotten in the Pleasant Street corridor under that zoning, and I think the town is certainly aware of that and is going to look at that," he said.
However, Magoon noted that Watertown residents should also weigh the benefits of the possible development.
"I think from the town's economic development perspective, it's important to move forward," he said. "When it's appropriate, we'll make amendments and adjustments to the rules and regulations" defining the Pleasant Street corridor zoning, he said.
Magoon said it will take months before the developers from The Hanover Company could present their 202-204 Arsenal St. plans to the Planning Board, as they still have internal government meetings and community forums to host. The earliest developers could present to the board is March, Magoon said.
Meanwhile, developers will also soon present plans for a 24-unit mixed-use complex at 33 Mount Auburn St., where a vacant building that used to house Port Oil sits. Developers hope to raze the Port Oil building to construct one four-story structure with 24 residential units, nearly 2,000 square feet of retail and office space, and 36 parking spaces, planning officials said.
For more information, visit the Planning Board’s website.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org