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Big development proposed on Waltham's Moody Street

Posted by David Dahl, Regional Editor October 31, 2008 09:40 AM

A developer has presented the Waltham City council with a scaled-down proposal for a residential and retail development at the corner of Main and Moody streets in the heart of downtown.

Northland Investment Corp., a developer based in Newton, presented a plan Monday that calls for 230 apartments and retail space in two new five-story buildings. Three buildings would be razed to make way for the project, and an office building at One Moody Street would remain.

An earlier proposal by the same firm for 350 apartments was roundly rejected two years ago by both the council and the community.

A lawyer for Northland, Robert Connors, said one of the most important features of the project is that it will bring new residents to downtown. ‘‘We’ll bring people and life and vitality,’’ Connors said.

Many more people spoke in favor of the project than against it, but even supporters had questions and concerns. Several people said they were worried about traffic. Northland is proposing some road improvements, including a left-hand turning lane on Moody Street. Twenty-three of the apartments would be affordable.

Fred Kimberk, who said he owns much of the block on Main Street directly across from the proposed project, said he favored the project but offered several criticisms. He said the city doesn’t need more market-rate housing and the design of the red-brick facades needed needs improving.

Kimberk urged that the proposal be put on hold 90 to 120 days so the community has more time to weigh in. ‘‘It needs to be brought out into the light,’’ he said, citing the lack of details.

All but one building on the 4.5-acre site would be torn down to make room for two five-story buildings. One Moody Street, where Sovereign Bank is located, would remain. The buildings to be razed would be 702 and 716 Main St. and 55 Moody St.

Retail stores would go on the first floor of the new building facing Moody Street and next to Trinity Church. The other new building would face Charles and Moody streets.

The proposal also calls for green space, public seating, wider sidewalks, and underground parking.

The next stop for the proposed project is the Ordinances and Rules Committee of the City Council, which meets Monday night at 7 p.m. The Council has 90 days from Monday to decide whether to approve the project.

-- Lisa Kocian

1 comments so far...
  1. Great. Now we have a dumbed down design with that eyesore at the corner of moody and main. Great job Waltham.

    Posted by Enzo C October 31, 08 01:26 PM
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