Billerica board officially endorses 200-unit housing project

Lowell Sun | By Rick Sobey
January 23, 2017

BILLERICA — The town is backing a 200-unit housing project on four acres — a “friendly 40B” plan that has been called “transformative” by officials.

The Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 on Monday to accept a letter of support for the six-story development, which would be located at the 4.2-acre corner of Middlesex Turnpike and Lexington Road. Fifty of the 200 units would be “affordable.”

Selectmen Chairman Andrew Deslaurier addressed the letter to the Department of Housing and Community Development in Boston. In the letter, Deslaurier stated that Alliance Residential Company has worked for several months to prepare this “friendly 40B” Local Initiative Project (LIP) application, meeting with the Board of Selectmen and other officials to “address concerns and create a shared vision for the parcel and neighborhood.”

Deslaurier said there would be numerous benefits, including: an increase in “affordable” housing for low- or moderate-income households; redevelopment of an 8-year vacant office building; and high-quality housing that would help Billerica retain and attract more businesses to the area.

“Toward these ends, the town and developer have entered into a development agreement for the project,” Deslaurier wrote to the state agency.

A LIP application requires the town’s endorsement, which was accomplished Monday night.

This “friendly 40B” LIP would include an estimated $350,000 in area mitigation payments, in addition to a total net profit of $218,400 per year for the town.

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