Hundreds Of Multifamily Units Planned In Downtown
Banker & Tradesman | By Steve Adams
December 25, 2016
Framingham’s attempts to encourage multifamily development and a more lively commercial and arts scene in its central business district is starting to pay off.
Following a pattern that’s being repeated in communities from Quincy to Lowell, developers are pursuing large-scale residential projects that will add hundreds of residents and, officials hope, a 24-7 atmosphere that will benefit the office and retail market in coming years.
Living up to their promise for fast-track permitting, town officials took just 37 days to approve Mill Creek Residential’s application to build 270 apartments at the site of a former Harley Davidson dealership this summer. That’s 23 days fewer than the town’s 60-day target review period for large developments.
“That speed is an indicator of the town’s commitment to this direction for the downtown,” said Arthur Robert, Framingham’s director of community and economic development.
Mill Creek’s project may be just the first step as multifamily developers show increased interest in downtown parcels. Wood Partners, an Atlanta-based multifamily developer with local offices in Lexington, has approached Framingham officials with preliminary plans for a large-scale residential development on Concord and Park streets, Robert said. The properties currently contain a pair of century-old bank buildings and surface parking.
“We’re excited about another large project that would draw not just new people in the downtown, but also fill an important gap in our streetscape,” Robert said. “As we draw more people into the downtown, we expect demand for different types of retail services to increase.”