FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Zoning Board voted 2-1 last night, December 12, on a proposal for 360 apartments and condominums to be built next to Staples corporate offices.
Zoning Board decisions must be unanimous for approval of a project.
Phil Ottaviani Jr. was the lone vote against the proposal. He is the chair of the Framingham Zoning Board of Appeals. Zoning members Suze Craighead and Stephen Meltzer voted in favor.
A total of 360, 1 and 2-bedroom residential units were proposed for the complex – a mixture of 200 condominiums and 160 apartments.
The target audience was individuals from 25-40 years old and 65 years and older, said developers.
A traffic study was submitted with the summer application for the residential complex. The study showed that creating residences on the property instead of more corporate offices, that traffic number would be reduced. A new traffic pattern would have been proposed, if the project was approved.
This is the second rejection to Staples for residential development, in as many years.
In 2016, the Framingham Planning Board and Selectmen supported a zoning change to allow both residential and commercial use in the 9/90 Corporate Center. Staples supported the zoning change and one of its executives spoke at the October Special Town Meeting. But Town Meeting rejected the idea and sent it back to the Planning Board.
The latest proposal of 360 1 and 2-bedroom apartments or condos required variances from the Framingham Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for height and zoned use. Framingham Zoning only allows three stories.
In July, the Framingham Planning Board voiced its concern for the project. That Board wanted the developers to explain how they would attract individuals to live in the proposed complex without public transportation, lack of nearby schools, lack of walkable shopping and entertainment, and lack of basic amenities.
The developers said one of the main issues with attempting to add in any type of store or entertainment options for people in that area is that they would not be visible to Route 9, and therefore would be unable to appropriately advertise their business.