FRAMINGHAM – Framingham Town Manager, in a memo to the Framingham Board of Selectmen, believes the owner of the Nobscot Shopping Center, is awaiting the new city government before moving ahead with plans to redevelop the empty plaza into a new free-standing CVS, a 165-unit apartment complex, and about 8,000 square feet of retail space.
Any plan would still need to be approved by the Town or City of Framingham.
“There is some feeling that the owner of the shopping center can pursue the development with some modest relief from the ZBA,” wrote Halpin.
“The current expectation is that the owner agrees with the decision to await the new form of government and advance the proposal in 2018,” wrote Halpin to Selectmen.
With adoption of the new city charter, a decision was made not to pursue an amendment to the Town’s Zoning Bylaw until after the new city government was installed.
Elections will be held on November 7, and the new City of Framingham government begins on January 1, 2018.
Over the last two years the Town Manager, the Division of Community and Economic Development and the EDIC have served as an interface between the owner of the Nobscot Shopping Center Andy Rose, and residents of the Nobscot neighborhood on plans to redevelop the shopping center.
“A meeting was held early in 2017 at the Heritage Assisted Living facility in Nobscot. Rose attended to present his plan, answering questions for over an hour. Importantly the plan presented had been changed considerably to feature an exterior design that reflected input received from neighbors in earlier meetings as well as the ‘visual preferences’ that had been developed by an informal work group convened by the Town Manager. By the end of the evening the reaction to the plan presented by Mr. Rose was generally positive with a show of hands indicating that the Town should continue to work to advance the plan in terms of formal design standards and appropriate zoning,” Halpin wrote in his meno to Selectmen.
“In the interest of not losing momentum, however, it would be advisable to formalize the ‘visual preferences’ that had been positively received in the form of formal Design Standards that would become part of the eventual zoning proposal for the development. These standards are being developed by the Planning Board under a contract with the MAPC and will reflect the preferences developed by the working group and larger neighborhood meetings,” wrote Halpin in his memo to Selectmen.
The Nobscot Chapel property, however, is essential to the overall plan and therefore the Town retains leverage, Halpin told Selectmen in his memo.
Related to the redevelopment of the plaza is a planned redesign of the intersection of Water Street, Edgell Road,and Edmands Road.
“While the owner of the shopping center believes that his site plan will not be affected by the widening of the right-of-way, the design will almost certainly involve the removal of the Chapel,” Halpin told Selectmen.
Pictured is a proposed apartment complex on the Nobscot Plaza site presented by the owner during the January 2017 meeting in Nobscot.