Following the Board of Aldermen's approval of zoning changes for the Riverside Station site, developer BH Normandy has created conceptual designs for a potential mixed-use development on the Grove Street property.
According to an email sent last week from the Riverside Station Neighborhood Coalition, a public meeting on the designs will be held Tues., June 26 in the Aldermanic Chamber at Newton City Hall.
In the new zoning amendment, which was passed by the aldermen in April, the developer must present the project plans to the public before applying for a special permit.
Developer BH Normandy previously proposed a mixed-use project that includes more than 200,000 square feet of office space, roughly 20,000 square feet of retail, a large garage, and 290 housing units (about 320,000 square feet).
But before the developer can make an official proposal or apply for any special site permits, the zoning on the property had to be changed.
For months, the Zoning and Planning Committee and Board of Aldermen worked on the language for the zoning amendment, which created a "Mixed-Use 3/Transit Oriented District" that will allow the development of the mixed-use (retail, residential, business and transit) site.
The approved zoning language included a number of stipulations and size restrictions including:
- Limit development to no more than 225,000 square feet of office in one building (If the developer agrees to create direct access to Route 128, this can increase to 250,000 square feet)
- No more than 290 residential units in up to two buildings
- 20,000 square feet of retail and other commercial uses
- Medical offices will only be allowed on the site with a special permit
- Required minimum of 15 percent beneficial open space
- Maximum building height of 135 feet
- Maximum floor-area ratio of 2.4 - FAR regulates the amount of gross floor area that can be built on a site. It is the building's floor space divided by the area of its lot. (If the developer agrees to create direct access to Route 128, FAR can increase to 3.0)
Prior to the passing of the amendment, a number of residents and community members expressed concern about the zoning change and the impacts of a potential development.
Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting to voice their opinion on the project proposal. According to the Riverside Station Neighborhood Coalition website, overflow rooms will be provided at City Hall with simulcast video.