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Apartment Complex Proposed For Waltham/Newton Line

The 179,000-square-foot complex would be constructed at the intersection of Seyon and Farwell Street.

A 200-unit apartment complex has been proposed near the Waltham/Newton line.

Developer TC Saracen has proposed building a new apartment complex that would sit at the intersection of Seyon and Farwell Streets, directly behind the Watertown Stop & Shop.

The development would be in Waltham, but the location also sits near the Watertwn line as well as the Newton line (near Firoella’s Restaurant).

The complex would sit on a 179,000 square foot site and would be available for rent, and not for sale, according to Attorney Josh Davis, who represents TC Saracen. Davis described the project during a special permit hearing in for the complex on Monday, Feb. 27 in Waltham.

The matter was referred to the Waltham Rules and Ordinance Committee for further discussion. It must ultimately receive final approval from the full council at a later date.

The developers are seeking a special permit to build the units in the proposed site because it currently is zoned as industrial and lies in the Riverfront Overlay District. The district, established by the City Council years ago, imposes standards on redeveloping the areas of Waltham surround the Charles River and former Waltham Watch Factory.

“We think you will find that this project fulfills this objective,” Davis said.

Davis estimated the project would be complete about two years from the date the permit is approved, if at all.

The developer is also requesting permission to increase the standard from .4 to 1.29, but still below the maximum 2.0 standard. Basically, this allows the developers to put more apartments in the complex that it could without the increase.

Technically, FAR standards govern how much floor space a home or housing development can have relative to its lot size.

The development would include several features, including two courtyards, a swimming pool and clubhouse, Davis said. Also, an unspecified number of affordable housing units would be included, in accordance with state law requiring a certain percentage of units in a housing development be available to lower income residents.

Parking would include 394 spaces underground and six additional spaces for visitors to use the nearby Charles River Walkway. A private contractor would pick up the trash at the site, according to Davis.

So far, the project has received support from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, which owns the river walkway, and complies with all zoning regulations, according to Davis. While developers have met with abutters of the project, Davis acknowledged little public outreach about the project has been done.

“To be honest there didn’t seem to be the interest in dialog regarding this,” Davis said, noting the developers are open to meeting with anybody to discuss the project.

One nearby resident, however, raised her concerns during the hearing, saying the complex could burden the area with additional traffic.

“I don’t think this area can support [additional traffic],” said Watertown resident Sarah Curi.

Developers have already performed several traffic studies and met with the city’s traffic commission and have committed to altering some traffic arrangements, according to Davis. A new turn lane would be created to turn into the development and a separate left turn lane would be created on River Street and onto Farwell Street. Curb cuts would be created as well.

Councilors asked a myriad of questions on several issues, including traffic, easements and other issues.

khluvr621 March 03, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I'm not even sure which story is sillier as it was first revealed - MBTA's initial budget proposals or this. As of now, it's currently a small vehicle yard and on the opposite side is a bus yard. What's going to happen with the buses? What's going to happen with the back entrance road to S&S? I'm on the other side of the bridge and it's how I walk to S&S. I do agree with the traffic statement. I don't think the Seyon, Calvary, River, and North Streets can handle it.

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