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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Residents Given Glimpse Of New Vision For Max Pac


With a new architect and partner on board, KSS Realty’s Ted Tobin presented Ward 5 residents with an improved vision for the site formerly known as Max Pac. Icon Architecture Incorporated’s, Nancy Ludwig, kept with the original plan, for the most part, but has reduced the height in Building A by one level, as well as floor to floor heights in all buildings. The height reduction in Building A was a result of taking an amenities/common area off of the top floor and making it a connected containment on the side of the building with the top serving as a roof deck overlooking the increased green space. Another big difference in Building A is the sing-access drive to the parking facility for that particular building.

Due to the condensing of all buildings (decreasing the total size by 23,000 square feet), the green space has increased by 3,493 square feet. This green space will serve as the catch for all storm water that will be filtered underground to prevent run-off to surrounding neighborhoods. This feature compliments other “green” initiatives as such as energy efficient fiberglass windows as all parties involved strive for LEED certification.

Other changes include balconies that have increased in both size and quantity. These balconies will be off of the living rooms and serve as a great selling point when the units are marketed to potential renters.

The first phase of the project will be the Lowell Street ramp into the site with the constructing of the houses following soon after. When questioned about potential traffic issues, Kyle Warwick of Gate Ventures, informed attendees that the ramp would be completed from the site up with the curb cut as the only on-street impact to drivers.

Access to the site by larger construction vehicles will continue on Cedar Street via the extension of the Community Path. Workers will be allowed to park within the work zone and Alderman Sean O’Donovan promised increased parking enforcement for vehicles illegally parked on side streets.

Construction is set to begin in January of 2011 with a completion date of May 2013. Project managers would like to see all four buildings being constructed simultaneously and will adhere to all building codes and regulations including a Monday to Saturday work week.

Other concerns from residents included the management of the units now that they are being changed from condominiums to rental units, potential renting to Tufts University, and the signing of a Project Labor Agreement.

Management
Winn Management was selected three weeks ago to a long-term contract for Max Pac development.

Tufts University Involvement
Residents expressed their concern at the potential renting of units by Tufts University. Both representatives from Gate Ventures showed no interest in doing business with the University.

Project Labor Agreement
Although very open to meeting “first, often and last” with unions, all parties involved in the project insisted that they would not be signing a Project Labor Agreement. A rally and speakers will be attending a December 16th Planning Board Meeting that has Max Pac on the agenda. This meeting will start at 6pm and will also be held at the VNA in the third floor Community Room.

Max Pac by the number…

Building A: 60 Units
Building B: 39 Units
Building C: 49 Units
Building D: 15 Units
Building E: 36 Units

24 Affordable Rental Units
1 Affordable Townhouse Unit

386 Total Bedrooms

6% Studio Apartments
30% 1 Bedroom Apartments
16% 1 Bedroom + Den Apartments
30% 2 Bedroom Apartments
8% 2 Bedroom + Den Apartments
7% 3 Bedroom Apartments

1/2011 Start Date
5/2013 Completion Date

2 comments:

km said...

At the Planning Board hearing, the Planning Board, Alderman O'Donovan, and the SPCD planner all acknowledged that the City cannot really force the developers to hire local union workers as it is a private project (even though, as pointed out by many, it will use taxpayer dollars to build the ramp to Lowell St).The site will have public park, but again it is a private development. People are also upset also because they already see a lot of vehicles with NH license plates on the site, which drives home the point of non-local workers. Many people who spoke were unemployed union workers, some of whom live in the MaxPak neighborhood and find this to be a slap in the face.

As the first TOD project for the GLX , 7 years in the planning, this
is not getting off on the right foot at all.

The public comment period for this project ends Dec 31, 12 noon.
Comments should be addressed to the Planning Board but mailed or
e-mailed to the planning office to the attention of Dawn Pereira
dpereira@somervillema.gov.

Anonymous said...

KM - Courtney suggested we read your comments for a recap of the hearing. Thanks, this is very helpful for someone who couldn't make the meeting.

Did the board have anything to say, or was it just left open for written testimony?