By Elizabeth F. McNamara
The mixed-use development planned for 461 Main St. – otherwise known as the Green Monster and a parking lot – is moving closer full approval with the Planning Board’s decision earlier this month to grant the project preliminary approval.
The plan calls for 15 new residential units along with redeveloped commercial space (find out more here: 461 Main Street Preliminary Plan. While the building that fronts on Main Street would remain (albeit renovated to contain residential and commercial spaces), the warehouse in the back and to the north would be torn down to make way for new residential units.
Although the project – bounded by Union Street to the north and Liberty Street to the west – proposes almost double the allowable number of residential units, developers are submitting it as a comprehensive permit, which requires that at least 25 percent of the residential units are deed-restricted affordable. To make the added affordable units more palatable to developers, formal Zoning Board and/or Historic District Commission approval is not required.
The sticking point for this project has been parking. With the residential and commercial uses, the normal parking requirement would be 46 spaces. The developer submitted two options: one with 41 spaces and one with 38 spaces. The 41-space plan sacrificed some greenspace and made a couple of the parking spaces decidedly tight but, in the end, the Planning Board opted for the greater number of parking spaces, in a 4-1 vote. Member Ben Lupovitz voted against the plan, saying the site was overburdened in general.
The plan now moves to the final approval stage.
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