Published in the October 28, 2015 edition
By MARK SARDELLA
WAKEFIELD — Now that all permitting has been secured, Shelter Development will likely begin site work in the next couple of months in connection with the 130-unit Brightview Senior Living facility it plans to build on Crescent Street, according to Shelter’s Director of Development, Michael Glynn.
Glynn and Shelter’s local attorney, Brian McGrail, were in front of the Board of Selectmen Monday night to get the board’s approval to relocate sewer, utility and other easements on or near the future Brightview site on Crescent Street. In addition, the selectmen approved requested parking prohibitions along a section of Crescent Street as well as changes to the intersection of Crescent and Eaton streets aimed at making it “more pedestrian friendly.”
McGrail said that in its decision the ZBA had included conditions that required Shelter to go before the selectmen for approval of certain infrastructure work on the site.
McGrail described the 10 months of hearings before the Zoning Board of Appeals “a very long process for my client” but he acknowledged that the ZBA “left no stone unturned” in the course of approving the three Special Permits that Shelter was seeking in order to build the facility.
“Shelter is about to invest $30 million in downtown Wakefield,” McGrail said, “that will create jobs and help re-energize the downtown.” He said that Shelter’s plans to transform an underinvested property and build a Brightview facility with 69 assisted living units and 61 independent living units near Wakefield Square will also allow elders who no longer drive to enjoy the downtown.
McGrail said that in the course of building its project, Shelter would be seeking to replace and relocate, at its own expense, existing 100-year-old sewer and drainage pipes that serve other parts of the town. McGrail described a plan, which had been reviewed in detail and OK’d by the ZBA and the DPW, to run a portion of the new sewer pipe underneath the future Brightview building. In addition, McGrail explained that a standby underground bypass sewer pumping system will be installed around the building in the event that the main pipe under the building needs to be taken offline for maintenance.
Town Counsel Thomas Mullen explained that a Town Meeting vote had authorized the selectmen to exchange the easements needed to perform the work.
The selectmen voted unanimously to approve the relocation of the easements.
The board also approved a parking prohibition between 11 and 25 Crescent St. McGrail noted that the Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC) and the town’s traffic consultant, John Kennedy, had recommended the parking restriction. He explained that because there are currently a number of driveways along the west side of the street, only about four parking spaces will be lost. Shelter will pay for any new signage, McGrail said.
Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio stressed that the parking restrictions would not take effect until the properties along that stretch of Crescent Street are cleared of the current use.
McGrail also described plans to reconfigure the intersection of Crescent and Eaton streets, also at Shelter’s expense, adding crosswalks, sidewalk ramps for handicapped access and a pedestrian cut-through on the traffic island at the intersection. He noted that the ZBA, the DPW, the TAC and Kennedy had reviewed and OK’d the changes.
The selectmen voted to approve the parking restrictions and the changes to the intersection.
Maio suggested that the board also vote to accept as gifts the materials that Shelter will use to make the sewer, parking and street changes.
Selectman Brian Falvey said he looked forward to seeing the project built.
Michael Glynn said, “It’s been an exhausting process, but now that we’re here, we’re energized to take the next few steps. It’s going to be unique to Wakefield. There are no towns around that have something like this right in the downtown. We’re very excited about it.”