Board Weighing Mixed-use Project on Lowell Street
WILMINGTON -- A proposed development for a residential building, drive-thru bank and a commercial office and retail space at 203 Lowell St. is before the Planning Board for consideration.
The project would include construction of a three-story, 57-unit, 23,446-square-foot residential building and a 3,100-square-foot drive-thru bank. The proposed commercial building at the site would be three stories and just under 28,000 square feet.
Before the applicant comes before the Planning Board again, a long list of items will have to be addressed. Director of Planning and Conservation Valerie Gingrich said that because the plan will likely need revisions the numbers are subject to change.
Jacqueline Welch is the applicant for this project and the area is currently zoned as neighborhood mixed use.
Doug Lees, of Land Engineering and Environmental Services, is the surveyor and engineer for the proposed project. He said there are plans for about 120 parking spaces for the residential building.
In a lengthy comment letter, the Planning Board outlined a number of areas to be addressed, including traffic, the architectural elevation of the two buildings, stormwater management and more. A traffic study is especially important because the town will be redesigning the intersection of Lowell and Woburn streets, Gingrich said.
“We would be looking at how this specific development proposal impacts that intersection,” she said. “The town is working on that design with the mitigation funds from other projects. The goal is to have it be a state-funded construction project in the next two to five years.”
She said that intersection has a high crash rate and has been on the town’s radar for quite some time.
The site was previously approved for two restaurants and a dog care facility, which were never developed.
“They did a traffic study previously for the two restaurants and dog day care, but this different use will have a different set of trips per day associated with it and at different times of day,” Gingrich said.
The initial proposal did not include affordable units, something the town has been struggling to increase for residents. Selectman Ed Loud said he is asked about affordable housing regularly. He said if this project is approved without affordable units, it would be even more difficult for the town to sustain a housing stock that is at least 10 percent affordable.
The town has drafted an inclusionary zoning bylaw to help with its affordable housing issue, and is currently seeking community feedback.
Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.