It's back to the drawing board for the town and Board of Selectmen after the town did not receive a single bid to build up-scale homes on undeveloped town-owned land in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Belmont Hill.
The lack of interest in the five-and-a-quarter acre site – which abuts the Belmont Country Club and is accessible at the end of Woodfall Road – comes after the Selectmen restricted future use on the parcel to residential development following an August meeting where more than 80 residents voiced their displeasure that an Atlanta-based developer expressed interest in placing a single-story hospice care center on roughly one-and-a-half acres of the 229,000 square-foot site.
At the Aug. 8 meeting, homeowners – who expressed concerns of a commercial building and associated traffic coming to a residential neighborhood – said the land would be highly prized by home builders to develop upscale homes – including some who were attending the session – which Selectmen noted when they authorized the restriction on future use to residential construction.
The town also extended the time for bidders to examine and perform due diligence on the property an additional three months, from Oct. 24 to Jan. 31 with the aim to provide developers ample time to formulate their bids.
View the town's Request for Proposal for the parcel on his page or here.
Yet neither actions could lead any developer to the site, despite robust sales and prices for new construction in Belmont.
"It's now up to the town and the board to decided what the next step is," said Jeffrey Wheeler, planning director for the town's Department of Community Development.
This marks the second time in the past five years that the parcel – overgrown with vegetation and debris in and around wetland – has turned fallow for the town. In November 2008, a proposed developer could not raise the funds to continue with his plans to create homes on the site.