Chris Starr's retail and residential proposal will undergo up to six months of public meetings and scrutiny as the Belmont Planning Board takes up Belmont's largest development in recent memory that could serve as a template for future growth in the town.
"We will be holding the first public hearing in February," said , noting that Starr's plan – first introduced by the developer and his team in November at an Economic Development Advisory Committee – "is more than a simple look," saying the project will undergo "both a design and a site plan review."
Baghdady said the board will examine the project first on general terms, then reveiw the buildings' bulk and massing as well as seeking whether the number of residential units can sustain the development's cost.
"We will also be hiring our own consultant so we will have our own peer view on our decisions," said Baghdady.
While that he was submitting a formal proposal to the town "in a matter of days," it took nearly two months before the Office of Community Development received the blueprints last week.
Much of the development is similar to Starr's initial presentation in November, the Acton-based Smith Legacy Partners project goes into far greater detail concerning the project's design and structural elements.
The structure is "as if they were conceived at different tunes and under different circumstances but held together as a single development," says a quote in the document, written by Peter Quinn Architects of Cambridge.
The development will be made up of three four-story buildings – a center main building facing the Cushing Square intersection flanked by two smaller structures – built over a single large parking structure serving as the project's base on a 86,000 sq.-ft. lot.
Each building will have four stories with parking underground, retail on the first, ground floor with one and two bedroom units on the upper floors.
The Cushing Village development will have:
• 37,300 sq.-ft. of commercial retail space,
• 142 apartments, 82 one and 60 two bedrooms.
• 277 parking spaces; 90 "at grade" reserved for stores and restaurants, 50 above ground set aside for general parking use and 142 spaces for residents. The parking will be accessed by a central two-way ramp from either Common Street or Trapelo Road.
Separating the buildings will allow for free circulation of cars, walkers and truck traffic to reach parking spaces and loading docks off the street. It will also have substantial setbacks on the structure's sides facing Horne Road and Belmont Street.
The building located on what now is the municipal parking lot along Trapelo and Williston roads will be known as the Winslow, an Arts & Craft-inspired structure with wood detail including shingles, brackets and railing.
As it is the closest structure to the surrounding neighborhoods, "the massing of the building is kept low" with the building rising to nearly 43 feet, in an attempt to placate the concerns of residents to past designs. The structure will also have 28 units – the least number in any of the buildings – most spacious flats.
The ground floor could accommodate a smaller retail presence such as a bank or "a fine restaurant" or a "local-type business."
Dubbed the "centerpiece" of the development, the Pomona is the largest of the three structures, dominating the intersection of Common Street and Trapelo Road with a copula topping the 46-foot-tall building, featuring a glazed base with stone piers that opens to single-level store, suitable for a grocery store.
There will be 66 units in the three floors above the store.
In his earlier presentation, Starr did not have an illustration or exact plans for the former CVS site that extends from Horne Road to Belmont Street. This corner structure – with a masonry and stone facade – will step up from the lower elevation rising to 45 feet at the intersection of Belmont and Common.
With a small retail operation at the corner – for "a health club or similar use" – the bulk of the building will house cars and people with 48 units and the use of a common roof deck overlooking Common Street.