Woodfall Road Parcel Resembles a Wallflower

Town still waiting for interested parties to submit application to develop the site.

It was the event of the summer.

Approximately 100 Belmont Hill residents descended into Town Hall on a warm August night to protest the town's plan to accept blueprints by an Atlanta-based real estate development firm to construct a single-floor hospice in many of their backyards. 

Residents slid up to the microphone and told the Belmont Board of Selectmen that building the facilities on five-and-a-quarter acres of town-owned land off Woodfall Road adjacent to Belmont Country Club would be a disaster: ambulances and hearses coming down quiet residential roads filled with children, the impact of a business in the property values in this neighborhood of homes, and the possibility the commercial operation could be sold in the future to a non-profit and rob the town of much need tax revenue. 

But the most significant argument presented to the Selectmen was that there were many developers, contractors and even neighbors eager to grab at the chance of building new houses on the property.

With that assurance, the Selectmen told those in attendance they would limit the development options on the site to residential structures, effectively ending the Georgia firm's plans.

The town's Community Development office wrote up the Request for Proposal which provides prospective developers with a history and requirements for build on the plot. The document was released in October. 

Now nearly three months after presenting the land out to bid, Jay Szklut, the town's Planning and Economic Development Manager who is managing the process, told Belmont Patch Thursday that the 229,000 square foot tract has attacted a grand total of zero applications.

Nada, zilch, nothing. 

Szklut could only shrug his shoulders when asked why what was seen in the heat of summer as the most sought after land in town only to go as dead cold as the temperatures in mid-winter. 

The parcel will be on the market for just under two weeks as bids close on Thursday, Jan. 31 at noon at Town Hall.

Anyone interested building four houses in Belmont? Contact Szklut at the Office of Community Development, Planning Division, 19 Moore St., Belmont, MA 02478 or call at 617-993-2650 or by email jszklut@belmont-ma.gov .

John Bowe January 18, 2013 at 10:37 PM
I'd bet it's partly because developers are tired of dealing with Belmont. Everything gets re-visited and dragged out, nothing gets done smoothly. The BOS caved to Biff, Muffy, and Tagg on the hospice, and the developers can't trust that the same kind won't keep happening.


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