Watertown Given Protection from 40B Projects by Using Little Used Method

The Town of Watertown has some protection from having dense residential projects allowed under the Chapter 40B law after being certified by the state that the Town meets a rarely used qualification. Under Chapter 40B, communities in Massachusetts have to meet certain level of affordable housing or else they must allow the construction of housing projects with 25 percent affordable housing. Watertown currently requires 15 percent of units to be affordable new apartment complexes. To qualify to avoid a Chapter 40B project, communities can get “Safe Harbor” by having 10 percent or more of its housing units sold or rented at affordable rates. Some communities have met that criteria, but Watertown does not (it has just over 7 percent).

Large 40B Apartment Complex Proposed for Sterritt Lumber Site

An illustration of the 40B apartment complex proposed for 148 Waltham St., the former Sterritt Lumber site. Developers proposing to build a 40B apartment complex on the site of the former Sterritt Lumber location will host a community meeting on the project. The community meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 from 7-9 p.m. in the Lecture Hall at Watertown High School, 50 Columbia St. The project is proposed for the Sterritt Lumber site at 148 Waltham St.

Planned Pleasant St. Marijuana Dispensary to be Discussed at Community Meeting

The company seeking to open a marijuana dispensary on Pleasant Street on the Westside of Watertown will hold a community meeting about the project on Feb. 6. The announcement was provided by Bud’s Goods & Provisions Corp., the firm seeking to open the adult-use marijuana dispensary at 330-350 Pleasant St. The dispensary would be part of the new mixed-use development going up near the intersection of Pleasant Street and Rosdale Road. According to the presentation sent to the Town, Bud’s would occupy a 5,000 sq.

Five Story Apartment Building Approved on Main Street in Watertown

A view of 164-166 Main Street, a five story apartment building with a commercial space on the ground floor. A new building will be added to Watertown’s skyline near Watertown Square after the Zoning Board of Appeals approved a five story apartment building on Main Street. The approval of the project at 164-166 Main Street was made Wednesday night. The site used to be occupied by a convenience store (Store 24 then Tedeschi’s and briefly 7-Eleven) and sits across from Town Hall. The building will have four stories with 34 apartments, on top of a garage and commercial or office space.

Town, BB&N School Seek Fields Partnership, Must Get Land from Cemetery, First

A drawing of the proposed playing fields that BB&N School wants to build on Grove Street. The land currently belongs to Mount Auburn Cemetery. Officials from the Town of Watertown and Buckingham Browne & Nichols School enthusiastically touted a proposed public-private partnership involving playing fields in East Watertown, Tuesday night. There is one major hurdle, however — the land is owned by the Mount Auburn Cemetery. At the Town Council meeting, BB&N Head of School Jennifer Price outlined the proposed partnership involving a new playing field complex the private independent school would like to build on Grove Street in exchange for the school having access to fields at Town-owned Filippello Park.

Watertown Asserts It Has Met Affordable Housing Goals, Can Prevent 40B Projects

Watertown officials believe they have found a seldom used way to meet the state’s affordable housing requirements, which would mean developers could not build high-density residential projects without having to go through the town’s normal zoning rules. The state law made to encourage the creation of affordable housing, often called Chapter 40B or just 40B, requires towns with less than 10 percent of its housing units that are officially designated as affordable units to allow projects with 20 percent or more affordable units to be approved in a streamlined process. Meeting the requirement is known as reaching “safe harbor.” Watertown has not reached the 10 percent threshold. There is, however, a second method to reach safe harbor, which is having 1.5 percent or more of a community’s land devoted to affordable housing.

Second Meeting Planned for 85 Walnut St. Project, Discussion Will Include Traffic Report

An overhead illustration of the proposed redevelopment of the Doble Engineering site at 85 Walnut St. in Watertown. The second Community Meeting will be held for a project proposed on Walnut Street, which would create space for a life science building, a garage and a public park. The project would redevelop the former Doble Engineering site, 85 Walnut St., and put up a four story, 213,500 sq. ft.

Life Science Company Moving into Watertown’s Arsenal Yards

The following announcement was provided by Boylston Properties:

Boylston Properties, a Boston-based real estate developer of distinctive places, today announced that Kymera Therapeutics has signed a lease for approximately 34,500 square feet at Arsenal Yards’ new state-of-the-art life science lab space. With the Charles River and Arsenal Park on its south side and energized shops and restaurants on its north side, the life science lab space is set within an original 1800s Arsenal historic building, offering a number of amenities and a private shuttle to the Harvard Square red line T stop. Life science companies are flocking to Watertown to secure space in the town’s booming biotech scene. Kymera Therapeutics continues this trend, joining SQZ Biotech in moving to Arsenal Yards’ life science lab space. The new development is located across the street from LINX, 185,000 square feet of currently fully leased lab space, also developed by Boylston Properties.