Developer Changes Plans for Redevelopment of Sterritt Lumber Site

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The developers of the former Sterritt Lumber site announced that they have changed the proposed project for the site on Waltham Street.

The company sent out the following announcement:

Long-time Boston area, real estate developer Nordblom Company, has withdrawn its comprehensive permit for residential and instead plans to build a new commercial/light-industrial building at 148 Waltham Street.

Nordblom purchased the land – the former home of F. D. Sterritt Lumber Company in 2019 and initially proposed a residential building. After the Town said apartments would not be welcomed at this location, Nordblom began investigating the next best use for the site. The proposed 1-2 story commercial building would be much smaller than the initial residential building.

“We have a strong belief in Watertown and want to build something that will benefit both our company and the Town,” said Todd Nordblom, Vice President of Nordblom Company.

The property on Waltham Street was rezoned by the Town in the hope that it would attract commercial uses and employment opportunities and help diversifying the Town’s tax base. By pursuing this use that is allowed under the existing zoning, Nordblom hopes to do just that. With many local businesses experiencing economic hardships and closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project could help offset the loss in tax revenue.

The Nordblom Company plans to submit plans to the Town in the next few months and looks forward to working with Watertown stakeholders to create a home for a new, successful Watertown business. The Nordblom Company is a real estate enterprise with a 90+ year history of investing, managing and developing properties throughout New England and select markets across the country.

About Nordblom Company

The company currently owns and manages office, commercial and multi-
family properties in the New England and Carolina markets and is committed to creating dynamic work and living environments that further the quality of life for the people who occupy its properties. Headquartered in Burlington, MA. with offices in Boston, Brookline, and Raleigh, North Carolina, Nordblom has $1.2 billion in assets under management. For more information, please visit

11 thoughts on “Developer Changes Plans for Redevelopment of Sterritt Lumber Site

  1. My guess is Nordblom tries to sell the land just like the developer did with the lot on Coolidge Hill Rd and Arlington St. The latter made a cool 1.2 million or so on the transaction.

  2. Wonderful news about 148 Waltham street.
    Thank you everyone who 0pposed the original plan – our letters and calls were listened to !
    Thank you Mr Nordblom for withdrawing your plan and presenting an acceptable one .

    West Watertown knows well how development has destroyed neighborhoods .
    In 2008 the town council voted for a zoning ordnance sponsored by then District D Councillor John Lawn .
    The ordnance does not allow the building of one family-2-3-4,family Homes – I was the only Councillor who voted NO.

    My vote did not count!

    Imagine instead of a home on little Howard Street- now there is a restaurant!
    I didn’t run again after this vote.

    We have to be alert to see what zoning is being proposed .

    We will be at the meeting when 1-2,story building or whatever is proposed for Waltham Street.

    Thank you all .

    Wish you were with me when pleasant street zoning ordnance was voted by the council .!!

    Please stay involved !
    Gratefully yours,
    Marilyn M.Petitto Devaney

    • Please know that I participate in every election just to make sure I can cast a vote for your opponent, or I write in Ari Koufos if you’re running unopposed.

  3. The Town of Watertown should consider buying this land by eminent domain. There’s not a lot of land this size available in Watertown available for public use or purchase. In the alternative, could the CPA committee look at this as possible recreation space or low income housing project?

      • This comment is from a resident named Joan:

        Those of us living in this area did not want any more huge residential projects. We can’t go across Bridge St. towards Newton in the morning without sitting in traffic and the reverse is true in the evening. Traffic also gets backed up at the corner of Rosedale and Pleasant St. and the new apartments on both sides of Pleasant St. still haven’t been occupied with residents or the soon to come Pot Shop.I am happy that this will be a smaller commercial project that will add to our tax base and cause less problems for our neighborhoods. Many people attended these meetings and expressed their views and it’s nice to see a victory for once. We did not see our wishes come true on Pleasant St. The only other use that would have been practical for this site would have been for the DPW to move there as they need more space. We have limited open space in Watertown for town needs.

  4. Well, I guess I don’t understand. I must have slept through the whole 148 Waltham St bruhaha and hearings.
    But I totally disagree. People need housing and some of it affordable. We need to build walkable neighborhoods that enrich our town. Sadly, the whole area by the river on Pleasant Street was zoned commercial only and it remains undeveloped. Our river, closed off to human habitation by potential businesses (do we really need an insurance company?) that would go dark at night and on weekends, limiting access and interesting destinations (yes, cafes and restaurants, performance spaces, parks) to our residents. The same goes for Waltham Street. The whole point of mixed use is to provide shoppers for retail if it ever returns. With all the remote working, jobs will be down and less commercial space wanted when we will always need housing. And when there are businesses, there are traffic jams since everyone goes to work at the same time. And think how many more people (used to) go to work compared with how many people live in an apartment–many more in office cubicles. I don’t understand the thinking about housing “destroying neighborhoods” when residences can build neighborhoods if they are planned with streets and public spaces. And if we ever get a bus along Pleasant Street to Watertown Square, residents won’t want to drive to work. Of course everything will be different now, but building neighborhoods seems to me to be a constant need and benefit.

  5. Watertown is 4.1 square miles in land size, much less if you exclude the Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Arsenal properties. Watertown had a 2019 population of just under 36,000 people. We live in one of the most densely populated communities in the state of MA. Watertown ranks in the top 20! We don’t need anymore contributions to the overcrowding. We are living on top of each other now. Too many cars are parked on the streets and on the sidewalks and front lawns. Watertown has been ruined by gross overdevelopment. The quality of life here will continue to decline as long as unabated construction is allowed to continue.

    • Agree with DM completely. This town has no leadership, no oversight, and no real plan for the additional traffic caused by over development. It’s time to put together a coalition to change our form of government to include a mayor. The current system is broken and our representatives are clueless.

  6. Rep. John Lawn opposed Nordblom’s original plan to circumvent zoning and build 40B. He highlighted that Nordblom’s request for 40B housing was invalid due to Watertown’s ratio of affordable housing.

    Thank you Rep. Lawn for standing up for our community!

    Dan Campagna

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