The first step in the redevelopment of the Watertown Mall, and neighboring properties, appears to be the construction of a multi-level parking garage. It would be part of a complex that includes life science buildings, retail, and second parking garage.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities submitted preliminary plans to the Watertown Planning Department for a 700-vehicle garage that would be built at 480 Arsenal Way. It is part of what developers are calling the “Watertown Mall Transformation Project.” The project is in the pre-application phase, and no official application has been submitted.
The five-story parking garage would be 60-feet tall, and have a solar panel array on the roof. It would be located next to an existing life science lab/office building, and just north of the Community Path (also known as the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway). Open space with picnic tables and landscaping is proposed to go next to the garage. Improvements to the property’s stormwater system that would allow it to handle a 100-year storm are also proposed to be part of the project.
The garage is part of a plan for the project that goes from 446 Arsenal St. (near the Autozone) to the Watertown Mall property (550 Arsenal St.). The other parcels sit in the Regional Mixed Use District (RMUD), and will be part of a separate submission to the Planning Department.
The project narrative reads, in part:
“The parking garage is intended to support the adjacent Watertown Mall Transformation Project (the “Transformation Project”). … While the Transformation Project’s parcels are located within the RMUD zoning district and subject to a Master Plan Special Permit process, the 480 Arsenal Way site is in the Industrial-2 zoning district and as such requires a separate permitting process.”
A pocket park is also planned for the area near the garage, along with landscaping, according to the project narrative.
Included in the second phase would be four office/lab buildings (two of which will be attached). One, known as Building OL4, would go on the site of the current properties where MicroCAD Training and Consulting (property known as 446 Arsenal Street) and the Autozone building (458 Arsenal Street) are now located. Buildings OL3 and OL 2 would be built in an L shape at 500 Arsenal St., the current location of Enanta Pharmaceuticals.
Target will remain in its current location, according to plans submitted to the Planning Department. Building OL1 is shown on the current location of Best Buy. A second parking garage, with an attached building called A1, is shown in plans right next to Target. It would go on the land now occupied by the section of the Watertown Mall that includes the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Joyful Garden, Miss Maria’s School of Dance, Carter’s, Work ‘N Wear and Moda.
On the section of the parking lot next to Best Buy would be built a building called R1. The rest of the current Watertown Mall’s front parking lot, in front of Target, would remain.
The project has not been formally submitted, and has not been scheduled to go on the agenda of the Planning Board or Zoning Board.
See the plans and the project narrative by clicking here (scroll down to “Click here for Applications, Reports, Plans …”).