UPDATED: Developer of Former Cannistraro Site Hosting On-Site & Zoom Community Meetings

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A rendering of the proposed project at 275, 313 Pleasant St. from the March Community Meeting. (Courtesy of Broder)


Dear Community Member:

Please join Broder for a Community Open House to review and discuss modifications we have made to our project at 275 & 313 Pleasant Street, 80 Rosedale Road, and 60 Acton Street. We are excited to share these updates, which contemplate the concerns and feedback received from various stakeholders. For those who may have missed the project’s official Community Meeting on March 20th, a recording can be viewed here: http://vodwcatv.org/CablecastPublicSite/show/2386?site=1

We will be hosting an in-person session at 60 Acton Street on Monday, July 17th at 6:00 p.m. and a virtual Zoom session on Tuesday, July 18th at 6:00 p.m. for those unable to attend in-person. The Broder team will make a brief presentation of the project changes, followed by an interactive Q&A. Please note that the content at each of the meetings will be the same. There is no need to attend both meetings.

An overhead plan of the project planned for 275, 313 Pleasant St. from the March Community Meeting. (Courtesy of Broder)

For those attending the Zoom event, just prior to the start of the meeting, please access the link below to join via computer or mobile device. You may be instructed to download the Zoom application. The project team will also attempt to secure a live broadcast spot with local cable access TV. If none are available, project team will record the Zoom event and make it available through local cable access TV for on demand viewing.

See Broder’s summary of the 3/20 Community Meeting: https://portal.laserfiche.com/Portal/DocView.aspx?id=21091&repo=r-5ece5628

The revised project proposal/presentation can be see here: https://portal.laserfiche.com/Portal/DocView.aspx?id=21141&repo=r-5ece5628

Meeting Dates: Monday, July 17, 2023 (in-person) or Tuesday, July 18, 2023 (virtual)
Meeting Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Meeting Place: 60 Acton Street, Watertown (Mon) or virtually, via Zoom meeting (Tues)
URL: https://bit.ly/broder-community-mtg2 [note: if typing, use all lowercase]

Meeting ID: 897 2819 1589
Passcode: 02472
Telephone Dial-in (646) 931-3860

First-time Zoom help: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360034967471-Quick-start-guide-for-new-users

Project Contact:
Kai Vernstrom, Director of Acquisitions, Broder kai@broder.com – (617) 292-2009

4 thoughts on “UPDATED: Developer of Former Cannistraro Site Hosting On-Site & Zoom Community Meetings

  1. I strongly encourage residents to attend one of these meetings, preferably the in-person session on the 17th. This may be the LAST OPPORTUNITY for you to voice your opinions about this project before it goes on to the Planning Board. It is better to get changes in place NOW if possible.

    For those who live in the abutting and adjacent area, you will be living with this development for a long time if you stay in your current houses. Please don’t depend on your neighbors to represent you. Represent yourself so that the developers see how many people are truly concerned about the size of this development and the closeness to your houses.

    For those in other areas of Watertown, please attend as this oversized project could be coming to some of your areas in the future if smaller businesses in your area get an offer they can’t refuse for their land. The size of this development could set a precedent for other areas. Let’s ask developers to be thoughtful in their proposals in these types of areas where they are encroaching on residential communities. They say they want to be good neighbors. Let’s ask them to prove it by listening to our requests and responding appropriately.

    By making these projects this large, they will increase traffic in already congested areas and streets, deprive residential neighbors of privacy by looming closely over their windows 24-hours a day/night, have lights shining in the labs 24 hours that might not be desirable to neighbors, create a closed-in feeling to even residents across the street as they may now be looking at such a high structure so close to the street lines, and so many other issues.

    In looking at this sample drawing, it does not appear that they have decreased the size of the proposed over 200,000 sq. ft. building which far exceeds their original proposal of 83,000 sq. ft. Nor does it appear to show any increased setback from their building on the Acton St. side. The original plan mentioned an acre of open space on their site; that doesn’t exist with this plan.

    I don’t see any compromise on their part after all the comments given at the community meeting. They don’t mention the heights of the building or the garage, especially in comparison to the Central Rock Gym.

    We need as many people as possible to show up at this meeting on July 17 or at least comment on Zoom on the 18th. Speak now if you want to make a difference.

  2. Do we know if the meeting on the 17th will be broadcast or recorded by WCA-TV? I know we can participate by zoom on the 18th, but it would be nice to be able to see what is said on the 17th.

  3. Broder is Watertown’s Bob Moses.

    This meeting is an obvious marketing whitewashing campaign with the PR aim to tell people how wonderful this development will make our lives. Check out the overhead rendering. Do you notice the ratio/proportion in size of the retail space to the parking lot? Wow that’s a big parking garage; but retail space (I think they suggested a cannabis store (sic) it was actually a brewery) not so much.

    During the meeting the Broder salesperson fell in love with the phrase “community input and collective planning” and “back and forth dialogue” and other industry buzz phrases, but then summarily ignored and shot down every suggestion that was made that didn’t align with their “vision of Watertown.” So why would this meeting be any different?

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…that parking garage will be huge. The Acton Street abutters will have the sun blocked for a majority of the day and have light pollution all night. Even at 5 stories – go check out the five story garage built across from Star Market in Waltham on the way to Lexington if you need help with spatial relations.

    However, if they build it will people come? Fess up, you’ve all been busy eating at that new Caribbean fusion restaurant across from Newton Roofing? There are “for lease” signs everywhere in Watertown. On Main St across from Dunkin Donuts (just two blocks from Cannistraro) where the old Watertown Family Network was housed (many of us remember how amazing that place was) is vacant, the all new Pleasant St corridor is wide open and looking for lessees, and in eastern Watertown, does anyone honestly want to liveelanunion? The sign is so weather-worn it’s starting to peel. Or did the developer forget to take it down?

    Broder’s PR driven stunt is anything more than a glad-handing stretches logical thinking. They want to say “Hey Planning Board, see how great we are for Watertown. We held a meeting at 60 Acton St. so the abutters and people of Watertown were involved in the planning and decision making involved in this vital community development, nay, this vital community service Broder is providing to keep Watertown competitive to neighboring towns such as Cambridge. And by the way, we are committed to environmental concerns as shown by the plethora of eV charging stations, however, most people will commute here by alternate transportation like bikes and scooters so it won’t impact the the traffic patterns on feeder roads and the environment. The 7-story garage-cum-utility-floor is therefore necessary because owning a parking garage is a money printing machine (just ask the Great Builder Bob Moses who was a genius at monetizing parking, driving and recreation…and destroying neighborhoods) -especially during winter when then overnight parking ban goes into effect.

    Developers aren’t in the altruism business, they’re in it for the money. Watertown residents and abutters aren’t that clueless. I would prefer Broder to come out at the meeting on Monday and say, “we are gonna make boatloads off this and whether you like it or not we are pushing this through. And in return you all get a developed space that you may or may not like. That may or may not suit your needs, but we don’t really care, because like Bob Moses, we have other locations in Niagara Falls, Chilmark, and Nubian Square and those communities are falling in line.
    That’s the transparency I’d like.

  4. Christopher, your remarks are right on. We know Broder’s game plan and that is why we need to have a lot of residents come to the on-site meeting on the 17th and raise hell with all the negatives. Let’s show them they are not dealing with a bunch of country-bumpkins and that they can’t pull the wool over our eyes with their pretty pictures and promises.

    If we don’t push back now, they will go forward and present their plans to the Planning Board and the decision there could go many ways, some not so favorable to us residents. We know our city is in favor of many big labs despite the economic situation we are in that could leave many of them vacant for long periods of time.

    Please, neighbors across Watertown, attend one of these meetings and voice your opinions. We need to emphasize to these new businesses that they need to present reasonable and thoughtful plans if they truly want to be good neighbors, as they proclaim they want to do.

    There are other neighborhoods that could be affected by these big buildings if smaller businesses get an offer they can’t refuse for their land by another big developer. Let’s support each other on these issues.

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