We would like to voice our support for the modification of the Masterplan for the Arsenal on the Charles site which was submitted by Alexandria Real Estate (ARE) to the planning Board on June 9th.
For many reasons, we believe that the ARE submission is far superior to the current Master Plan.
The proposal brings economic development that is consistent with Watertown’s comprehensive plan, bringing excellent job opportunities in growing fields. It features state of the art carbon reduction strategies for its buildings, aggressive targets for reducing its overall carbon footprint and increased publicly accessible open space.
ARE has previously worked in Watertown and has a demonstrated track record as a developer that engages with neighbors and contributes to the community. Responding to citizen concerns, ARE modified its earlier landscaping plan to address the community’s recognition of the importance of trees for a healthy environment. The plan that was presented to the Planning Board calls for 129 more trees than are currently on the site. ARE has developed a comprehensive plan that will maintain more of the larger trees on the site, transplant some existing trees to new locations and plant many new trees, paying careful attention to selecting species most suited to the Intended use. We have seen many transformations of the Watertown Arsenal over the years. The community had important feedback for ARE. The developer listened and responded, leading to an excellent proposal for a sustainable and attractive project that will make the thriving Arsenal property even better than it is today.
Samatha Rao VuppalaShade trees in the Arsenal on the Charles complex. (The following piece was submitted by Sharon Bromberg-Lim, a member of Trees for Watertown)
A large real estate equities firm arrives in a small New England town. Based in California, the firm has rolled into many towns before, bought up properties big and small, and plunked down buildings. This project is just one of many investments that the firm owns. The firm says it must cut down more than 200 trees to put up its buildings.
The Watertown Mall — home to Target and Best Buy — has been sold for $130 million to the owner of other major properties in Town. The sale by Watertown Mall Associates Limited Partnership and New York-based Rosen Associates to Alexandria Real Estate Equities closed on Thursday, according to a story on Bisnow Boston which reported the closing of the deal. Alexandria has become a big player in biotech in Watertown. It also owns the Arsenal on the Charles and the former Mount Auburn Club.
The future of the property is not clear, with Target having a lease through 2033, according to Bisnow.com. Other tenants of the Watertown Mall include the Registry of Motor Vehicles, Joyful Garden restaurant, Miss Maria’s School of Dance, Carter’s and Work N’ Gear.
The Town Council approved a change to Watertown’s Zoning Ordinance that would allow life science labs as well as light industrial uses in the downtown area near Watertown Square, but only in structures built 84 years ago or before. The amendment was proposed by Berkeley Investments, the new owners of the building now occupied by Sasaki at 64 Pleasant St., which plans to create life science lab space and preserve the historic mill building, said Assistant Town Manager Steve Magoon. The Zoning amendment changes allowable uses for structures built before the Zoning Ordinance was adopted in 1937, and would allow light industry, non-nuisance manufacturing, laboratory/research, and renewable research. It only applies to the Central Business (CB) zone, which is around Watertown Square. The uses would be allowed by right in the qualifying buildings under 4,000 sq.
An illustration of the renovation of the former Monro Muffler at 390 Arsenal St. into the new home of Ethos Cannabis. The Zoning Board of Appeals approved the new location for Watertown’s first marijuana dispensary, and also that meeting a decision on a proposed project on Elm Street was not settled because of questions about whether it has enough parking for the biotech labs it would house. Natural Selections, which operates Ethos Cannabis, needs to find a new home because the current site — 23 Elm St. — has been sold and would be replaced by the biotech building that also came in front of the Zoning Board on March 26.
The Watertown Mall — home to Target, the RMV and Best Buy — could soon be sold to a developer looking to create life science lab space, according to a Boston Globe article. The potential deal involved a sale by owners Rosen Associates Management Corp. to Alexandria Real Estate Equities, which also owns the Arsenal on the Charles and the former Mount Auburn Club. The sales price of the 18-acre-site on Arsenal Street is reportedly $125 million, according to the Globe. The property lies in the Regional Mixed Use District (RMUD) zone in East Watertown, which allows for taller buildings (up to five stories) and more dense development (75 percent building coverage) than most areas of town.
Plans to turn the former Tufts Health Plan building into biotech lab and office space was approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals. The Zoning Board of Appeals approved the project that will renovate and add on to the former Tufts Health Care building on Mt. Auburn Street on Wednesday night. The new owners, Spear Street Capital, wants to turn the area into life science office and lab space. Plans include renovating the interior of the main building, adding a small building on the back and renovating on the property near Grove Street.
Plans for converting the Tufts Health Plan building into life science labs and offices will be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday. The Watertown Zoning Board has several projects on its agenda, including renovations of the Tufts Health Plan building and a biotech project proposed on Elm Street. The ZBA gives final approval for these projects and the meeting begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Spear Street Capital, the new owner of the Tufts Health Plan site at 705 Mt.