I watched part of the Nobscot neighborhood meeting with a representative of Nobscot Plaza’s new owner earlier this week; but before I had a chance to write it up, The Source did it for me :-)
Highlights from my notes:
Demolition of the empty retail building should begin next month. That demolition will also allow cleanup of solvents in the soil from the dry cleaner that had been at the site.
Construction is expected to begin this fall and last for 18 to 20 months. So we’re talking through 2024.
Asbestos has been removed from the existing building.
There were some changes to building aesthetics aimed at making it look more like the chapel and less like the CVS, for example, using gables instead of flat roofs. In addition, the new new buildings will now be closer together. However, the basics - 158 apartments, 265 parking spaces, and a total of three stories - haven’t changed.
One part I missed was a discussion about parking along Water Street. Apparently there are plans for parallel parking in front of the site, which is interesting, considering we were told at an earlier meeting with the city about Nobscot intersection plans that there was no space for bike lanes or attractive landscaping to improve the pedestrian streetscape. Somehow we’re still designing neighborhood commercial areas for driving only, despite the many people who live within easy walking and biking distance.
I hope at least the design will take into account the fact that people from nearby homes, the library, and Hemenway school might want to actually walk there instead of drive a vehicle 500 or 1,000 feet from one place to another. Let’s not create a second fortress-like look like the new CVS? That building practically shouts “why didn’t you drive here?”. We did it mostly right at the Walgreens plaza in Saxonville (although there’s no bike lane to that plaza, even though it’s so close to the start of the Cochituate Rail Trail, which is truly a shame). I don’t know why we’ve done it so wrong so far in Nobscot.
You can view the community meeting video here:
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