Trevor Jones reported in today’s Newton Tab about a proposal to build a 334 unit housing development in the Wells Ave office park off Nonantum Street. The project would include 84 units that would be set aside for tenants at or below 80% of the area median income. The remaining 250 units would be rented at market rates.
The developer (135 Wells Ave LLC) says that the apartments will be targeted at young professionals working in the tech industry along route 128. The two obvious concerns that the project raises are schools and traffic. While project manager John Sullivan doesn’t expect the project to have a major effect on the local schools, it’s hard to imagine how 334 new apartments in the area wouldn’t have a substantial impact on local school populations.
The traffic issues are also complicated. The Wells Ave location is just off Nahantan Street. Plans are already underway to add a new exit to Rt 128 at Nahantan Street which is likely to substantially increase the traffic on Nahantan Street. Adding 334 new housing units with no access to public transit will certainly add substantially to the traffic flow. The developer says that they’re conscious of the issue and will be reviewing the possibility of shuttles and other possible public transportation issues.
The proposed project would be built under the state’s 40B housing regulations which allow developers of housing for low to moderate income residents to bypass much of the local zoning ordinances, which means that the city will have limited say over the details of the proposed project. City planner Alexander Anath encouraged residents to send any concerns they have about the proposed project to [email protected]