The summer of 40B housing continues to heat up in Wellesley, with properties just off of Linden Street being marketed to developers and investors as fresh 40B candidates and new applicants meeting with the Planning Department about possible affordable housing projects.
A rash of prospective 40B projects have emerged in town, including at Delanson Circle (off of Linden Street), on Great Plain Avenue near the dump and on Rte. 9 East, not far from Sprague Elementary School.
40B projects offer relatively affordable housing in exchange for looser zoning rules related to the developments. Developers are eyeing Wellesley for such projects because the town is below the 10% affordable housing threshold set by the state.
A new $3.2M listing for properties at 12-18 Hollis St., reads: “Developers or investors. Right now, 40B projects near stores and transportation are hot in Wellesley and this could be a 20 unit 40B opportunity or simply invest in four downtown luxury townhouse condominiums at half the price of new construction. Price is firm but if you are qualified and have ideas, let’s discuss. Townhouses are two bedroom, multiple bath or half baths, central air, etc. ..” These properties stand nearby a proposed 40B project at Delanson Circle that developers argue would provide convenient access to the Wellesley Square commuter rail station but that some neighbors feel will ratchet up traffic and safety issues in an already congested area.
Separately, applicants for possible 40B projects on Stearns Road (near another proposed project at 680 Worcester St.), 136 Worcester St. (sort of near Sun Life Financial) and 319/323 Oakland St. (partially in Needham) met with the Wellesley Planning Director earlier this month. The director notes that he previously met with a possible applicant for a project at 148 Weston Rd. at the edge of the North 40 as well. In all, the 7 projects under discussion would result in some 250 units, the majority of which would fall into subsidized housing inventory.
For those concerned that the 40B application process could start taking on the feeding frenzy nature of Wellesley teardowns-turned-mansions, good news is that the Planning Board, Planning Department, Board of Selectmen, Selectmen’s Office and the Housing Development Corp. have begun discussing a Housing Production Plan that could give the town more say over how affordable and other housing is developed going forward.