The Wellesley Select Board, as expected, voted to rescind the Letter of Designation and Request for Proposal for the Railroad and Tailby Commuter Lots at its meeting on Monday. The Board discussed the issue previously in March and decided then to hear from the public that night and push its decision to April 12.
The Board voted in November of 2018 to enter negotiations with developer Trinity Financial Group for ground leases of the Tailby and Raillroad Avenue parking lots, with the possibility that the sites could become homes to luxury and mixed-income residential buildings, park space and even a theater and gallery space. But any such plans took a back seat during COVID-19, and in light of other development projects in town moving forward.
A couple of board members on Monday were generous in their praise of Trinity, which worked with the town to adapt a plan, but in the end it just didn’t make sense to go forward.
Board Chair Tom Ulfelder said “We’ve reached the conclusion that the RFP that was issued [earlier] was under different circumstances and was really calling for a different project than we feel would be beneficial at this point.”
Board Member Ann-Mara Lanza agreed with Ulfelder on these points, but encouraged her fellow Board members to not give up on the idea of developing housing on this town-owned land in the name of brining more people to downtown and providing more affordable housing options.
The Board voted 5-0 not to move forward with the development plan, and the agenda item took less than 10 minutes.