The latest pitch to building housing in Wellesley involves 34 condos along Rte. 9 East (actually the access road) that would replace commercial and residential properties that the developer describes as having fallen into disrepair. These condos would be close by the 17 rental units—including 5 affordable ones as defined by a state formula—recently built on Burke Lane and now marketed as Cedar Place.
Developer Encore Properties of Wellesley, LLC is hosting a presentation about its plan for 192 and 194 Worcester St., plus 150 Cedar St., on Monday, Sept. 18 at 7pm at Wellesley Free Library’s Wakelin Room.
The combined properties where the development would take place total some 64,000 sq. ft., and currently include a building from a business once known as G.E. Miller Fuel.
Encore is based in Newton per its certificate of organization filed with the state, and is one of several “Encore” businesses under common ownership, but no, not the Encore Boston Harbor casino. A description of Encore on LinkedIn refers to it as a business focused on “Development of unique luxury residential properties including renovation and new construction in Greater Boston.”
It remains to be seen during the presentation how the development might address the mix of housing price points—beyond luxury—that the town has been advocating for in future projects. Plans are to design 1 building with 25 units and 1 with 9.
The invitation to the presentation describes a plan for 2 connected buildings with 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units. Each unit would come with 2 interior parking spaces.
The condos would be located a couple of miles from any of the Wellesley or Newton public transportation stations, though are near an MWRTA bus stop. They would be less than a mile from Fiske and Schofield Elementary Schools (closer to Fiske). It’s just over a mile from the housing development at the Wellesley office park at William Street, which public school officials have cited for some enrollment growth.
The Great Wok restaurant is practically right out the door of where these condos would be built.
The invitation to the meeting has sparked online discussion, with those living nearby citing concerns about increased traffic in an already busy area, and those in favor of more housing wherever possible in town arguing for the need in light of the state’s overall housing crisis. During the Burke Lane project’s construction, an abutter complained to the town (and reached out to us) about what were described as safety, environment (including truck idling) and noise issues, so a new round of construction by a different developer in the same general location will certainly provide new challenges on that front to existing residents and businesses.
Wellesley, which in recent years has reached the state threshold of at least 10% of its housing stock being affordable, is in the early stages of developing a plan to foster more strategically located housing from a land use perspective. There may be discussion about this at Special Town Meeting.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors this week released its August housing statistics, and it said high mortgage rates and prices, plus a lack of inventory, led to a disappointing end to the summer market.