Eleven residential units of various types are in the process of being constructed at the Upham Street residential development site, according to Melrose City Planner Denise Gaffey.
On Jan. 24, 2011, local developer Mark "Woody" Carroll received conditional approval from the Melrose Planning Board for an eight-unit residential development. However, he submitted a new proposal in the spring that called for more residential units to be built at the site.
“According to the Applicant, a combination of financing requirements, market constraints, and structural limitations proved to be insurmountable obstacles that rendered the previously approved 8-unit development seemingly unfeasible,” according to a document containing the decision of the Planning Board to approve the project. “Consequently, the Applicant re-evaluated his development plan and returned to the Planning Board with a revised proposal that included a modified site layout, three additional units, and a unit mix that better reflects the ‘empty nester’ market segment.”
The board voted 7-1 to approve the new site plan, which received mostly praise from the Upham Street neighborhood during public hearings held on March 26 and April 23. Planning Board member Bob Mercado was the lone voice of opposition.
Work at the site began about six weeks ago, according to Gaffe.
Upgrading the “Periwinkle” Building
Based on the approved plan, three one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom unit will be created in the reconfigured Periwinkle building, which once was the Lopez Market. The former gift store had largely been vacant in recent years, so the community generally supports the project and how it is a step in the right direction, according to Gaffey.
Aspects of New Plan
The plan also calls for the razing of the three-unit building at 360-362 Upham St. as well as the garage attached to 354 Upham St. With the garage having been demolished, it paves the wave for a “modest single-family home” to be built in that area, according to Gaffey.
The developer will also be erecting three two-unit townhouse-style units, according to Gaffey
As part of the plan, 18 parking spaces will be created at the 34,000-square-foot site at 354 and 360-362 Upham St.
Gaffey was unsure how much the development would generate in tax revenues, but did say that it should provide a “net benefit” for the City.
It’s unclear how much it will cost the developer to build the new residential units, and no target date for completion was readily available.