By Jordan Mayblum
February 23. 2015 11:19AM
Plans for two large Wellesley properties announced
The developer that purchased two large pieces of land in town late last year has announced plans for the future of those properties.
Northland Residential, a Burlington-based developer, bought 12 acres on Great Plain Avenue along with a stretch of land along Washington Street—commonly referred to as the Rollins Lot—late last year. Construction on homes at the latter site is set to begin this spring.
The Great Plain property, which Northland bought last year for $6.5 million, could one day be developed into 12 separate properties, according to Margaret Murphy, a spokesperson for the developer.
“We’ve made more generous lots and they’re going to be very nice homes,” Murphy said this week, “and they’ll have significant setbacks to any neighbors’ homes.” The process for creating a new subdivision, and ultimately a new neighborhood in town, is a lengthy one because of extensive permitting that’s required, she said.
“Over the next several months we will be working with our neighbors and the town to create the type of housing that’s appropriate for the community at each site,” Northland president Jack Dawley said in a statement.
“I’m thrilled to be the first to build housing while utilizing the town’s new cluster subdivision planning bylaw, known as the Natural Resource Protection bylaw, at the Great Plain Avenue site,” he added.
Murphy said that Northland intends to listen to members of the community and take their feedback into account as plans to develop the area move forward. She added that the developer is focused on maintaining significant amounts of open space, in accordance with the NRP bylaw that requires at least 50 percent of the land be kept as open space.
She estimated that the new homes on the Great Plain Avenue site, which is located near the Needham line and Olin College, would range in size from 3,500 to 4,500 square feet.
The timeline for development on the Rollins Lot, which Northland agreed to buy from Wellesley College last fall, calls for construction to begin on five new homes by May.
That property, which allows by-right development of up to five homes without any additional permitting, sits on Washington Street between Leighton Road and Cottage Street.
The undeveloped parcel near Wellesley Square is one of a collection of properties—including the 46-plus acre North 40 parcel—that the college has said it intends to sell in hopes of raising money for upgrades to facilities on its main campus.
In addition to the Rollins Lot, Northland confirmed that it had been one of the bidders for the North 40 prior to the town and college reaching a deal for the land.