Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Redevelopment Board, June 10, 2024

Approval of Meeting Minutes

The board reviewed the minutes from the meeting held on May 20, 2024. No corrections or additions were reported by any of the members. A motion to approve the minutes as submitted was made, seconded, and approved.

Docket Number 3798 – 821 Massachusetts Avenue (Atwood House)

The board revisited the issue concerning the Atwood House, with the application proposer initially planning to present at the meeting, but later requested a postponement. Changes were made from retail to office space due to leasing constraints with an adjacent CVS. Additionally, an oversight with using an outdated EDR application was acknowledged and will be corrected. The applicant looks to present a full environmental design review and special permit submission on July 1, 2024. The board agreed to continue the hearing to this date and emphasized the need for the proper application to be submitted.

Discussion on 1207 to 1211 Massachusetts Avenue

Jim Doherty presented an update on the proposed hotel project at the discussed Mass Ave location. He provided a high-level overview of feedback received from bankers, brokers, and other professionals, which included considerations for room sizes, amenities, and space for a high-end restaurant. He introduced the potential for alternative uses for the site, such as residential housing and standalone uses but expressed his ongoing interest in pursuing the hotel project. Doherty suggested the involvement of a subcommittee to facilitate better communication and iteration of ideas as the project evolves. The ARB discussed the merits of this idea but decided against forming a subcommittee, favoring that discussions should be held at full board meetings instead. A follow-up meeting was scheduled for December 2, 2024, to review further developments or potentially sooner if information becomes available.

Open Forum

The board opened the floor for an open forum but no one indicated a wish to speak, thus it was closed without any discussion.

New Business

Discussion on the AMP Up Advisory Committee was briefly broached with a formal board decision deferred to the next meeting scheduled within a week. The goal is to select a member from the board to join the committee.

Additionally, a new business discussion initiated by Ken Lauzen addressed the utilization of air rights over the MBTA bus turnaround on Mass Ave. Steve Revelak, Gene Benson, and Shaina Corman showed interest and expressed a willingness to explore the topic further, including the potential for zoning changes or special provisions like parking reduction to make future development feasible. It was agreed to precede the discussions with the MBTA and also to consider integrating this topic with larger area plans for Arlington Heights.



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