By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – A plan to develop the former Spag's/Building 19 property into a multi-use complex will be on the agenda for the Tuesday, April 29, Special Town Meeting (STM). The warrant will ask voters to approve nine articles that would substantially change the rules and roadways of the property located on Route 9.
The developer, Grossman Development Group, LLC, met with the Board of Selectmen during the board's April 8 meeting to discuss the initial “vision” for the project, which they have dubbed “Lakeway Commons.”
Representatives from Grossman discussed specific zoning changes they are requesting for the nearly 20-acre property. As part of their presentation, they also displayed artist renderings of what the final site might look like. The timeline for such an “evolving” project was not given, although the group urged selectmen and the town to act immediately in granting their requests to “create a catalyst for economic development.”
The plan involves approximately 20 acres of now idle land that had housed first Spag's for many years, and then Building 19 for several more. The team envisions the complex, they said, to have a mix of businesses and residences laid out in a way to encourage walking on “wide walkways semi-sheltered from the weather and offering a sense of security.” Parking would be plentiful and business would be generated largely by word-of-mouth, they added.
The site would be approximately 60-80,000 square feet with 10 to 20 businesses initially.
While the board was receptive to the proposal, Selectman James Kane “noted for the record that the warrant's articles made no commitment to Grossman regarding approval for any specific building proposal,” to which the Grossman officials readily agreed.
Selectman Chair Henry Fitzgerald added that it was too early to consider any definitive comprehensive plan and suggested that any “vision” would probably change many times before a shovel hit the ground, but that he was also “very encouraged” about what might come about at this site.
Town Manager Daniel Morgado reviewed the warrant's nine articles. The articles would clear the way for rezoning to allow medical and dental offices at the site. They would rezone to commercial-business and amend the Lake Overlay District along Muzzy and Olympia avenues. Spag's Alley and portions of Muzzy Avenue and Lakeview Avenue would be discontinued ways. A portion of land along Hillside Avenue would be appropriated for the project. And a parcel of land on Harrington Avenue would be released from a deed restriction. The overall idea would be to free the existing complexity of roadways and separate land parcels in order for Grossman to proceed, Morgado said.
The Special Town Meeting will be held Tuesday, April 29, at the Oak Middle School auditorium, 45 Oak St.