Developer pitches mixed-use project in Marlborough’s French Hill neighborhood

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Developer pitches mixed-use project in Marlborough’s French Hill neighborhood
A rendering shows the proposed Alta Marlborough development currently envisioned for the corner of Lincoln and Mechanic Street in Marlborough. (Photo/via City of Marlborough)

MARLBOROUGH – A developer is eyeing the corner of Lincoln and Mechanic Streets in Marlborough as the potential location of a new mixed-use development with more than 10,000 square feet of space. 

Alta Marlborough LLC (Wood Partners) submitted a special permit application to the Marlborough City Council for this project. The council then noted the project during their meeting on Monday.

The new building would rise from the Neighborhood Business District in Marlborough. Its residential component would contain 276 units. 

There would also be a parking garage with 448 spaces augmented by 33 outdoor parking spaces along Lincoln and Mechanic streets, according to attorney Brian Falk. 

Plans show commercial space on the first floor of the building.

Falk, representing Alta, added in a letter to the City Council that 10 percent of the residential units would be restricted as affordable.

“The project would transform an underutilized 4.5-acre parcel between Downtown Marlborough and French Hill, adjacent to the Assabet River Rail Trail, into a vibrant development with new street-level commercial space and homes for residents able to walk to surrounding buildings,” Falk wrote.

Falk added that the development would make the rail trail more accessible to the community by increasing the amount of off-street parking spaces and conveying a restroom building to Marlborough for use by the public.

He added that residents would have access to “open air courtyards, a pool and indoor amenity spaces.”

Developer pitches mixed-use project in Marlborough’s French Hill neighborhood
A rendering shows an alternate angle of the proposed Alta Marlborough development currently envisioned for the corner of Lincoln and Mechanic Street in Marlborough. (Photo/via City of Marlborough)

Developer seeks zoning amendment

Falk also submitted an application for a zoning amendment, asking the City Council to “modify, by special permit, dimensional, parking, and landscaping requirements” for mixed-use developments in the Neighborhood Business District. 

Falk noted in his application that these requirements are “particularly challenging” on a corner lot like the one where his clients are seeking to build. 

The City Council referred both Alta’s special permit application, and its zoning amendment application to the City Council’s Urban Affairs Committee and the Marlborough Planning Board. 

Council, mayor, attorney discuss separate amendment

Separate from this discussion, this week’s council meeting also featured a public hearing on a proposed zoning map amendment for parcels of land on Jefferson Street and Lincoln Street, which Falk said he fully supports. 

Falk said a small portion of the proposed Alta development site would be affected by that amendment.

“Any redevelopment of this site would benefit from this amendment,” Falk said. “It allows for land uses that fit well with the area and benefit the entire area.”

Falk added that the project would face negative design restrictions without the amendment. 

Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant also spoke in favor of the amendment, saying that the area included in it should have been addressed in an earlier rezoning process of Lincoln Street as it abuts the rail trail.

“Obviously, we have a great project that’s coming before you tonight, and part of that project needs to be rezoned into this new zone for the rail trail area,” Vigeant said in reference to the proposed Alta development.

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