Beal developer adds more parking to the Shrewsbury project

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Beal developer adds more parking to the Shrewsbury project
The former Beal school may soon become a mixed-use development. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

Clarification: There will be a total of 30 public parking spaces.

SHREWSBURY – The developers of the proposed Beal Commons at the former Beal school have increased the amount of parking for the project. 

Developers Civico Greenly have increased the number of parking spaces from 133 to 146.  

Located at the site of the former Beal school, Civico Greenly has proposed redeveloping the site into a 75,839-square-foot mixed-use project. The developers have proposed 55 units – seven of which would be affordable – and approximately 7,700 square feet of commercial space.

Civico’s Andrew Consigli said during the Nov. 1 Select Board meeting that the additional parking spaces would be used for Beal Commons residents and those who visit the commercial portion of the project. 

According to Consigli, the number of public parking spaces – 20 – would remain the same, and 10 of the spaces would be located on Haskell Street for a total of 30 spaces. Originally, Civico Greenly had proposed nine spots, but Consigli noted that it increased to 10 as the developers worked through the engineering and surveying process.

“What ended up happening is we had a plan that was conceptual then when we ended up refining that plan, we were able to get more spaces, which is great,” Consigli said.  

The developers presented the traffic report. It projected that Beal Commons would generate 49 additional trips during the morning peak hour and 64 additional trips during the evening peak hour. 

“The impact of the existing road network would be very limited with only one to two seconds [of] additional delay during peak hour at the main intersection,” said Civico’s Sam Scoppettone. 

Select Board member Beth Casavant said she would like to see a comparison of the traffic generated from the former Beal school to the proposed Beal Commons.

“I think that is really important information to have if we want to have something to compare it to that people remember,” she said. 

Casavant added, “There is traffic in the center of town, so I know that this will be on people’s minds when they think this through.” 

The Beal Commons project will now head before the Planning Board.

Civico Greenly has filed an application for a special permit and site plan approval and will be on the Planning Board’s Dec. 1 agenda. Additionally, the developers have planned to host a neighborhood outreach meeting on Nov. 9. 

This latest presentation to the Select Board is the latest development following a multi-year process for the site. 

The school closed in 2020 after it was deemed no longer necessary for school purposes following the completion of the new Beal on Lake Street. In March, the board approved a land disposition agreement, which is a precursor to a purchase and sale agreement.

As part of the proposed Beal Commons, the development would include a fitness area and a cafe or restaurant. 

According to Consigli, Civico Development is “currently in discussion” with a few full-service restaurants and cafes for the commercial space. 

“It’s [the site plan] substantially what you said it was going to be, so that’s encouraging. It didn’t change that much,” Select Board Chair Moe DePalo said.

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