Oak Street housing project in Westborough may ‘move’ to Gleason Street


Oak Street housing project in Westborough may ‘move’ to Gleason Street
A sign stands at the entrance of Village Commons. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

WESTBOROUGH – Village Commons at 1 Gleason Street is close to completion.

The Planning Board wants to make sure the developer, Farooq Ansari, finishes the project, which will be made up of housing units and one commercial building.

During its Nov. 15 meeting, board members gave Ansari until June 30, 2023, to complete all remaining items required in the last project approval. This includes paving, which will not be done until spring.

Also, the board reviewed the project’s security bond and found there was enough security to complete the residential portion of the project. The board released the final unit and gave its approval to the certificate of occupancy. 

This means that the owner of the unit may move in. The owner said at a previous meeting that they had been waiting more than a year to move in.

Oak Street project

Back in October, the Planning Board met with Ansari, who is also the applicant for the proposed Hana Place project at 190-212 Oak Street.

Ansari was proposing to construct two separate buildings on the Oak Street site. There would be a total of 12 townhouse units, including six one-bedroom and six two-bedroom; 27 off-street parking spaces; utilities; a septic system; a dumpster with enclosure and underground stormwater detention.

According to Planning Board Chairman Mark Silverberg, Ansari can build two more commercial buildings at the Gleason Street site “by right.”

The board would like to have Ansari not develop the Oak Street site, and instead build additional units at Village Commons.

At that time, Ansari said he’s willing to make the change, provided he could build 18 apartment units instead of the townhouses.

He said moving the townhouses to Village Commons was “not going to work” because there would not be enough of a return on his investment. The 18 units “is a good mix” of one-bedroom and studio units, with four units set aside as affordable, Ansari said.

“I’m willing to work this out,” he said. “I’m willing to get this done.”

Board members favored the move to Gleason Street, but would like to see some updated plans.

Town Planner Jim Robbins that the town is encouraging the move to Gleason Street because it’s a more suitable location for development than Oak Street.

“[The site at] Gleason Street is close to the T station,” he said.

Since, Ansari has been revising the plans. Should the revisions be approved, the Oak Street parcel will remain as open space.

The revisions will require a public hearing, as well as board approval to amend the current plan and special permit for 1 Gleason Street.

That public hearing is scheduled to open at the board’s next meeting on Dec. 6.


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