FRAMINGHAM – After years of decline, an $ 11.6 million deal puts Nobscot Plaza under new ownership with plans to turn it into a mixed-use development that includes shops and 150 apartments.
“Progress is being made,” said District 1 City Councilor Christine Long, whose district includes the Nobscot Ward. “There is a plan to move forward with the existing plans that were authorized in 2019 and 20.”
Long said she worked closely on the plans while serving as the chair of the planning board.
What is Nobscot Village?
Nobscot Village will be a mix of amenities in two buildings. A north building, which will face Water Street, will include nearly 10,000 square feet of retail space. Separately, a south building will feature an outdoor swimming pool, functional patio and indoor bicycle storage.
The two buildings will include at least 150 housing units – a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments – as well as parking.
According to the site plans proposed in 2019 and approved in early 2020, created by Hawk Design Inc., the village will feature lawns, a mixture of shade, flowering and evergreen trees, bike racks, a plaza for cafe seats and a sculpture. According to the plans, there will also be a pocket park next to a space reserved for the “occasional parking of food trucks”.
Earlier this month, the proposal was sent back to the Planning Council to make changes of an “administrative nature,” according to the meeting agenda and minutes. Long said there had been no structural changes to the plan.
“We inadvertently left out terms on workforce housing and affordable housing, so that’s why it had to come back to the Planning Board,” she said. “It took years to get this plan and there is no plan to change the plan.”
Who bought Nobscot Plaza?
Framingham Nobscot, LLC, purchased 770 Water St. – Nobscot Plaza – on December 1 for $ 11.6 million.
The documents forming Framingham Nobscot, LLC, were filed with the state on November 23. The principal office – the company that manages the LLC – is Wheelock Street Capital, LLC, a Connecticut-based real estate investment company.
managing partners Merrick Kleeman and Jonathan Paul; director and financial director Lawrence Settanni; and partner and head of acquisitions Jeffrey Laliberte were on the documents registering the LLC that purchased the place.
Peter Spellios, of Transom Real Estate, a Boston-area real estate developer, was also on the paperwork, and the state resident agent is listed as the Boston location of Corporation Service Company, an international firm that provides legal, tax and brand advice.
This is not Wheelock Street Capital’s first foray into MetroWest real estate. In 2016, the company, along with Novaya Real Estate Ventures, purchased a building in Hopkinton. Earlier this year, they closed Sanofi Genzyme’s Northborough Global Operations Center as part of a joint venture with Camber Development.
Officials at Wheelock Street Capital, LLC could not be reached for comment on the purchase.
Start date of the work to be determined
Although Long has said the new owners intend to carry out the pre-approved plans, the project contractor and the exact start date of construction remain unknown.
“I don’t know who the contractor will be because financial LLCs do things differently, so I have no idea how it’s going to play out,” the city councilor said. “I know the plan is to use the existing decision and the existing architectural drawings and plans that we have already put in place.”
Redevelopment also cannot begin until changes to the adjacent intersection are completed, so construction timelines will depend on “when they finish road works,” Long said.
Earlier this year, the city received a $ 3.4 million grant from the Mass Works Infrastructure Program for the long-awaited redesign of the Water Street junction with Edgell and Edmands Roads.
During the repair of the intersection – plans include widening it, adding lighting, bus shelters and sidewalks in accordance with the ADA – some of the detours necessary for the work cross the square. Work on the intersection is expected to be completed by fall 2022.
Lillian Eden can be reached at 617-459-6409 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @LillianWEden.