Residents, officials speak out against huge housing development at South Shore Plaza
Real Estate News
A proposed apartment complex near the mall has proven divisive so far.
Major changes could be coming to the South Shore Plaza shopping center in Braintree, but some residents and officials are voicing their concerns about a proposed housing development known as the Residences on Granite.
The plan would be to slice off an almost nine-acre stretch of parking lots and woods that contain two homes so that Florida-based ZOM Living could build a 495-unit apartment and senior living complex. It would be the largest housing development in decades for Braintree, and follows a national trend of placing apartments next to retail properties, The Boston Globe reported.
But Braintree officials are now set to review the proposal, and Mayor Charles Kokoros has spoken out against the plan.
“It’s an extreme amount of density,” Kokoros said, according to The Patriot Ledger. “We do not see this as favorable to the town.”
Kokoros is concerned that the development would negatively impact Braintree’s roads, water, and sewer systems, the Patriot Ledger reported.
Resident Justine Huang said that the proposed complex is “not compatible with our neighborhood at all,” according to the Patriot Ledger.
The country’s largest mall owner, Simon Property Group, has already mixed residential development into its retail properties throughout the nation. Simon has owned the South Shore Plaza since 1996, according to the Globe, and ZOM is under contract to purchase the acreage. It could go for as much as $20 million.
This would be ZOM’s first development in the northeast, something the company has been exploring for years.
“We’ve been looking at the area for a number of years, trying to find the right opportunity, even since before the pandemic,” Jim Dunlop, a managing director at ZOM, told Boston.com.
If the necessary approvals are secured, groundbreaking is expected to happen in the middle of 2024, and construction would be on track to finish by late 2026. The development would include two five-story buildings, one with 180 units of housing for people aged 55 and above, and the other with 315 units. This would include units ranging from 550-square-foot studios to 1,800-square-foot two-bedroom apartments. One-bedroom units with about 700 square feet would be the most common.
Using current market conditions in Greater Boston, Dunlop estimated that rents would start at about $2,100 per month for studios, $2,500 for one-bedroom units, and $3,000 for two-bedrooms.
Necessary zoning changes still have to be approved by Braintree Town Council. Councilor Joseph Reynolds told the Globe that he supports the development because it offers residents a way to sell their single-family homes and remain in the community.
But President of the North Braintree Civic Association Kelly Moore told the Globe that he is concerned about the development’s size and traffic impacts.
“The dualistic relationship between the Plaza and the town — it’s got to work for both, and this just doesn’t work at all,” Moore told the paper.
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