The economic climate has changed significantly since 2007 when Mashpee Commons received approval for a major expansion of residential and commercial development.
In fact, the recession of 2008 halted new construction at the commons for several years.
On Wednesday evening, August 6, Mashpee Planning Board unanimously approved a special permit modification for Mashpee Commons to immediately proceed with development, but with a re-phased approach that would involve smaller projects than proposed in the initial plan.
The initial Phase 1, approved in 2007, will now be broken down into Phases 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D.
“There is no change in the number of buildings and residential units—382—that we plan on building, we are just changing the sequence and phasing of the way things are being done,” John B. Connell, project manager for the Jobs-Whitings Neighborhood at Mashpee Commons, said, explaining that there is currently more demand for rental units than condominiums or stand-alone homes, which will now be built in later phases.
The special permit modification gives Mashpee Commons the go-ahead to start construction of Phase 1A, which will consist of six new buildings along an extended Market Street that will include 53 residential rental units and 14,147 square feet of commercial space. The commercial component is expected to house new restaurants, retail shops, and office space, and 25 percent of the rental units will be reserved for affordable housing.
In addition, 161 new parking spaces will be created in Phase 1A, 78 of them considered “on street.”
The special permit modification will require that at least one foundation of the six new buildings be in place by November 30.
In a recent interview, Thomas K. Feronti, construction manager for Mashpee Commons, said that he expects all of the buildings will be completed and ready for occupancy by next spring and summer.
“It’s a much more simplistic plan that is more in line with current economic conditions. Mashpee Commons did a great job presenting the new phased approach,” said planning board chairman George W. Petersen.
Work on the infrastructure of Phase 1A, primarily the extension of Market Street, has already begun and is being funded by a $900,000 MassWorks Infrastructure Program grant that was awarded to the Town of Mashpee. Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick visited Mashpee Commons last month for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new project.
In addition to the re-phased construction schedule, the design of the buildings planned for Market Street has changed. Initially planned to be Boston-style townhouse live/work buildings, they will now be designed to resemble grand old seaside captains’ homes, more in line with traditional Cape Cod architecture.
The buildings will have rental units on the upper floors and commercial space on the first floor. According to conceptual drawings presented by Mashpee Commons, the new Market Street community will resemble the architecture and neighborhoods of old New England towns such as Marblehead and Nantucket.