The third time may be the charm for a new assisted living facility—or possibly two—to be developed in Mashpee.
Theodore Tye, managing director for Newton-based National Development Corporation, this week unveiled plans for an assisted living and memory care facility to be built on a 24-acre parcel at the intersection of Route 151 and Old Barnstable Road. The project was formally presented at Wednesday night’s meeting of the Mashpee Planning Board.
One year ago this month, Mr. Tye appeared before the same board, pitching a nearly identical project to be built on property currently owned by Mashpee Commons at the intersection of Donna’s Lane and Great Neck Road South, just south of the Mashpee rotary. However, over the course of the past year, the relationship between National Development and Mashpee Commons appears to have soured.
“It just didn’t work out, and we are proceeding with the project but in a different location in Mashpee,” Mr. Tye said in an interview this week.
However, Mashpee Commons still has plans of its own.
Douglas S. Storrs, vice president of Mashpee Commons LP, said yesterday that the developer has signed a purchase and sale agreement with another assisted living community developer, The Northbridge Companies, for the property initially proposed for the National Development project.
“Northbridge is quite far along in its studies and plans, and should be presenting to the planning board soon,” he said.
National Development Unveils Plans
The plans for the National Development facility, which will be named “Bridges at Mashpee,” call for development of a 56-unit, one-story building with a “Cape Cod style” design, according to information provided by Mr. Tye and presented to the planning board on Wednesday evening.
Mr. Tye said that approximately five acres of the 24-acre parcel will be used, with the remainder of the property to be dedicated green space, with a substantial buffer of trees preserved to border the property. “It’s a beautiful piece of property,” he said.
He also said that traffic impact in the area would be minimal, as residents would not have cars. Peak traffic periods, which he anticipates would occur during employee shift changes, would not be large enough to impact traffic flow in the area.
The building design and concept would be similar to two other “Bridges” assisted living centers National Development has built in Massachusetts, in Hingham and Westford. National Development has built 23 senior housing communities, and its residences have been selected “Best in the US” three times, according to Mr. Tye.
Mr. Tye said that the property is currently under agreement, pending permitting approvals.
According to the Town of Mashpee assessor’s database, the 24-acre property is currently owned by Shaw’s Supermarket Realty Trust, and is composed of five parcels, collectively appraised at $2.75 million. A local real estate website recently listed the asking sale price of the property as $3 million.
Four years ago, a much larger 300-unit, three-story assisted living facility was proposed for the property, but zoning changes needed to allow the development were voted down at Town Meeting. The proposal was met with significant opposition from the residents of Southport, which is located directly across the street on Old Barnstable Road.
To avoid a similar reaction from nearby residents and abutters, Mr. Tye has already been working with Ronald S. Bonvie, developer of Southport.
“The plans are preliminary, but I think he has a great concept that should be well received by Southport, especially since it is a substantially downsized project than was proposed in 2009. I am working with Ted to arrange a meeting with the Southport residents association in the near future to review and discuss the plans,” Mr. Bonvie said.
Town Meeting Vote Needed
While Mr. Tye said he would like to start construction in early 2014, there is some town permitting and zoning business that must be taken care of before construction can begin.
An October Town Meeting article requesting building footprints in C-3 zoning areas be increased from 20,000 square feet for assisted living facilities must be must be approved. Mr. Tye estimates the size of the Bridges at Mashpee building to be approximately 45,000 to 48,000 square feet.
There is also a question of semantics regarding the wastewater treatment plan for the project and whether it will require a “system” or a “plant,” with the latter requiring a Town Meeting article.
The planning board took a hard line against Mr. Tye’s former proposal in Mashpee Commons, but their stance appeared to soften this time around.
“I think either way, it is going to move forward,” Mary E. Waygan, vice chairman of the planning board, said.
But the planning board must act quickly. The deadline for submitting warrants for the October Town Meeting is Monday, July 8.
To sort out what needs to happen over the next month, Ms. Waygan suggested arranging a conference call next week among Mr. Tye, Town Planner F. Thomas Fudala, and board Chairman George W. Petersen Sr., who was not present for Wednesday’s meeting.
“I think there is a great need for this type of facility in town, and we’ve been trying to find the best place for it. I hope that all parties involved can reach agreement and the project can move forward. I’ve seen some of National Development’s other communities, and they are beautiful,” Selectmen Carol A. Sherman, who also serves as chairman of the Mashpee Economic Development and Industrial Corporation, said.