Proposed condos, business, 1021-25 Mass. Ave., 2022Proposed condos and retail space at 1021-1025 Mass. Ave. / Harrison Mulhern Architects

The Arlington Zoning Board of Appeals has continued the comprehensive permit hearing for the proposed development on 1021-1025 Mass. Ave.

Presented virtually Thursday, Feb. 23, were the construction-management plan and some proposed changes regarding trees in the plaza and the placement of the building. 

Zoning Board of Appeals logo

About 30 people were present from 7:30 to about 10 p.m. including representatives from Maggiore Companies and outside consultants. The hearing is to continue March 9.

4 phases planned

Dan DeRoche of Vanesse & Associates presented the plan on behalf of the applicants, detailing four stages. In the first, the team plans to establish the perimeter of the construction, control erosion and demolish buildings. Sidewalks will be reconstructed, with the bus stop unaffected. Trash receptacles and portable toilets will be added onto the property for this phase.

In phase two, the lower parking garage will start to be constructed, and an entry and exit gate will be established.

Phase three has two parts; the first occurs when the steel frame of the lower parking lot is constructed and a crane is placed in the center of the development. In the second part of phase three, the team will completely install the timber and steel part of the front half of the building.

Phase four will be the restoration of the sidewalk and parking area.

The building is expected to take between a year and a year and a half to construct.

ZBA members' questions

Board members had questions. DeRoche assured Board Chairman Christian Klein that bike lanes will not be affected by construction besides the normal and expected movements of vehicles. Klein proposed adding signs notifying people that the bus stop is still operating per usual, and DeRoche agreed to look into the matter.

Board member Dan Ricardelli inquired about energy sourcing and whether a generator will be running. Applicant Matthew Maggiore assured him that while there is a potential of a temporary small generator, there will be nothing that will be extremely loud or noticeable off-hours. 

Sean Reardon of Tetra Tech, an engineering consulting group to the ZBA, followed up with questions about the construction fence doors and whether that would be a danger to oncoming traffic. Maggiore said that the doors will be up only when needed and will be disassembled on a daily basis.

Clifford Boehmer of Davis Square Architects had his own inquiries.  Boehmer asked whether nearby trees and their roots would be impacted by construction fences and excavations; Maggiore and his attorney, Paul Feldman, said that those working at the construction site would be considerate of the neighboring properties and their trees.  

“We’re neighbors with these homeowners, and we would certainly never do anything that's going to jeopardize anything on their property whatsoever,” Maggiore said. “That's just being good people and that's just being sensible and practical construction managers.”

Feldman discussed parking for workers and said that once the parking lot is completed, workers will park there. Until then, they may park on site or temporarily on the street. 

Concom reminder

Susan Chapnick, chair of the Arlington Conservation Commission, noted that the applicant still owes that commission an official notice of intent. Feldman said that it would be provided by the next meeting and that the company is aware of what needs to be done and evaluated in accordance with state law. 

Klein opened the meeting for public comment regarding the construction plan. Arlington resident Wynelle Evans asked what the company plans to do with the demolished building materials and encouraged the applicant to think about possibilities of recycling. Maggiore said that waste is to be taken by a contractor and will be disposed of in accordance with law. Concrete will be recycled instead of taken to a landfill. 

Steve Moore asked about asbestos; Feldman said that the law requires the applicant to survey for asbestos and abate it before demolition. 

Building to be moved back

Chris Mulhern of Harrison Mulhern Architects presented the proposed changes to the plaza that were made after previous public comment. The entire building will be moved back from the street by 3.6 feet. The plaza in front of the building will have a reduced seating area and more trees.

Planned are six trees across the front of the plaza -- Princeton Sentry Ginkgos, an ancient tree used commonly across the Northeast. Shrubbery to be added would include Rose of Sharon plants, inkberry and knockout roses. Mulhern called the ginkgo “an excellent street tree; they're very rugged. This variety grows tall; they turn a lovely golden color in the fall, and they'll provide much more shade than what we had previously.”

The hearing is scheduled to continue Thursday, March 9, with more public comment.

The conservation commission is to meet March 16, when it plans to discuss the environmental aspects of the potential development. 

Jan. 18, 2023: Proposed Brattle Square plan addresses environmental issues, and the public comments

This news summary by YourArlington intern Renée Abbott was published Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023.