The commercial property at 3424 Roosevelt Hwy. might be in for a renovation.
At the July 11 Colchester Development Review Board meeting, brothers Darren and Richard Eddy presented a sketch plan for a mixed-use planned unit development on the property.
The site is situated in the “gateway” of Colchester near the town’s border with Milton according to Sarah Hadd, the town’s planning and zoning director.
“Until you actually get the permit in your hand, it’s a pipe dream,” Darren Eddy said. “Right now it’s just a dream.”
The proposed project would include the demolition of the currently standing 6,810-square foot commercial space. In its place would be a 25,000-square foot building with 6,000 square feet divided among three commercial spaces and the remaining area dedicated to 30 residential units in an attached three-story residential area, the draft DRB minutes say.
The residential units would primarily consist of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.
According to Darren Eddy, the housing would be affordable.
“We’re not going to be at $2,000 for two bedrooms like you see around here,” he said.
During the presentation, Hadd recommended the board continue to consider the structure’s aesthetics to ensure it would be in keeping with the character of the area.
“It’s a continued transition of the gateway of the Colchester village,” she said. “We’ll look forward to working with the applicants as they move forward with the board in terms of finding something that hopefully suits the need and is complementary to the village.”
Darren Eddy said the design will complement the aesthetic of the town.
“We would try to mimic what they’re doing in Severance Corners,” he said.
According to Eddy, this would mean a pointed roof as opposed to flat. The DRB “strongly discouraged” the “identical replication of structures, textures and color in PRD/PUDs” and suggested the building should “blend with the existing character of the area.”
During the July 11 discussion, DRB members asked how the Eddys would accommodate parking for the residents and commercial spaces. As per the town’s requirements, each of the proposed 30 residential units would require two parking spaces, with an additional parking space for every fourth unit.
The board also inquired where snow would be moved in the winter.
“There’s 16 acres there,” Darren Eddy said, adding parking and snow removal should not be an issue.
The Eddys will address the board’s questions and continue with the application process. Part of this will include developing a current and projected five-year level traffic study, with and without development. The study will detail peak traffic hours, accident history and the volume of visitors that enter and leave 3424 Roosevelt Hwy. on an average day, among other information.
Hadd said the location of the property, on a state highway, will require the Eddys to work with the state on access as well as the impact residents and shoppers will have on highway traffic.
According to Darren Eddy, the process will not be quick. In addition to meeting the local and state permit requirements, which includes Act 250 permitting, he said he would like to discuss the new space with his current commercial tenants: Sunny Laurel Sisters and Stonehurst Quilting.
“They’re the best tenants,” Darren Eddy said, adding he doesn’t want to “spook” them with the possible changes to the space.
Though it’s probable the three commercial spaces would be evenly divided among the projected 6,000 square feet, exact divisions have not been designed, according to Eddy. He said he’d like to discuss the layout of the new space with his current tenants.
The timeline for the project relies on how long the application and permitting process takes.
“It’s such a long road to go,” Darren Eddy said. “It’s a humongous process.”