Work has begun to dig a hole for the foundation of what will be Keystone Place, the new senior housing project to be on Main Street in Buzzards Bay, directly behind the post office. The 105-unit housing complex has been several years in reaching the groundbreaking stage. However, Keystone Senior, LLC president Timothy O. Eldredge said that getting the Buzzards Bay project moving has been the easiest of the company’s 50 buildings to date.
“A lot of time there’s some resistance; this has just been a much easier process than what we’re used to,” Mr. Eldredge said. He noted that his company has housing complexes spread throughout the country, from Colorado to Massachusetts.
Mr. Eldredge made his comments Tuesday morning following a ceremony at the site for the new complex. A couple of dozen people attended the event, including Bourne town administrator Thomas M. Guerino, Bourne Financial Development Corporation president Sallie K. Riggs, Bourne Planning Board chairman Christopher J. Farrell, and Keystone Place project manager Frederick Mielke.
If all goes well, the building’s foundation will be finished by April 1, and the project will “go vertical” shortly thereafter, Mr. Eldredge said. He cautioned that the proposed April 1 date is subject to the weather.
“You guys have had a pretty difficult winter so far,” he said.
If work crews can keep to their timeline, the plan is to open the building to residents in February of 2015, he said. He mentioned that his company has received many calls from people who are interested in moving into the building, but they will not start signing people up until sometime in August.
Keystone Place was originally given unanimous approval by the planning board in July of last year. The complex was to have consisted of 140 units; 70 for assisted living, 50 for independent living, and 20 for people suffering from memory-related impairments. In September, bank feasibility studies led Keystone to reduce the project to 105 units. The building’s design, however, has left open the option of adding units in the future, up to the original 140. The number of parking spaces was also reduced from 92 to 79, with underground parking for independent living residents dropping from 40 to 27 spaces.
Speaking during Tuesday’s ceremony, Mr. Eldredge complimented the town for the cooperation they have shown throughout the process leading to the groundbreaking.
“The [Town] of Bourne was the most, not only receptive, everybody is receptive to begin with, but the most cooperative, most involved in the process to help us overcome any obstacle that presented itself,” he said.
Mr. Guerino said that the town is pleased to have something like Keystone Place going in on Main Street. He said that the hope is it will attract other businesses and will serve as an example of how Buzzards Bay is determined to increase business opportunities.
“This is going to be a keystone anchor to how the Growth Incentive Zone that we have here in town is going to expand,” he said, adding that the town looks forward to a long-term partnership with Keystone.
Ms. Riggs noted that the town had been working toward getting this project underway “for a very long time.” She commented that the vision plan developed for Keystone Place several years ago served as the catalyst for the downtown district zoning bylaw that was passed at Town Meeting a couple of years ago, which led to the growth incentive zone in downtown Buzzards Bay. She said that the town is looking forward to the new jobs the complex will create, as well as the visitors it will bring into the downtown business area. Along with the new housing complex, she mentioned the discussions surrounding the potential extension of commuter rail service into Buzzards Bay, and Canal Crossways, a network of trails leading to the Cape Cod Canal that will be situated directly adjacent to Keystone Place, as examples of the town’s commitment to land and business development and growth.
“I think of today as more than a groundbreaking. I think of this as a signal, loud and clear, that Buzzards Bay is open for business,” she said.