Hotel Complex Proposed On 15 Acres In Buzzards Bay
By: MICHAEL J. RAUSCH, June 4, 2014
The face of downtown Buzzards Bay could soon be undergoing a major change. Developers are looking to construct a mixed-use complex of apartments, stores, and restaurants at 25 Perry Avenue, in-between Main Street and the Cape Cod Canal. The finished project would include a hotel and conference center and a “destination restaurant.” The complex, slated to be constructed in three phases on 15 acres, would sit adjacent to Keystone Place, the new senior, assisted living development now under construction behind the Buzzards Bay Post Office.
The project’s development group made an informal presentation to the Bourne Planning Board on May 29. Joseph E. Longo, a civil engineer with the Horsley Witten Group, told the board that their project will benefit Bourne by bringing more people to the area for local businesses as well as increasing the local tax base. Mr. Longo said the group believes there is untapped potential in downtown Buzzards Bay.
“We’re looking to create a destination here, right next to Keystone, for folks to come, live, eat, recreate, work and not have to go over the bridge,” he said.
Ryan K. Correia, co-owner of Allied Ventures LLC, and owner of the three parcels on which the project will be built, echoed Mr. Longo’s belief that Buzzards Bay is an untapped market. He said that preliminary feasibility studies show there are opportunities for small businesses and business travelers in Buzzards Bay, validating this kind of project.
“We think that by putting a development here, it’s going to bring people here to utilize Buzzards Bay,” he said.
Mr. Correia said that, depending on permitting, the time frame for construction would be to complete phase one within 12 to 18 months. They would like to get permitting for phases two and three on an ongoing basis as each project is underway.
“We look to this being overall a six- to eight-year program,” he said of the completed project.
Anthi Frangiadis of the architectural firm Anthi Frangiadis Associates of Marion explained that phase one would consist of residential, retail and restaurant space. Phase two would be a hotel/conference center, and phase three would be more residential and retail space. Ms. Frangiadis said the phase one complex would house 144 two -and three-bedroom units, with an emphasis on two-bedroom residences, with subsurface parking for residents. Surface parking will be available for patrons of the restaurant and the stores. The complex would reach a height of seven stories at its peak and step down to four stories, she said.
The project drew mixed reaction from town officials attending the meeting. Selectman Linda M. Zuern said she was concerned that the height of the complex will have a detrimental effect on the character of Buzzards Bay.
“There are so many people who have invested in the town and it just looks like a quaint little Cape town. I would hate to see it turn into something much different,” she said.
Ms. Zuern also expressed concerns over increased traffic that the project might bring, saying she already has trouble accessing Main Street from Perry Avenue.
Planning board member Douglas A. Shearer called the project “the most positive thing I’ve seen” in his 21 years living in Bourne. He said the development group was to be commended for bringing the project before the planners.
“We finally have somebody that’s interested in sitting down and discussing with this town something for this street,” he said.
Mr. Shearer pointed out that the proposed project would generate much-needed tax revenue that would help fund the schools and town services.
“The needed resources that this town, again, at Town Meeting made very clear that they are lacking,” he said.
Concerns were also expressed by planning board member Vincent P. Michienzi over the amount of wastewater that the project would create and have to be disposed. The developers said that phase one would result in 30,000 gallons of wastewater daily and the overall finished project would generate 90,000 gallons. Selectman Peter J. Meier said that there is 90,000 gallons available under the town’s contract with Wareham. Bourne’s contract allows the town to send 200,000 gallons daily to a wastewater treatment facility in Wareham.
“So you want to take all the sewering from downtown?” Mr. Michienzi said.
Mr. Longo offered that the 30,000 gallons from phase one could be sent to Wareham, and the developers are open to discussion with the town on a public-private partnership on building a wastewater treatment facility in Bourne. Such a facility would negate the need to infringe on the town’s allotment with Wareham.
Planning board chairman Christopher J. Farrell suggested that the developers meet with the Bourne Sewer Commissioners to get approval for disposal of the project’s wastewater. Mr. Farrell suggested the group meet with the sewer commissioners as soon as possible, given they want to present definitive plans for their project to the planners in July with hopes of being permitted by August. The sewer commissioners would have to approve any plan for wastewater disposal before the planning board could approve the project.
Mr. Farrell added that he believes solving the town’s wastewater issues is crucial to growth and development for Bourne. He noted that Main Street has undergone an upgrade, that the town has established growth incentive zones to foster new enterprise, but a resolution to wastewater “is the linchpin for this town to make the downtown grow.”
He mentioned that Bourne is facing $50 to $100 million worth of infrastructure costs over the next 10-plus years, and that burden cannot be placed on the town’s residents. He said that it is incumbent on the town to work with people like Mr. Correia and his development group to offset the cost to taxpayers.
“I hope you’re successful, I hope your business is successful because every business that’s successful makes the town successful,” he said.