The new owners of the Stop & Shop parcel on the Parkway straddling the Everett/Chelsea line have proposed a massive redevelopment of the site, with 800 rental housing units and retail offerings that may or may not include a re-make of the grocery store.
The Grossman Companies of Quincy has filed with the City to begin reviews of the project, and were slated to be on the agenda for Monday’s Planning Board – though that got pushed into September due to a public notice Snafu.
In the meantime, City Planner Tony Sousa said they are very excited about the proposal and that it piggy-backs on so many of the other dynamic mixed-use projects that have surged into the formerly heavy industrial area. He said the project would create more momentum that is already underway with the completed Pioneer, the proposed development at Wood Waste, the Market Forge proposal, the Fairfield development under construction on the Chelsea side of the line and the operational EnVision Hotel. All of it adds up to a very new and different place than most everyone in Everett is used to seeing on the forgotten southern side of the Parkway.
“It’s everything coming together that is so exciting,” he said. “I look at 2014 and 2015 when we did the neighborhood plan and a few years later we did the zoning changes. The we added the federal opportunity zone designation. That is very real and every developer down there has looked into the opportunity zone.
“It’s really, really coming together there,” he continued. “Go back five years and we have added the Silver Line and the soon-to-be commuter rail station in Chelsea. I can’t say enough about accessing the Silver Line and how it connects us now to the airport, the Seaport and South Station. We didn’t have that five years ago so there wasn’t this synergy that there is now. It all starts with Mayor DeMaria’s vision and guiding us to get everything in order. The Commercial Triangle is changing.”
The Stop & Shop parcel on the Parkway is just over 6 acres of land and sits about 80 percent in Everett and 20 percent in Chelsea. The review will have to come from Everett first, but will also need approvals from Chelsea afterward.
The proposal includes 800 units of rental housing, which translates to 150 Studios, 494 one-bedrooms, and 156 two-bedrooms. The development calls for 906 parking spaces in structured garages. Even with that, the project would call for variances for parking, additional height, and setbacks. It could also feature as many as 40 or more units of affordable housing on site.
The proposal includes 15,000 sq. ft. of retail, which is a far cry from the 90,000 sq. ft. existing grocery store. Sousa said he had no idea if Stop & Shop would re-tool their store as they have in other locations around Greater Boston. Some Stop & Shop stores have focused on a smaller footprint with more prepared foods and a pared down market under the title ‘bfresh.’ That has taken place in Newton and Davis Square Somerville. It wasn’t readily apparent if that would happen on the Parkway, and Sousa said there is no tenant yet identified for the retail portion.
However, he said some sort of market would be likely needed in that area despite the large Market Basket down the street. With nearly 2,000 units on the docket for that immediate area, Sousa said a market concept for quick grabs and small orders would be a great amenity from the City’s perspective.
The proposal would be situated in several buildings on the site, and would feature an open public space concept as has been the norm in the other buildings proposed or built in the area. That, Sousa said, is going to be a feature of the new district on both sides of the City Line. Having public green space accessible to everyone and outdoor seating to accompany retail would be essential, he said, to the character of this newly carved out community.
“There are again here very public facing elements of open space and helping to create a neighborhood feel,” he said. “As more gets developed, we want to make sure open space is shared space and there is retail with outdoor seating and public amenities.”
The project has been continued for its first unveiling at the Sept. 12 Everett Planning Board meeting, which is an online Zoom meeting. The Grossman Companies purchased the site in 2018 for around $16 million.