Davis Withdraws As Developer of Exxon Site

According to several newspaper reports, the Davis Company will not be the developer of the 95-acre Exxon-Mobil site on lower Broadway after it terminated the purchase and sale agreement earlier this month.

Representatives from the Davis Company had appeared before the City Council on August 8 to give an outline of their vision for the site that included residential and commercial buildings.

An artists rendering of one of Davis’ proposed plans with green space.

At the August meeting, Michael Cantalupa,  the Chief Development Officer for Davis, and colleague Chris Morrow outlined the extent of what would have been a multi-year project to turn the hazardous waste site into a viable neighborhood similar to Kendall Square in Cambridge.

Cantalupa told the council that depending upon the amount of aid for infrastructure improvements that Davis might receive from city, state, and federal agencies, it would then determine whether to go ahead with the project. 

Morrow said that the proposed project would have been built in phases, with the first phase being a combination of residential, high tech, research labs, and retail. This phase would have encompassed 2.4 million square feet of buildings out of a projected 4.2 million square feet that could increase to almost six million square feet.

The height of the buildings would have been within the 45 feet that is permissible under the current zoning, but Morrow and Cantalupa said that Davis might have requested an increased height of 65 feet for other buildings.  The extent of the greater height allowed to the developer would dictate the eventual total square footage in the project.

In the first phase, there would have been 890 units of housing, as well as high tech and research labs that would have comprised 1.4 million square feet and retail that would have amounted to 45,000 square feet.

Davis projected a total number of 1,555 units of housing in the development. Cantalupa noted that the proposed architecture reflected more modern design and the “architecture needs to be attractive. This will not be your father’s office park.”

He also said that inasmuch as this is a coastal development, the current height of the land would have to be raised by almost 10 feet to be above the 100-year flood plain.

Davis’s representatives said in August that in order for them to move forward with the purchase of the property, there were three main concerns that needed to be addressed.

The first was possible relief from the height zoning ordinance for their first three buildings;  the second was public transportation to accommodate the influx of new residents and commuters who were projected to work and live at these sites; and the third was new public financing by the state and federal governments to help pay for the financing of the roadway improvements that would be required.

The heavily polluted site was put under agreement on May 31 of this year.

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