Planning Board Takes Up Large Rivergreen Drive Proposal

The Planning Board took up the large-scale development planned for Rivergreen Drive at its meeting last week.

Applicants John Tocco and Ricky Belliveau and their team made a presentation on the project, which calls for the redevelopment of a 25-acre site within the city’s Riverfront Overlay District.

The proposed redevelopment calls for the construction of three mid-rise residential buildings totaling 830,000 gross square feet and containing 591 dwelling units, 585 parking spaces, and a 14-acre public riverfront path and park. The applicant is proposing that 59 of these units will be designated as affordable.

The address of the project is listed as 1, 4, and 6 Rivergreen Drive and 0 Tremont Street.

Following the presentation, multiple comments were made by Board members, led by Leo Pizzano who had a good amount of feedback on the aesthetics of the building, according to Planning Director Matthew Lattanzi.

Multiple letters were read into the record, including letters of support from Night Shift, Koffee N’ Box, the owners of the 65 Norman Street Project, and a form letter signed by multiple youth throughout the City.

There was also a letter of opposition from Mayor Carlo DeMaria; and two comment letters which contained suggestions for what folks want to see in a project down in the area from Mystic River Watershed Association (MyWRA) and Friends of the Malden River, according to Lattanzi.

“I fully recognize the need to create more affordable housing to allow families to make Everett their home,” stated DeMaria in his letter. “However, the need for housing is not the only critical need facing our community. We also have the need to build a new comprehensive school building that will alleviate classroom sizes across our entire school district. We also need to create and preserve access to

our waterfront for the benefit of all our residents.”

The mayor stated parcels of land in the proposal should be considered as part of the City’s Statement of Interests (SOIs) filed with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) as potential new areas to site a new high school facility.

“A new high school facility is the only way to alleviate classroom size for all grades in our school district,” DeMaria stated. “This proposed development would significantly, and potentially irreparably damage the City of Everett’s ability to meet the important needs of our students and their families. I can’t allow the interest of one project to compromise the public needs of thousands of Everett students.”

The only vote taken on the project The only vote that was taken on the project at the Sept. 5 meeting was to authorize Lattanzi to collect 53G funds from the applicant for the purpose of hiring outside consultants to review technical aspects, such as legal, engineering, architectural, and environmental aspects, of the project.

There was also a request from the board for the applicant to invite a representative from Wynn Development, the current owner of record of the land, and from GE, who holds liability for the Activity and Use Limitation recorded on the site.

In other business, the Planning board heard from the attorney for a proposed 18-unit apartment complex at 657 Broadway. The attorney stated that the applicant has hired a new architect to review and revise the project and will be back before the Planning Board later in the fall.

The board also heard a proposal for a 27-unit multifamily dwelling with podium parking at 295 Chelsea St. There is currently a two-story dwelling on the 12,718 square foot parcel. Five of the units in the proposal would be designated as affordable.

The project received ZBA dimensional relief in 2021. Planning Board members had questions and suggestions as to the aesthetics to the building, which the applicant received and will take under advisement for his next appearance before the board on Oct. 2.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *