The construction of a new Route 128 rail station and the demolition of a landmark General Motors 260,000-square foot parts distribution center have paved the way for an expansive, 135-acre mixed-use development in the Boston suburb of Westwood, MA. The development abuts the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s new Route 128 commuter rail station on the Northeast Corridor, which has for years been a major stop for Amtrak’s high speed and regional rail services.
The principal developer for the project, called Westwood Station, is Boston’s Cabot, Cabot & Forbes. Elkus Manfredi Architects, also of Boston, drew up the comprehensive master plan for the site which calls for 1.75 million square feet of office space, 1.2 million square feet of retail space, roughly 1,000 residential units and at least one hotel. Improvements to the Route 128 rail station will better accommodate commuters living and working at Westwood Station. Most of Westwood Station’s residential units will be within walking distance of the train station.
Westwood town administrators and business development proponents spearheaded the effort to attract more commercial and retail business to Westwood. Local residents lent their support by approving a series of zoning changes to permit a dense, mixed-use development at the obsolete industrial park. Westwood Station will significantly grow and diversify the town’s tax base, easing pressure on existing homeowners. And in concert with Massachusetts law, 10 percent of the residences are to be rated affordable, with an additional 5 percent priced just above median income affordability. With construction slated to begin in March 2007, Westwood Station’s developer plans to complete all of the retail, 400 residential units (mostly apartments) and a 125,000-square foot office building by September 2008.