MAYNARD — Residents got a chance Tuesday night to review initial plans for redeveloping the former Digital Equipment Corporation complex at 129 Parker St.
Capital Group Properties, a Southborough-based real estate development company, submitted a concept plan to the Planning Board to build three multi-family residential buildings, a senior independent living facility, retail space, and a supermarket on the 58-acre property.
The concept plan is part of a new approach in Maynard that aims to ensure community input and consideration during the application process, according to town planner Bill Nemser.
Under the plan, “The Shoppes at Maynard Crossing” would have about 240,000 square feet of retail space, including a 68,000-square-foot supermarket. An existing 50,300-square-foot building would be used for business or office space.
The initial design includes three residential buildings in the southeast corner that would house 180 units, 22 of which would be affordable. The plan also calls for a 143-unit senior independent living facility.
The plan will be reviewed over the course of several public meetings, during which the Planning Board and residents can suggest general changes to the design.
When the board is satisfied, it can decide to recommend the plan for approval at a special Town Meeting at a later date. There, residents will vote on whether the concept will move on to the site plan stage, at which time the developer will bring forward a detailed plan and continue discussions with the Planning Board.
The method is more complicated than the standard procedure, but according to Capital Group’s Bob Depietri, it allows for the developer to more easily take into account the concerns and suggestions of residents.
“I don’t think it’s a bad idea,” Depietri said. “It allows us to vet out major issues that the board has more easily. It’s nice to have this level where it’s just a vision and we haven’t gone through all the engineering.”
One of the major concerns at Tuesday’s meeting was traffic circulation, particularly around a proposed traffic circle near the Parker Street entrance. Several residents, including former Planning Board chairman Ken Estabrook, felt the circle would create traffic backups on Route 27 as vehicles entered and exited.
According to Depietri, the developer was able to already begin drafting a new plan to alleviate those concerns the day after the meeting because of the bare-bones nature of the concept plan.
Depietri said the drawn-out collaborative approach helps residents get involved in a large-scale project for the area.
“This way requires the whole town to be on board,” Depietri said. “If you’re able to get residents’ support for a project of this size in a place like Maynard, it really gives the Planning Board a good sense of where the town stands.”
Capital Group will submit a new plan at an upcoming board meeting on May 11.