UPDATE: October 12, 2021 - Certificate of Substantial Completion for Alta at River's Edge Sewer Connection
UPDATE: September 22, 2021 - River's edge Construction Certification Letter from BETA Engineering
UPDATE: July 26, 2021
Construction is well underway at the Alta at River’s Edge Project. The foundation of the first building, which will be for senior housing, was completed this week. The building is expected to be completed by mid- to late 2022. Construction work on the second and third buildings will begin shortly, with an anticipated occupancy by mid- 2023. When fully occupied, the value of the building is projected to result in the Town’s receipt of $1 million in additional real estate tax revenue.
The Town has received its first escrow payment for the building permit fee of $829,275, much needed revenue this year.
The Department of Housing and Community Development has approved the Town’s local action plan, vaulting Wayland to over 11% affordable housing, based on the 2010 census. The soon to be released 2020 census data will reduce the percent of affordable housing to over 9% but still shy of the 10% requirement under Massachusetts General Laws. We will continue to work with developers to complete projects that meet the Town’s housing goals (see below letters from DHCD).
The Wastewater Management District Commissioners, with the assistance of the Town Administrator, recently completed negotiations and approved an Operations and Maintenance Agreement that provides for Alta at River’s Edge to discharge its wastewater into the Town’s wastewater treatment plant and allows for the Town to send treated effluent to the Alta at River’s Edge leaching field. This will increase the discharge capacity of the Town’s wastewater system, which will allow for expansion of use of the system, and help reduce costs to the current users.
Construction along Route 20 of the wastewater pipe between Alta at River’s Edge and the Town wastewater treatment will begin this week. Work will take place primarily at night and is expected to be completed by early fall.
- Wayland Local Initiative Program LAU Approval Letter from Department of Housing & Community Development dated May 18, 2021
- Wayland Housing Production Plan Certification Letter from Department of Housing & Community Development dated May 25, 2021
River’s Edge Closing
The Board of Selectmen is pleased to announce that the Town of Wayland and Alta at River’s Edge (Wood Partners) have closed on the property at 490 Boston Post Road, the site of the former Wayland-Sudbury Septage Facility. The culmination of eight years of work, the sale of this property accomplishes a number of town financial, environmental and housing goals. This will also aesthetically enhance the entrance to Wayland from the west. Construction is slated to start immediately, with a phased opening of 218 rental units in 2022-2023.
River’s Edge has been many years in the making. The Economic Development Committee, charged with promoting ways to expand Wayland’s commercial tax base, explored a number of options for commercial development on the vacant site. In 2012 it secured funds from Town Meeting to study the land. It determined that permitting the site for mixed-income rental housing would provide the highest value and benefits for the Town.
In 2014, Town Meeting approved by a 2/3 vote the development of a 190-unit residential rental project known as River’s Edge. In 2016, a Request for Proposals was issued and in 2017 Wood Partners was selected as the winning bidder. Since then, town staff, volunteers and the developer have worked to arrive at this long-awaited closing, despite challenges caused by asbestos remediation, easements, a pandemic, rigorous negotiations, and the usual complexity that a large project entails. In 2019 Wood Partners applied for a permit for an additional 28 units for a total of 218 residential rental units.
The parties have now completed documents detailing the multi-faceted deal, summarized in the Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) through the 12th Amendment, a roadway Access Easement, Wastewater Easement, Wastewater Infrastructure Development Agreement, and Escrow Agreement. These and other documents are available on the town website at https://www.wayland.ma.us/riversedge
With this land sale completed, Wood Partners will begin construction immediately.
- Financial Benefits
- Building Permit Fee. The building permit fee is $829,275, much needed town revenue this year.
- Land Sale Proceeds. 490 Boston Post Road began as a vacant, contaminated municipal site. Now, permitted and approved, the final Gross Purchase Price for the River’s Edge land is $8,398,550. The Town is responsible for costs of on-site soil removal at $3,525,267, septage treatment plant demolition at $560,317, and originally estimated wastewater infrastructure work at $2,543,303. This results in a Net Purchase Price of $1,769,663 to the Town; however this number is anticipated to increase by a significant amount due to savings once the final cost of the soil removal and the reduced wastewater infrastructure work on site is known.
- Tax Revenues. River’s Edge, with a projected $55-60 million assessed value, is expected to generate over $1 million in tax revenues per year once complete, on a site currently generating $0 revenue. Incremental town service costs for the project are estimated to be relatively low, since River’s Edge will be privately maintained. Even with a conservatively high projection of added schoolchildren, more than half of River’s Edge tax revenues are expected to go straight to Wayland’s bottom line.
- Environmental Benefits
- Site Cleanup. The project cleans up a contaminated, unsightly piece of property. The Town has already removed and disposed of asbestos-contaminated soil. Alta at River’s Edge will continue to complete the remainder of the significant required site cleanup, post-closing. As construction begins, the developer will also demolish and remove the decommissioned septage treatment plant.
- Water and Wastewater. Rather than build its own on-site treatment plant, Alta at River’s Edge is planning to send its wastewater to Route 20/Town Center’s currently-under-utilized wastewater treatment plant and, as needed, the Town Center system can send clean effluent to a new leaching field on the River’s Edge site. This benefits the overall wastewater system, the project, the Town, and even the Sudbury River as River’s Edge effluent will be cleaned to a higher standard by the larger system’s more sophisticated plant.To bring water supply to the site, and wastewater to and from the site, the Town successfully secured two separate state-funded Massworks grants. The first grant, in 2017 for $2.4 million, funded approximately $700,000 for a new water line to River’s Edge and $1.7 million to upgrade obsolete piping along the entire Route 20 Wayland Center corridor – including adding new piping from River’s Edge to the new DPW building on River Road, completing a water loop that improves service and fire safety redundancy for the entire Wayland (and Sudbury) surrounding area.In late 2020, the Town received a second Massworks grant for $2.2 million for piping and pumps to connect River’s Edge to the wastewater plant at Town Center. Design for this project has already begun, final permits are pending, and the piping construction is anticipated to be complete in 2021.
- Environmental Legacy. The River’s Edge project respects the adjacent Sudbury River by cleaning up a previously disturbed site without encroaching any further. Its 20+ units per acre density represents land-efficient residential growth, versus the loss of land from typical single family homes at 0.5 - 1 home per acre. Due to zoning logistics and rising construction costs over time, the project was collaboratively increased from 190 to 218 units during the permitting process, further increasing the efficiency of the site. Significant gains in Wayland’s affordable housing stock due to the project will save other large blocks of land around town from unfriendly 40B projects. And on site, energy-efficient design, solar panels, electric vehicle charging and other environmentally-friendly attributes will reap benefits for decades to come.
- Housing Benefits
- Affordable Housing Gains. River’s Edge substantially boosts Wayland’s affordable housing inventory. Of River’s Edge’s three buildings, one will be age-restricted for those over 55. Since all three buildings will be 25% affordable, and because this is a 100% rental project, under Massachusetts Chapter 40B rules, all 218 units count toward Wayland’s 10% affordability mandate. Currently, River’s Edge’s affordable units are in final stages of being certified by the State.
Once these units are approved, Wayland’s affordabe housing stock will vault from 5.2% to 9.6%, nearly reaching the Town’s required 10% threshold, based on 2010 census data. While official 2020 census data is not available yet, this 9.6% is expected to fall to about 9.25%, leaving about 40 affordable units left to create, to achieve 10% affordability. Resolution of current 40B projects at School Street (12 units) and Mahoney’s (proposed 60 units), not included here, could fill this gap; otherwise, alternate locations can be identified to fulfill the last of Wayland’s mandate.
- Rental Housing Opportunities. Rental housing in general has been in short supply for years in Wayland, so River’s Edge will provide new affordable and market rate housing options for a wide range of Wayland residents. Rental housing can also encourage diversity in the community by creating opportunity for new Wayland residents as well.
- Other Community Benefits
- Cleanup of Wayland’s western front door. Building designs have closely followed design guidelines, and site plan review with the Town has been cooperative and collaborative. While increasing the benefit of affordable housing from 190 to 218 units, site designs were carefully crafted to continue to keep the majority of the density back from Route 20, and prominent porch and “farm stand” elements were added to better fit with the Wayland landscape along Route 20. Once complete, the project will substantially improve the first impression of Wayland from the west along Route 20.
The Selectmen thank the voters for their support of this project that will not only increase our tax base but provide more housing options for current and prospective residents, boost our affordable housing, protect the Sudbury River, and enhance the entrance to Wayland from the west. We are also grateful to the state for recognizing the merits of this project and providing substantial support.
Board of Selectmen (with thanks to the River’s Edge Advisory Committee)
|Louise Miller||(508) 358-3620|
Board of Selectmen
|Cherry C. Karlson|