A proposal for a sprawling warehouse on the Andover-Tewksbury line has planning officials and police concerned about increased traffic in the area.

Commercial real estate firm R.J. Kelly Co., Inc. is seeking approval for a special permit to develop a 224,900-square-foot warehouse space on Burtt Road.

The development would include two one-story warehouses at 3, 3R and 4 Executive Place, and would span along Interstate 93.

The first warehouse would be 185,000 square feet, with 105,000 square feet of the warehouse building located in Tewksbury and the other 80,000 square feet of the building in Andover. The second warehouse would be 39,900 square feet located solely in Andover.

Representatives from R.J. Kelly Co., Inc. said about 10% of the buildings would be office space for employees.

The developer is also seeking approval of 252 parking spaces, all of which would be located in Andover.

Representatives of the developer went before the Andover Planning Board recently for the first public hearing on the project. They will go before the Tewksbury Planning Board for the first time on Oct. 7.

About 400 vehicle trips per day were predicted to come out of the development, representatives said at the meeting. The Lowell Junction Road currently experiences about 7,300 trips per day, meaning the development would increase traffic by 5.5 percent.

The Andover board, however, raised questions over how the traffic impact could even be predicted prior to a warehouse tenant being identified, stating that different types of warehouses could cause varying traffic patterns.

"I think the traffic generation could be totally different for different types of warehouses," said Planning Board member Vincent Chiozzi.

Representatives said they do not have a specific tenant identified yet, and do not know what the distribution or use of the warehouse would be at this time.

The hours of building use would likely be limited, compared to operating 24 hours a day. Representatives said police have concerns about traffic.

If Andover votes against the development and Tewksbury votes in favor, the project will not move forward because such a large portion of it is set in Andover.

If Tewksbury votes against the development, and Andover votes in favor, however, the project will move forward with changes that include warehouse buildings built only in Andover.

Members of the Andover board voted to continue the public hearing for the development to their next meeting, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m.


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