Following an 11-month permitting process, which included more than 13 public hearings, the Planning Board unanimously voted to approve a special permit for the project at 146 Dascomb Road.
The developer, the Lupoli Companies, will construct 524,000 square feet of restaurant, retail, office, grocery, hotel and fitness center, according to Planning Board documents. The project will also include 1,760 parking spaces.
Along with a 66,000-square-foot, 100-room hotel, the project breakdown includes another 80,000 square feet of retail space, 20,000 square feet of restaurants, a 30,000-square-foot fitness center, a 35,000-square-foot grocery store, and 293,000-square-feet of professional office space.
What will become one of the largest developments north of Boston, the project is expected to be more than $200 million in private investment, according to Planning Director Paul Materazzo.
Materazzo said the development will create about 1,000 temporary construction jobs and about 1,800 full-time jobs.
According to the documents, because of the project’s size, the board decided to review the project as a Master Plan. Under the plan, the project will be completed in five phases, and the developer is required to return to the Planning Board for additional review during each phase.
“In doing so, (the board) will set the expectations for the developer to mitigate the increase in traffic, provide sewer services, and provide adequate water service and safe access to the site,” the documents read.
Within the Master Plan, the developer will construct a five-foot sidewalk along the south side of Dascomb Road between the existing sidewalk at the intersection of East Street, Dascomb Road, and Shawsheen Street to Frontage Road. They will also build a new sidewalk on the north side of Dascomb Road to connect to the existing sidewalk there.
According to the documents, a five-foot bicycle lane between the intersection of East Street, Dascomb Road, and Shawsheen Street to Frontage Road will be added.
The board’s documents addressed current traffic issues in the Dascomb Road area, and residents at the meeting expressed ongoing concerns over the area’s congestion, and feared the impact the project could have on it.
“I sympathize with the traffic, I’m on 93 everyday especially,” said Planning Board member Vincent Chiozzi. “I sympathize, but by the same token, the town and the state all want growth and jobs and revenue to fund schools and roadway improvements. That’s where the money comes to fix the water mains, to fix the brown water.”
The project would not be possible without mitigating the traffic, the documents said.
In order to mitigate the traffic, the documents said the developer will install additional traffic signals as the intersections of Dascomb Road and Smith Way, Dascomb Road and the I-93 north ramp, and Frontage Road and the I-93 south ramp. The developer must also install up to four rectangular rapid flashing beacons, and crosswalks at the direction of the town.
Sewer services will be provided to the development with the construction of a new sewer main and pump station. The documents state the project will not increase ongoing brown water issues in the town. Two new water main loops will be added for extra service, with the goal of improving water quality.
The on-site development will be completed within 10 years of approval, unless extended by the board, documents said.
With the board’s action taken on Sept. 3, Materazzo said a MassWorks grant was set forward, which is a $6 million commitment from the state for the project.
At Town Meeting in January 2018, voters overwhelmingly voted against an article seeking to rezone industrial land off Dascomb and River roads to allow for residential housing in Sal Lupoli’s project. After the meeting, however, Lupoli said he was excited to move forward with an all-commercial project.
Materazzo said he anticipates the first phase of the project will be submitted to the town this fall to get the project underway.