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Local News

October 2, 2013

Mixed-use building OK'd for Willow St.

HAMILTON — A new three-story, mixed-use building on Willow Street has been approved by the Planning Board.

The board voted unanimously to grant a special permit for the project last week, after three meetings and a site visit to the property, according to Chairman Ed Howard. Member Rick Mitchell recused himself from the vote but supported the project.

“It was government working at a good clip and very responsibly,” Howard said.

The building comes several years after the town approved the Willow Street Overlay District to allow this kind of development. It will be located at 227 Willow St. on a vacant lot that was formerly the site of a house between Dodge Tree Service and the Willowdale office complex. Willow Street runs parallel to Bay Road (Route 1A).

The first and second floors will be used for offices, with housing on the third floor, according to Michael Pallazola, the developer. The project also includes a basement-level parking garage.

The Willow Street Overlay District was designed to encourage economic development, grow business and increase tax revenue to the town. The plan, approved at Town Meeting in 2010, allows for mixed residential and commercial, multifamily residential, office, retail, restaurant and athletic facilities, among other uses.

The district consists of an area within the Business District, west of the railroad tracks and along Willow Street.

“The consensus of the project is it is fulfilling the goals of the Willow Street Overlay District,” Howard said.

Howard said the board looked at every detail of the project and called for several changes to make sure the building blends in with the neighborhood. One change called for eliminating two parking spaces in order to have some lawn along Willow Street.

He said several neighbors expressed concerns about drainage and septic issues, but those problems were worked out.

The building will sit in front of an office and retail building that was recently upgraded by Pallazola. He hopes to bring a bakery to that building, according to a description of the project on apartmentbank.com.

Pallazola could not be reached for comment.

Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at jphelps@salemnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.

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