Man About Canton: Plymouth Rubber

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Did you know …

The old Plymouth Rubber factory site on Revere Street holds an important piece of Canton history. But as it sits today, the site is contaminated and in disrepair. Canton Holdings, LLC has introduced a plan to revitalize the property with a mixed-use development consisting primarily of owner-occupied homes, a private daycare/kindergarten, abundant open space, and the renovation of historic buildings for town use. The proposed development plan, if approved, would completely transform this 35-acre parcel into an attractive and usable property that would benefit the entire town of Canton.

Among the project’s many notable improvements is the renovation of Paul Revere’s historic copper rolling mill and barn for town use and ownership. The buildings and 2.2 acres of surrounding land will be granted to the town at no cost. The town would only have to pay for the building renovations using tax revenues generated from the project. In addition to those 2.2 acres, the developer has given the town the option to purchase another 6.85 acres for recreational space. If voters approve that purchase, up to 9 acres on the site (about one-quarter of the property) would be preserved as open space. The open space will provide waterfront access where there is none now, and the developer will clean up any contaminated land that is either granted to or purchased by the town.

Additional project details/benefits include:

* 272 housing units should the town acquire the 6.85 acres of additional open space (295 without acquisition)

* Housing includes 212 owner-occupied condominiums and townhouses and 60 age-restricted rental units, some of which will be moderate-income units

* $1.25 million per year in tax revenue for the town

* $2 million payment by developer to fund school capital improvements

* 4,000 square feet of commercial space along Revere Street (fast food establishments would be prohibited)

* 10,000-square-foot private daycare/kindergarten

* Pedestrian access to the Canton Junction Commuter Rail Station

* New bike lane along Revere Street

* Proposed dog park

* Smart-growth and pedestrian-friendly design

* Enhanced environmental cleanup

* Town ownership of the property’s waterways and Upper and Lower Forge Pond

* Significant traffic and road improvements, including a public roadway and bridge over the diversion channel connecting Neponset Street with Revere Street, signals, widening of both streets at the project entry, and rebuilding Revere Street to include sidewalks, curbs, and drainage

* New roof for the Canton Fire Station on Revere Street

Bernie Plante of Canton Holdings, LLC states, “The redevelopment plans for the Plymouth Rubber site will completely transform an important piece of land located near the heart of Canton center. We have taken great care to present a smart-growth design that ensures the preservation of historic buildings, addresses environmental concerns, provides community open space, and delivers significant new tax revenue to the town.”

The completed redevelopment value of the project is estimated at $87 million, while yearly real estate tax revenue is estimated at $800,000.

In order for this project to move forward, a supermajority (two-thirds) of voters must approve Articles 1-7 at the special town meeting on May 11. The meeting takes place in the Morse Auditorium on the grounds of Canton High School, 900 Washington Street, at 7:05 p.m.

The development has the support of the Canton Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, School Committee, Community Preservation Committee, Finance Committee, and Historical Society relative to their areas of interest. MAC joins them in endorsing the new plans for the development of the old Plymouth Rubber factory site. It is the best deal for the town of Canton and will make Canton an even better place to live.

According to Canton Finance Director Jim Murgia, in fiscal year 2014, the town of Canton collected $480,994 in CPA tax surcharges. In FY 2015 (to date) the town has collected $389,921 in CPA tax surcharges. There is another $107,000 of CPA surcharges not collected since they are not due until May 1, 2015. In FY 2015, the town of Canton received its first state match in the amount of $153,822.

It is only by knowing what to let go of that you know more clearly what to hold on to.

This is all for now folks. See you next week.

Joe DeFelice can be reached at manaboutcanton@aol.com.

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avatar Posted by on Apr 30 2015. Filed under Featured Content, From One Citizen to Another, Opinion.
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