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Devens Village Green Signs on to Develop Housing in Devens’s Grant Road Area

September 3, 2014


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077

Devens Village Green's master plan proposal for Grant Road, Devens. (Credit: Devens Village Green)

Devens Village Green's master plan proposal for Grant Road, Devens. (Credit: Devens Village Green)

MassDevelopment and Lexington-based Devens Village Green LLC have signed a land disposition agreement for up to 124 units of housing in Devens’s Grant Road neighborhood, a roughly 35-acre portion of the 4,400-acre community. Housing – including single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes, and multifamily buildings – is allowed under existing zoning. Devens Village Green has proposed a diversity of unit types arranged in a walkable neighborhood style, with the first phase of the multi-phase project including about 15 units. The group plans to begin the permitting process this fall with construction starting in spring 2015.

“Devens Village Green will help meet the increasing demand for local housing given the more than 800 people who have started working in Devens in the last two years,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We look forward to seeing shovels in the ground next year and people in homes as soon as possible.”

Devens Village Green plans to build about 40 large and small single-family homes, 40 duplex and townhome units, and 40 rental apartments. Twenty-seven units will be affordable to moderate-income households, defined as 80 to 100 percent of area median income. The architect-designed homes, in a variety of traditional styles, will be arranged around public open spaces and will be zero-net-energy “capable,” meaning that the addition of photovoltaic panels or other features could bring these homes to zero-net energy use.

“We are eager to get started on this exciting new community and look forward to collaborating with MassDevelopment and the Devens Enterprise Commission to complete the permitting as expeditiously as possible,” said Dan Gainsboro, co-developer at Devens Village Green. “The master plan and architecture of this community will encourage social connection and foster a sense of place and neighborhood. It will encourage walking and biking and in so doing, take advantage of the many natural resources and recreational amenities already available in Devens. In addition to harmonizing with the existing neighborhood and continuing the best traditions of Devens and the surrounding towns, the homes will be designed and constructed to be energy efficient and require very low maintenance. The result will be homes and a neighborhood that in addition to having notably higher market value, will demonstrate a better way to plan and build communities.”

Devens bylaws allow maximum residential development of 282 units, of which 140 have already been renovated or built. Over the past two years, developers have built and sold 20 zero-net-energy homes in Devens, part of a pilot project to provide replicable examples of current and innovative sustainable buildings that are reasonably priced and practical.

The Agency met with community members at the beginning of the process to discuss potential for the area, and a presentation from that meeting can be found here. MassDevelopment and Devens Village Green will conduct introductory meetings with Devens residents and members of the business community in September.

Located in north-central Massachusetts and managed by MassDevelopment, Devens is home to a varied mix of businesses, government organizations, and nonprofits employing more than 4,000 people. Created by statute in 1993 to support business growth and attract economic development opportunities in the region, the 4,400-acre site features fast-track permitting and other incentives for businesses. The former military installation is recognized today as a national model for military base redevelopment. Along with its business tenants, the Devens community also includes more than 2,100 acres of recreation and open space, private residences, schools, and a network of human and social services providers.