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Vicksburg Square Zoning Changes Fail at Super Town Meetings

March 28, 2012

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-448-9077 (cell)
Conor Yunits, Liberty Square Group, 617-695-0369 (cell)

Town meeting voters in Ayer and Harvard tonight rejected the zoning change that would have allowed the Vicksburg Square proposal to proceed in Devens.

“I want to thank all those who participated in the Super Town Meetings tonight,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “While disappointed that the Trinity proposal will not proceed, I remain committed to bringing more workforce housing to Devens and finding a way to make needed changes to Devens zoning for future worthy proposals.”

MassDevelopment selected Trinity Financial after a competitive process in 2010. Trinity had planned to provide housing to restore Vicksburg Square and revitalize this centrally-located area of Devens. The redevelopment would have created 246 housing units (80 percent affordable/20 percent market) with 168 having a veterans’ preference and 78 to seniors; moved the Fort Devens Museum to a more prominent location in the Square’s theater; and recreated the grassy quadrangle that was paved over many years ago.

“We are very grateful to all the residents of Ayer, Devens, Harvard, and Shirley who supported this plan,” said Trinity Financial President James Keefe. “Tonight’s outcome is unfortunate as we are confident this plan would have been beneficial to Devens and its neighbors, and would have restored an important historical asset for Massachusetts.”

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2011, MassDevelopment financed or managed more than 300 projects generating investment of $3.8 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 10,000 jobs (2,547 permanent and 8,129 construction), and build or rehabilitate more than 1,000 residential units.