Riverbridge Village Project Receives MassWorks Infrastructure Grant, Supports Additional Housing, Increases Access to Retail and Commercial Development
(BERLIN) – State Representative Harold Naughton, Jr. joined local and state officials yesterday at the Riverbridge Village in South Berlin for a ground breaking ceremony in recognition of the $1.5 million grant awarded to the project. In 2013, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development awarded the Riverbridge project with approximately $1.5 million in a MassWorks Infrastructure grant to support the construction of the mixed-use village located at the junction of River Road West, Whitney Road and South Street.
"I am thrilled to see such critical infrastructure development continue to flourish in the 12th Worcester District,” said Representative Naughton. “It is important that the Commonwealth continue to work with communities to bring jobs and housing opportunities to our district. This progress is essential in creating new business and economic opportunities for Central Massachusetts. I am proud to have been a part of the legislative support to help make this possible"
In 2009, the town adopted a special overlay zoning by-law to allow for the construction of the Riverbridge Mixed-Use Village, a planned 415,000 square foot (SF), mixed-use development, located within Berlin’s Village Overlay District. Riverbridge was also designated a regional Priority Development Area in 2012 under the 495/MetroWest Development Compact Plan. When completed, the five-phase project will consist of 205 units, 148,000 SF of retail/commercial space, and a 105-room Homewood Suites hotel.
Phases I & II were completed in 2013 and included a convenience store with a gas station and a 12,700 SF Growing Room Child Learning Center. Phases III & IV are directly supported by the 2013 MassWorks grant. Phase III consists of a 105-room Homewood Suites, which will be constructed and managed by Roedel Companies.
Phase IV, includes a 205-unit multifamily housing component, of which 84 rental apartment units will begin vertical construction in the spring of 2015. The developer has partnered with New England Heritage Properties for the development of the 84 units and they are expected to close on the financing for these units next month. An additional 121 units will be constructed immediately following the completion of the first phase of housing in the fall of 2015.
The project will include 21 affordable apartments. The expected build out of all units is scheduled for the spring of 2016. Phase V consists of 46,000 SF of retail space and is expected to be under contract in the winter of 2015.
The MassWorks infrastructure project includes the widening of River Road West from two to four lanes, with exclusive turn lanes. The work will begin at the River Road crossing of North Brook with a new bridge and a sidewalk on the east side of the road. A new roundabout will be built, approximately 1,000 feet south of the existing rotary. Upon completion of Riverbridge, vehicular traffic is projected to double in the area. These improvements will enhance the area’s infrastructural capacity to support the private development. The MassWorks project is expected to be completed by June 2015.