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Construction at Symmes site could begin this year

Posted by Brock Parker  June 20, 2011 12:29 PM

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By Brock Parker, Town Correspondent

Arlington officials say they are confident that the long-stalled construction on the former Symmes Hospital site could be begin this year after several developers have expressed interest in the property and its views of the Boston skyline.

“We’re confident that [the project] will be built and that it will get started this year,” said Carol Kowalski, the town’s director of planning and community development. “I don’t think it’s going to languish much longer.”

Construction has been stalled since 2008 when property owner and national developer JPI completed demolition on the site. JPI then lost its financing for construction of a luxury apartment complex on the site.

Since then, the project has remained in limbo until a new developer, Jefferson Apartment Group, recently informed the town that it has an agreement to purchase a promissory note from PNC Bank and plans to foreclose on the note and take over ownership of the property, said Kowalski.

Kowalski said three other developers, Upton & Partners, Pulte Homes and Diversified Funding Inc., are also interested in building on the property. The town has hired a consultant, Michael Jacobs of MHJ Associates, to review the financial viability of the different proposals for the property.

The Redevelopment Board is scheduled to meet in a closed-door executive session tonight to begin reviewing Jacob’s report on the proposals. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the second floor of the Town Hall Annex.

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