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Downtown Canton development may include assisted living units

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  February 4, 2013 02:28 PM

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Forty-eight assisted living units will be a part of plans for a housing complex in downtown Canton’s former Plymouth Rubber site, according to the developers.

Selectman chairman Robert Burr announced at a selectmen meeting in January that the site would potentially have 348 units.

Bernard Plante, co-owner of Melton Associates in Nashua, N.H., said conceptual drawings of the development also include an additional 48 units of assisted living that would be located on a former parking lot.

Special permits for the parking lot site are being filed this week, Plante said.

“That will go forward provided the redevelopment of the main parcel moves forward,” Plante said.

Selectman Avril Elkort had previously expressed the hope that the property could be used in some way to benefit seniors. While there would be no age requirement to live in one of the assisted living units, the average age in such units was between 78 and 82, Plante said.

Melton Associates were brought on by property owners Canton Development Properties, owned by the Napleton Group in Illinois. Moving forward, the development would be a joint venture between Melton and Canton Development Properties, according to Plante and Napleton Director of Real Estate Rick Brandstatter.

“Mr. Plante is a game changer,” said Paul Schneiders, the attorney representing Canton Development Properties. “He’s local and he has a substantial track record for developing sites like this.”

The site is a 40-acre parcel on Revere Street formerly owned by Plymouth Rubber. The site has asbestos and soil contamination requiring a $5 million cleanup, as well as historic buildings once used by Paul Revere, according to Burr and Schneiders.

“The property is zoned full industrial and right smack in the center of town in an area primarily residential,” Schneiders said, adding that no one wanted the site to be developed industrial.

Schneiders proposed a zoning change for the property at Town Meeting, requiring a two-thirds majority, which would allow residential use.

Selectmen are waiting for an independent contractor’s report, hired at Canton Development Properties’ expense, before recommending whether the project should move forward.

That report should be complete by the end of February.

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