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BMW/Mini-Cooper dealer planned for Hingham/Rockland border

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  April 3, 2013 10:26 AM

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The triangular section of land off Hingham Street will be the place for the proposed car dealership

A dealership for BMW and Mini-Cooper cars is being planned for 16 acres near Route 3 on the Hingham and Rockland town line.

Gallery Automotive would be located behind several office buildings on Hingham Street, across the street from Home Depot.

Though the development, slated to begin this summer, is expected to generate an additional 1,289 vehicle trips per day, development officials with A.W. Perry said the dealership would not significantly affect traffic.

“In order to eliminate serious traffic problem, we’ve made 1050 Hingham St. and this site, the Gallery Automotive, will enter the property from Hingham Street directly, making a right hand turn,” said William 'Buzz' Constable, executive vice president for A.W. Perry. “But, and I think this is a clever way to mitigate impacts and keep Rockland happy, anyone going back toward Route 3 will go out Commerce Road.”

According to Constable, A.W. Perry added the traffic light at Commerce Road several years ago as a mitigating measure for another development. That should help deal with any additional traffic, he said.

Those improvements were on top of other upgrades the company did at the intersection in front of Home Depot and the off/on ramp to Route 3 southbound.

“We feel we did some major improvements at Hingham Street, and this is the kind of development that that has made possible,” Constable said.

The proposal for the car dealership has not yet officially gone to either Hingham or Rockland officials, and specific plans have not yet been drawn up, but the project will need Conservation Commission and Planning Board approval.

Constable predicted that plans will be submitted to both towns within the next few weeks.

The project is currently going through the state channels for approval from the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency for wetlands issues.

According to Constable, engineers are hoping to add wetlands to the area after taking away one smaller section for the development. Much of the pavement used at the dealership will also be pervious.

Developers will also need the go-ahead from the Department of Transportation to access land that abuts a state highway.

Regardless of all the permits the project will need, development officials are hoping to begin construction this summer.

“There aren’t that many [approvals] compared to some of the projects we developed,” Constable said. “We built and opened 2 Pond Park off Derby Street … that was a complicated project. This is a more straightforward process and it’s obviously smaller.”

Although no official plans have been submitted, Hingham Planning Board member Mary Savage Dunham has met with developers to discuss the project.

So far, there hasn’t been much talk about the project in the community, she said.

“If we’re going to have interest it would likely be from neighboring property owners. But it’s a fairly developed area and fairly commercial area, so there aren’t a lot of residential neighbors,” she said.

Constable said the lack of residential neighbors is part of the reason the site would be perfect for this kind of development. He added that the area is prime real estate space for automotive dealerships.

“The South Shore is a great area for not only auto dealerships, but luxury auto dealerships, due to the nature of the type of development that’s occurred down there since the Old Colony Rail Line was put in,” he said. “It’s a good location for auto dealerships in general. It’s also a good location because it will be very convenient, being virtually at the intersection.”

To read more about the project, click here.

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