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Hingham Shipyard to add units to planned residential building

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 23, 2013 04:53 PM

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The second residential building at Hingham Shipyard may look different than planned, with a proposal to add another floor of units, change the size of some units, and alter the building’s design.

“It’s a minor change,” said Leslie Cohen, vice-president of development for Samuels & Associates. “We basically were shifting some square footage from one building to another, and changed the configuration and added some units to our middle building. [We also] made some minor architectural modifications.”

At a joint Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals meeting on Monday, town officials reviewed and discussed the changes.

The discussion was continued to Nov. 4 to allow the architect to make changes to the elevation plans, and to allow Samuels to put together more detailed renderings of the new proposal.

Despite the delay, Cohen was optimistic.

“I think we’re in good shape,” she said. “This enables us to bring this next phase forward and continue with the condo sell-out process.”

Town boards initially approved the special permit for the three residential buildings in 2003. Since then, development has been slowed by the economy, and only one of the residential buildings was completed in late 2012.

Nearly a year later, all except three of the building’s units have been sold, giving developers a better sense of what people are looking for.

“We saw what sold quickly and buildings people kept asking for,” Cohen said. “That was the driving force behind the design [change].”

The new layout will feature four floors of residential space over parking, adding six units in total. Parking will be expanded to the rear of the building to accommodate more units, and the building’s roof will be flattened to keep the overall height the same, despite the additional floor.

“When we originally designed these building it predated 2007, and I think in general housing is going to more efficient, smaller units,” Cohen added. As a result, a number of one-bedroom and efficient two-bedroom spaces will be offered.

The construction follows several years of updates at the Shipyard, including a new intermodal station to begin construction in December, the opening of Trader Joe's in October, and the leasing of previously vacant office space.

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