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Marlborough Council to have busy start to 2016

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – The City Council this week voted to carry over a handful of matters into the 2016 legislative session, including a local restaurant owner’s proposal to build apartments above his business and the future of the city-owned Walker Building.

George Voyiatzis, owner of Fish Restaurant and Wine Bar, is seeking a permit to turn his one-story building at South Bolton Street and Granger Boulevard into a mixed-use facility, constructing four new floors above the business, with 40 new apartments on the upper floors and businesses on the bottom floor. The property currently also houses a Starbucks coffee shop, Dominos pizza, Stony Brook Market and Melon frozen yogurt.

According to the plans, each of the top four floors would feature 10 one- and two-bedroom apartments, which would be marketed to young professionals and empty nesters.

Voyiatzis, who has owned the building since 2002, hopes to begin construction in the spring. The businesses are expected to remain open during construction, he said.

Last winter, city officials approved the new “Marlborough Village” zoning district that encourages mixed-use projects with shops on lower floors and housing on upper floors. City officials approved the zoning change to create a more vibrant city center.

City Councilor Joseph Delano said this week the proposal has been referred to the Urban Affairs Committee, which is expected to discuss the project in early 2016.

Councilors also carried over discussion on the future of the Walker Building.

A downtown staple for several decades, the building houses only a handful of offices and city departments, including Veterans Services and the Retirement Board. The Community Development Authority board this week moved its offices from the Walker Building to the former senior center.

With half of the building’s 60,000-square-feet vacant, the Marlborough Economic Development Corp.’s executive committee recently discussed redeveloping the building for the purpose of stimulating economic activity in the new downtown zoning village.

The Operations and Oversight Committee next month is expected to discuss spending upwards of $100,000 for a feasibility study that would determine the best use for the building.

The council will also discuss establishing a safe zone in front of the police station for those seeking to exchange items purchased on the Internet.

With the growing popularity of websites and Facebook groups, such as Marlborough-Hudson Yard Sale, that are dedicated to buying, selling and trading various goods, City Councilor Matt Elder suggested Marlborough designate a parking space in front of the police station where residents could safely exchange items.
The area would be under video surveillance.

Other communities, including Wayland, Bellingham and Upton, have established similar zones. The matter was referred to the Operations and Oversight Committee, which is expected to discuss the issue early next year.

This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.