Work starts at 57 Wachusett

July 4, 2014
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Neighbors and the developer of a controversial residential project proposed at 57 Wachusett St. met June 23, but what happened at the meeting remains unknown. The developer has already started construction at an adjacent lot.

Local resident Tess Pope said the developer, Stephen Ballas, has asked attendees not to speak with the press. But, Pope said, she is “OK” with that, as Ballas has been “very willing to work with us.”

Ballas did not respond to a request for comment. He plans to demolish a 115-year-old Victorian house at 57 Wachusett St. and replace it with eight townhomes in three new buildings. The plan had drawn the ire of neighbors.

Ballas and neighbors met June 23 to discuss three drawings for the project, as previously reported by the Gazette. The first drawing would keep the Victorian house, with buildings next to it. The second would keep an old carriage building and erect two new buildings. The third would be the original proposal, but show it as viewed from the street, a perspective neighbors want to see.

Prior to the June 23 meeting, Ballas had sent a letter to abutters, saying he was starting construction at the 55 Wachusett St. lot and has since done that. Pope said that was part of the original plan. Ballas is currently digging a hole for the foundation at 55 Wachusett St., where he has permits to build a three-floor building, according to the City’s Inspectional Services Department.

It is unclear what the next steps are for 57 Wachusett St.

Construction underway last week at 55 Wachusett St. (Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira)

Construction underway last week at 55 Wachusett St. (Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira)