23 Aug 2014
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Amendment Would Allow a Multi-Story Hotel to go on Arsenal Street

The hotel could be up to seven stories tall.

Amendment Would Allow a Multi-Story Hotel to go on Arsenal Street
The Watertown Town Council will consider passing an amendment to the town's Planning Ordinances for maximum height of certain parcels in town to be as high as 65 feet.

The amendment would open the way for a multistory hotel to be built on the former Charles River Saab site on the east end of Arsenal Street. The property has been purchased by Boston developer Boylston Properties and Jonathan Bush, the CEO of nearby athenahealth.

The amendment applies to I-1 industrial zones in Watertown, said Economic Development and Planning Director Steve Magoon. Those areas include the Arsenal Mall, Watertown Mall, areas along Elm Street (which runs next to Target) and the former Saab dealership, Magoon said.

"The proposed ordinance refers to seven stories or 65 feet," Magoon said.

While developers have talked about turning the Charles River Saab site into a hotel, Magoon said no proposals have come forward, and they may not seek to build to the maximum height.

A proposal had been made to increase the maximum height in all of Watertown's industrial zones, Magoon said, but the Planning Board recommended it only apply to the I-1 zones.

The Town Council will make the ultimate decision on whether to allow the amendment.

A public hearing on the amendment will be held on Feb. 11 at the Town Council Meeting, which begins at 7:15 p.m. in Town Hall. 

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