ATTLEBORO — Plans for a second apartment building near the city’s commuter rail station got rave reviews from city officials Thursday during a presentation to the zoning board by developer Marco Crugnale.
Director of planning and development Gary Ayrassian was impressed.
“It’s a very good plan,” he said during a public hearing on the project, which will be located on the south side of Wall Street at the corner of South Main Street. “It’s very impressive. Hopefully, this will be the anchor for the TOD (transit-oriented development zone).”
Economic development director Catherine Feerick echoed the sentiment.
“I think they’ve done a really good job with the design,” she said. “It will really provide a whole new perspective on that portion of our downtown.”
And Rick Correia, chairman of the Attleboro Redevelopment Authority, which currently owns the parcel on which the structure will be built, chimed in as well.
“I think this is going to be a spectacular project on this site,” he said.
Efforts have been underway since about 2015 to get the project on track, but problems with pollution, financing and design had to be resolved.
The structure, to be known as Renaissance Station South, was originally intended to be a two-building, 209-unit complex with 8,000 square feet of retail space, but Crugnale, who built the 80-unit Renaissance Station North on the north side of Wall wasn’t able to get it financed.
He sold Renaissance Station North earlier this year for $15.5 million and downsized the south side project while working with multiple city boards to make the design more attractive.
Current plans call for the construction of a 136-unit, five-story apartment building with parking underneath on the 1.5-acre lot across from Renaissance Station North.
The building will include 3,000 square feet of retail space which Crugnale hopes to fill with a restaurant.
As with Renaissance Station North, the building will be marketed to those who commute to Boston by rail for work. Both buildings are a short walk to the MBTA station at Mill and Union streets.
In addition, Renaissance Station South will unfold west to Riverfront Drive and Judith Robbins Riverfront Park and a seven-acre parcel in the city’s new TOD zone which the ARA hopes to fill with apartment buildings and businesses in the coming years.
The apartments in Renaissance Station South will range in size from about 700 square feet to about 1,000 square feet.
Most of the units, 98, will be one-bedroom. The rest will be two bedrooms.
Crugnale and the ARA are planning to close on the $1.2 million sale of the property in September and then begin construction.
Correia said the project is now set to become reality.
“We’ve had a lot of trials and tribulations on this project, but we’re finally here,” he said.
The hearing was continued to next month to iron out some details.