Preliminary Work on Old Polaroid Site Could Begin Later This Year
Traffic a concern.
The preliminary groundwork on site of the former Polaroid headquarters may start as early as this summer
For the most part, the 120-acre project on Main Street is still in the planning phase, according to developer Sam Park, President of Sam Park & Co. Also, the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs must still review the project.
The project’s current plans call for a mix of office and retail space, but no tenants have been announced, Park said.
“We’re just starting the lions share planning and the programming,” Park said.
Some planning, however, has been finalized. Park reduced the project’s footprint form 1.8 million square feet to 1.2 million square feet that was approved when the building was under prior ownership.
“We just think it’s a project that fits better,” Park said. “We can make it work at 1.2 million square feet.”
Park said that the smaller size will also mean less of a traffic burden on the community.
Park purchased the site last spring for $40 million from the now bankrupt Helaba bank and PB Capital. Related Companies originally bought the site from Polaroid before it was taken over by the bank, according to Waltham Planning Director Ronald Vokey.
With plans proceeding, officials are casting an eye toward traffic concerns. Mayor Jeanette McCarthy said she looks forward to reviewing and commenting on the project’s traffic impacts. McCarthy said that she is collaborating with several neighboring towns to keep traffic on Route 128 instead of in the community.
“We’re working on the trying to get the traffic out of the neighborhoods” McCarthy said.
Overall, McCarthy said she is pleased with the plans so far and the project’s decrease in size.
“He’s working with us to try to address any impacts,” McCarthy said of Park.
Above all, McCarthy says she was glad that the building will eventually be back in use.
“We would like to see it reused and we don’t want to see it vacant for economic as well as safety reasons,” she said.