Village Feel, Drive-Through Top Topics for Finnerty’s Site
Developers for the Finnerty's site met with Wayland's Design Review Board for a second time Thursday night.
Developers for the Finnerty’s site met again with the Design Review Board Thursday night, but this time the DRB had official comments to dispense and members of the public showed up to share their thoughts as well.
At the top of the topic list for both members of the DRB and members of the public was to preserve the look and “village” feel that they say the Finnerty’s building has brought to the corner of Main Street and West Plain Street for decades.
Developers Matt Levy and Jesse Adelman have proposed constructing two buildings on a combined four parcels of land. The building they propose for the corner section of the property would be a 10,880 square foot, colonial style CVS. A second building, located on West Plain Street, is proposed to house a sit-down restaurant with seasonal patio seating and several smaller retail businesses on the first floor with primarily office space on the second story.
“Nice to think there could be some respect for the classic buildings that are in that area,” said Alice Boelter during public comment, “the way Finnerty’s blends into the neighborhood and is a nice transition into the neighborhood all around.”
Resident Gretchen Dresens said she has lived across the street from the property for about 15 years and has seen positive changes to the area in that span of time, a trend she thinks the Finnerty’s site has the opportunity to further.
“I think the building that you guys are building has some really neat retail,” Dresens said. “There’s a lot of support for that … to keep up with the energy that is there. I’m a little bit concerned about the size of CVS or the location of the drive-through. It is nice to see something going in there. It’s nice to see some work being done. I think it will definitely enhance the area.”
Dresens’ concern about the drive-through was one shared by members of the DRB who said they were overall opposed to the feature, noting that they couldn’t see that it was needed from a capacity standpoint and that idling cars in a drive-through did not reconcile with Wayland’s status as a Green Community.
The DRB raised concerns about the drive-through during its first meeting with Levy and Adelman. In response to those concerns, Adelman said, they were working to narrow the width of the drive-through so as to reduce the needed pavement. The drive-through itself, however, seems to be a requirement for CVS, and CVS is an anchor tenant of the property, Adelman has said.
“The big chunk of the square footage on this is the retail,” Adelman said. “In order to finance that or make it all work, CVS is a big part of that.”
Overall, the DRB wanted the developers to consider a more "rambling" footprint so as to better accomplish the look of a development that has built up over time, a vision statement the developers themselves proposed.
“The existing footprint of Finnerty’s … that footprint has more articulation – it has pushes and pulls – as opposed to the CVS footprint which is just a rectangle,” explained Bill Sterling, chair of the DRB. “The corner where the chimney is – the prime view that I think most people feel happy with in Wayland … it would be in your best interest to maintain that.”
In addition to concerns about the footprint of the buildings, several individuals questioned the need for three entrances to the property – one on Main Street, one between the two buildings on West Plain Street and a third further down West Plain.
DRB member Kathy Schreiber recommended doing away with the entrance between the two buildings. Schreiber also recommended that the birch tree at the corner of the property be maintained as part of the planned landscaping.
“I think it’s a critical piece,” Schreiber said of the tree, adding that she believes people associate that corner with the tree.
Adelman and Levy said they were open to considering adjustments to the proposed plan and would continue working through plans as they prepared to begin the process of meeting with the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board.
“Our point is really to help you,” DRB member Andrew Reck told the developers. “This is a huge opportunity for this corner to be developed in a way that can start to create some identity for this town. It’s a huge opportunity for you as well.”