Conceptual development plans for the MBTA’s Wellington station in Medford call include offices, lab space, hotels and up to 1,450 housing units on the 28-acre site.

The city of Medford received eight responses from development teams for the air rights development, including teams led by Able Co., Greystar Real Estate Partners, HYM Investment Group, New England Development, Preotle Lane and Assoc., Quaker Lane Capital, RISE Together and The Davis Cos.

The site contains surface parking on an 11-acre east parcel near the Malden River and a mix of MBTA vehicle storage, maintenance and tracks on the 17-acre west parcel near the station’s parking garage.

Not all of the submissions include maximum square-footage or number of housing units. But Greystar, a multifamily developer that has nearly 2,000 apartments under construction in Everett, submitted a pair of options including one that would include 1,450 housing units. The buildings would range from six to 15 stories on the parcel east of the MBTA’s Orange Line tracks, along with a 1,200-space garage.

“It’s a large, complex site,” Greystar Managing Director Gary Kerr said in a recent interview with Banker & Tradesman. “It’s going to take a while. You’re dealing with some big transportation issues and those alone will take a couple of years to resolve. And we’re talking about a time when the economy is not stable.”

Development on the west parcel is complicated by the Orange Line tracks and rail storage and maintenance facilities.

Additionally, the MBTA plans to build a 2-story electric bus storage and maintenance facility on the site, occupying between 600,000 and 700,000 square feet, according to an Oct. 21 letter from an MBTA official to the city of Medford.

Other proposals call for a mix of commercial and multifamily development.

New England Development proposes 620,000 square feet of lab space and up to 330 residential units. The Boston-based developer said it would work with the MBTA to find an alternate location for the new bus maintenance facility and maximize the development capacity of the Wellington property.

The Davis Cos. submitted plans for three residential buildings overlooking the Malden River.

Suffolk Downs owner HYM Development Group’s plan mentions “an opportunity to develop hundreds, or possibly thousands, of new housing units” along with life science, retail and restaurant space.

The Able Co. proposes an office tower, R&D space and multifamily buildings.

Preotle, Lane Assoc., master developer of the nearby River’s Edge campus, proposes an initial phase of 196,000-square-foot hotel and approximately 380 housing units. The submission estimates total development potential of 1.8 million square feet, including the expansion of the site to include a neighboring parcel on Revere Beach Parkway that is under contract to Criterion Development Partners.

Boston-based RISE Together proposed 963,000 square feet of mixed-use development including residential and hotel uses.

Boston-based Quaker Lane Capital’s submission calls for a mix of high- and low-rise residential, office and lab space and retail, but did not submit specific square-footage.

In September, the city issued the request for information and proposals that  include a “significant housing, commercial or mixed-use” component. A draft citywide comprehensive plan by Cambridge-based Agency Landscape + Planning last year identified Wellington as suitable for higher-density development.

Although the city of Medford owns the air rights on the MBTA property, developers will have to work around the MBTA’s requirements for its own future facilities and avoid interfering with maintenance and transit operations.

Wellington Air Rights Proposals Include Up to 1,450 Housing Units

by Steve Adams time to read: 2 min
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