Overlook Ridge Looks Toward Completion of Development

By Adam Swift

The developers of the Overlook Ridge development in Malden and Revere are seeking a zoning change to their district that will allow the development of the last two parcels on the Revere side of the project.

Last year, developer Veris Residential was before the council seeking a change in the Overlook Ridge zoning district that would eliminate the need to build a hotel on one of the two remaining parcels on the site. Veris also sought parking relief for the remaining residential site on the property.

After going through a public hearing process last year, Veris was back before the city council last week. The developer is still seeking the elimination of the hotel requirement for the parcel near Salem Street, but is no longer seeking the parking relief for the planned 310 residential units on the other side of the development.

“Right now, the way this ordinance is written, we have a condition that we must build a hotel and we can have an accessory use of retail,” said Marshall Tycher of Veris Residential at last week’s council meeting. “This amendment we are seeking tonight is to remove the hotel as a condition. We’d like to build retail here.”

Tycher said Overlook Ridge, which will have over 4,000 residents once the final residential units go up, has no neighborhood services. He said the 10,000 square feet of retail space could be used for a neighborhood market, small restaurant, and other local services.

“This is our opportunity to build retail,” said Tycher. “We don’t think a hotel is viable.”

On the larger residential parcel, Tycher said Veris is no longer seeking parking relief and will have the two parking spaces per unit required under the district zoning.

That property is zoned for 370 units, but Veris is proposing only 310 units, with 15 percent being offered at affordable housing rates.

Tycher also addressed several other concerns that were raised last year, including a shuttle service for the entire Overlook Ridge development that was stopped during the Covid pandemic. He said the service is fully operational again.

Planning and Community Development Director Tom Skwierawski said the city supports the zoning ordinance change.

“I understand the importance of bringing in hotel tax revenue to the city, and I will strongly advocate for those areas in which it seems appropriate,” he said. “But this isn’t one of those areas. There is a real need for neighborhood amenities such as restaurant and retail; we need to see more of that in North Revere, and we’ve heard that from residents.”

Skwierawski also praised the inclusion of the affordable housing component of the project.

“This is the most aggressive support for affordability that we have seen from a private sector partner that is not having the project subsidized through state or federal dollars,” he said.

Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto said he was initially hesitant about eliminating the hotel requirement, but noted that since the original zoning was approved, the city has seen a number of hotels built in other areas.

The council’s zoning subcommittee will take up the proposed ordinance change at its April 8 meeting before it comes back to the full council for a final vote.

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