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Affordable and Workforce Housing Proposed at Overlook Ridge

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Veris Residential Trust, the owner and developer of Overlook Ridge located on the east side of the City, is teaming up with Boston-based WinnDevelopment to propose new mixed-income housing at two remaining vacant parcels in the development that would include 172 units of much-needed affordable, middle-income/workforce and senior housing.

On Thursday, Ward 8 Malden City Councillor Jadeane Sica formally filed the proposed zoning amendment needed to develop multifamily housing on remaining vacant land in Malden at the western edge of Overlook Ridge. The filing with the Malden City Council follows a May 17 vote by the Joint Planning Task Force to approve the revised master plan for the project. The Task Force is comprised of a resident representative, Ward Councilor, City Planner and the Mayor’s Representative.

Malden Mayor Gary Christenson said, “This proposed change to the development aligns with the City’s affordable housing goals. We need much needed affordable housing in Malden and this would be a major boost to those efforts to increase supply. It would also be Malden’s first age-restricted housing project that will help keep Malden residents in their homes.”

Under the proposal, WinnDevelopment would pursue a two-phase development on one of the lots in Malden. The first phase would feature 100 age-restricted apartments for active adults ages 55 and older, with 80 of the units considered affordable housing. The second phase would create 207 mixed-income apartments, with 42 units set aside as affordable and 50 available for workforce (middle income) households. A minimum of 122 units on one of the city’s lots would count toward the City of Malden’s Subsidized Housing Inventory and there will be a local preference for Malden residents.

On the other Malden lot, Veris Residential Trust seeks to further Malden’s economic development goals by proposing a 120-unit market rate apartment community along with a 112-room, limited-service, four-story hotel with 4,400 square feet of retail services, designed to serve the residents of Overlook Ridge and reduce car trips to and from the community. Veris Residential Trust will also be working with the City of Revere on a larger residential rental community.

The affordable housing proposed for the remaining vacant land in Malden will exceed Inclusionary Zoning requirement.

Councillor Jadeane Sica said: “This represents an opportunity to get the remaining parcels of this project fully developed. The additional affordable housing and the proposed hotel are welcome additions to this location.”

The majority of the proposed new apartment homes would be one and two-bedroom units, with three-bedroom apartments comprising less than 5 percent of the new units.

The proposed zoning change would allow multifamily development on the two parcels. The Malden City Council is expected to refer the proposal to the Planning Board for a joint public hearing, review and recommendation.

“We are excited to build upon our longstanding partnership with the City of Malden and the City of Revere for the benefit of the community, consistent with the approach we have taken in the region over the last 20 years,” said Jeff Turkanis, Chief Investment Officer for Veris Residential Trust. “We look forward to working hand-in-glove with WinnCompanies as we enter the next phase of development to deliver much-needed new housing options.”

The developers hope to amend local zoning and secure permitting approvals before October to be eligible to be considered for the next available round of competitive state affordable housing funds.

The proposed workforce/middle income housing segment on Lot 13 would be designed for individuals and families who have been priced out of the Boston area’s white hot rental market, earning too much income to qualify for traditional affordable housing programs but not enough to afford market rate rents.

“The lack of affordable, middle income and senior housing in greater Boston is a well-documented problem. It’s the number one reason that people of all ages are leaving Massachusetts,” said WinnDevelopment Vice President Andrew Colbert. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to create a brighter future for households struggling with housing costs here.”

Since construction began in 2001, the Overlook Ridge development has transformed the former Rowe’s Quarry on the Revere-Malden border into a residential community featuring 1,977 apartment homes.

As part of the development, New Jersey-based Veris Residential Trust has paid nearly $4 million in impact fees to Revere and Malden and constructed over $7 million in community benefits including a two-acre community park, a 7,000-square-foot public fire station for Malden and Revere, a seven-acre wetland, passive recreation area with a new pedestrian crossing signal on Salem Street to improve access to the park and popular Northern Strand Community Trail.

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