Spruce Farm Condo Development Set To Add TWENTY-SEVEN 55-And-Over Housing Units To Wilmington

WILMINGTON, MA — Spruce Farm, the 55-and-over condo development planned off of Andover Street, has broken ground.

The project will build 24 market-rate condo units ($609,000-$629,000) and 3 affordable-rate condo units ($214,000, with $87 monthly condo fee), restricted to owners 55 years of age and older. Wilmington residents will receive preference for 2 of the 3 affordable units. The project has a mix of singles and duplexes in one-and-a-half story buildings with one-car garages. Each unit has 1,680 square feet of of living area, with six rooms and 2.5 bathrooms.

At last week’s meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously signed the agreement and authorized that it be submitted to the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

Planning Director Valerie Gingrich and certified housing consultant Kristen Costa, of L.A. Associates, were present to answer questions from the Selectmen.

In response to Selectman Ed Loud’s concern that only 10% (3 out of 27) of the units were  affordable, Gingrich explained the the town’s over 55 housing district language in its zoning bylaw requires just a 10% minimum. The developer, Stephen Wright, had an incentive — a density bonus of 10 units per acre — to raise that percentage to 25%, but opted to meet the minimum instead.

Loud also pointed out that the town was gaining very little towards its 10% affordable requirement for affordable housing, with the 3 new affordable units almost completely offset by the addition of 24 market-value units.

Loud also questioned why only 2 of the 3 affordable units had a Wilmington preference. Costa explained that under state regulations, only 70% of the affordable units can have a local preference. Costa also noted that it was still possible that the third unit could go to a Wilmington resident, based on the project’s housing lottery, which will be advertised through the town and local press.

Despite his concerns Loud joined his colleagues in supporting the project and the town’s efforts to encourage local developers to bring in more over-55 units and affordable units.

“This [project] increases the number of affordable units in town, so it sounds like a no brainer to me,” added Selectman Greg Bendel.

Get a better sense of the project from this short video from Jacquelyn Santini at RE/MAX Encore:

(NOTE: Cover photo from RE/MAX Encore video.)

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4 thoughts

  1. Does anybody else remember the LIES the builder gave at last years town meeting?

    Affordable senior housing… Only $609K-$629K.

    So darn affordable. And 2 or 3 low income ones that don’t help our 40B problem.

    Remember that when the next developer LIES about what they promise to build.

    And Selectman Greg Bendel – perhaps you can go back to elementary school and learn basic math.

    It is clear that Selectman Bendel and most of our other Selectman don’t have a clue and appear to be actively promoting failing on 40B and forcing on us many new giant developments as po$$ible.

    Anyone who wonder$ why $hould have their head examined.

    1. Bob, I believe it was two years ago. The Selectmen had nothing to do except approve the developers offer to add 3 affordable units. Would you rather not have any? This vote that took place at the meeting had nothing to do with approving the project itself.

      1. The builder sold the town on the promise of affordable senior housing “…so our seniors wouldn’t have to leave Wilmington”.

        This was simple BS.

        Tell me ONE senior or veteran or kid starting out that can afford a $4,000+/month mortgage payment?

        I guarantee you that the prices of those mini-McMansions are more than ANY of the seniors homes in Wilmington that they can no longer afford (due to 10%+ tax increases each and every year).

        As to the 40B issue – yes, glad to have 3 more units but it is a negligible help to keeping us over the 10% threshold since you have to add in the 24 new units to the numerator.

    2. Well at least Andover will have some 55 and older, that price threshold matches Andover demographics more than Wilmington don’t ya think. Well at least they will have nice open space in Andover to walk to also.

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