by Brian Benson- originally posted in the Metrowest Daily News (edited)
NATICK - The Zoning Board of Appeals is gearing up to hear a proposal from a new developer looking to turn the former downtown American Legion building into space for housing and shops.
Natick-based Stonegate West Central LLC, which owns the 13 West Central St. property, is looking to create space for businesses - including the possibility of restaurants - on the ground floor and 11 units of housing above the business space. Stonegate is also proposing serving food outdoors, according to plans submitted to the town.
Stonegate is looking to invest about $1.5 million in the “redevelopment and rehabilitation” project, which would result in a two- to three-story building, according to the developer’s application and plans that have been submitted to the town.
The development would also have 19 parking spaces, including underground parking. But Stonegate is seeking an exception from off-street parking and loading requirements, among other approvals from the ZBA.
The project would lead to 40 post-construction jobs, according to the application.
The ZBA previously approved plans by a different developer to convert the building into five apartments on the second floor and two restaurants on the ground floor with outdoor dining in front of the building. But the project never progressed.
The ZBA expects to hold a public hearing on the project on Feb. 22.