The owner of the 5+-acre site housing the one-time Saxonville Lumber business has plans to put two buildings there: one housing a health club and medical office, the other for retail space, the MetroWest Daily News reports. This looks like good news indeed for the neighborhood, which has seen a key piece of the business district lie mostly fallow for more than a decade.
I'll be very interested to see details , which the News says may be before the Planning Board Oct. 16. I'm hoping plans include an attractive pedestrian streetscape -- meaning at least one building near the sidewalk, with an attractive facade and landscaping that make it appealing to walk by and to; there should be an obvious, appealing way that pedestrians can get to the businesses by walking. Saxonville is (for the most part) one of Framingham's few walkable neighborhoods, and we need to keep it that way. What we do not need is another strip mall with a moat of asphalt between pedestrians and businesses.
My ideal for the parcel would include a restaurant, cafe or other eaterie of some sort with outdoor seating in nice weather; nice landscaping, and some way patrons could take advantage of the river view. It's completely insane that we have no businesses in Saxonville that take advantage of proximity to the river.
First, owner Tony Kwan will be going to the Conservation Commission due to potential impact on nearby Cochituate Brook and the Sudbury River. Hopefully, that won't be a problem.