Photo: The current state of the location of Cushing Village.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
That 19th-century French saying has a ring of truth to it when the discussion turns to the long-stalled Cushing Village residential/retail/parking development as it appears the new owners are seeking their own set of concessions from the town.
Approved for construction in July 2013, the project suffered through two-and-a-half years of delays and missed opportunities under the former ownership of lead developer Smith Legacy Partners.
So there was hope in the community when national housing firm Toll Brothers purchased the development rights in March of this year that a change at the top would allow the $80 million project – 115 units of housing, 38,000 sq.-ft. of stores and approximately 200 parking spaces – to move quickly to the construction stage.
In fact, representative of the Pennsylvia company said then it would not seek changes to the project which would warrant restarting the process, expressing confidence it would make the Aug. 26 deadline for the firm to sign a purchase and sale agreement with the town to buy a key town-owned land parcel, the municipal parking lot adjacent to Trapelo Road and Starbucks for $1 million, that would allow building to commence.
For the town, Toll Brothers’ commitment to the site would stop the “endless loop of uncertainty” hampering work from commencing, said Selectman Sami Baghdady in March.
But what was said in the Spring appears to have fallen to the wayside in mid Summer. According to documents from the Board of Selectmen, Toll Brothers representatives will come before the Board at its Monday, Aug. 22 meeting seeking a new extension to the P&S deadline taking place four days later.
In addition, the firm will request amendments to the Land Development Agreement – which for commercial property is a development plan that typically includes the time frame for completing the project, the property description, design sketches, and other details.
The details of the changes and why they are being sought by Toll Brothers have not been publically flushed out – both the town and Toll are not speaking on the matter – as both sides appear ready to present their arguments on Monday.
Earlier this month, the board and the town appeared ready to sign all necessary paperwork on the 22nd, with current board chair Mark Paolillo saying that “both sides want this to go through.”