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MERRIMAC, MA-This small town might soon see its largest-ever residential development. Richard Waterhouse, a local realtor and his brother, George, are proposing to develop a 468-unit apartment complex on 18 acres of a 76-acre farm here that’s been in their family since before the American Revolution.

The development would consist of 15 three-story buildings, each with 24 units as well as three three-story, 36-unit buildings. According to Richard Waterhouse, the land was once used for grazing but in recent years has been vacant. The developers are applying for a comprehensive permit under Chapter 40B–the state’s affordable housing law–which, if approved, allows them to circumvent local zoning laws as long as they designate the required number of units as affordable.

Waterhouse tells GlobeSt.com that he plans to designate 25% of the rental-complex units affordable. The town has already issued one other comprehensive permit–for a development here on Broad Street. “I haven’t heard too much opposition,” says Waterhouse. “I have spoken to the two abutters to the property and they are totally in favor of this project.” The low- to moderate-priced one- and two-bedroom units will rent for $750 to $900 per month. The market rate units will go for approximately $1,200 to $1,400 per month.

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