BELMONT, MA-Town officials here rejected a rezoning plan proposed by O’Neill Properties Group that would have enabled the company to develop a 250,000-sf office building on a 13-acre site in Belmont Uplands.

The site is currently zoned for residential use and according to Joe Bator, managing director for the Philadelphia-based company’s Boston office, the town approached the company about developing an office building on the site. Bator tells that the town was concerned that an affordable housing complex would be put in there instead. “Unfortunately, we went through the zoning change process, and we didn’t get approved,” notes Bator, who points out that most town officials want an office building on the site. Bator says that local residents “just want it to be open space or to get a better deal from us.” O’Neill has offered to preserve some of the land as conservation space and to resolve traffic issues as part of a community benefits package.

O’Neill acquired this property as part of a 40-acre tract here in 1998. The other part of the site is occupied by Arthur D. Little. Bator says that his company is still talking to town officials about developing an office building but he says they are not planning on making any changes to the building plan. “The town would like us to re-propose it,” he says, but adds that his company is considering developing an affordable housing project on the site. “We told them they can’t expect us not to do anything with the property,” notes Bator.

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