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NATICK, MA-This town is willing to consider creating a new overlay district if that what it takes to expand the local mall. The town’s board of selectmen approved the planning Board’s request to call a special Town Meeting this Dec. 3 to vote on a zoning change that would enable the Natick Mall to expand into the former Wonder Bread factory on Speen Street.

A town representative tells GlobeSt.com that the site is currently zoned for industrial use but because spot zoning is not allowed, the creation of an overlay district that encompasses the entire area between Speen Street, Route 9 and the Framingham border would need to be created. The overlay district would be limited to specific retail use.

Chicago-based General Growth Properties is looking to expand the 1.6 million sf mall by taking over the 300,000-sf former factory that currently houses Tech Commons, a failed Internet hotel.

The town representative points out that the rezoning is all the developer needs to move forward with its expansion plans.

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