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TEWKSBURY, MA-Mills Corp.’s plan to add a residential component to its proposal for a one-million-sf mall here has been abandoned. The Arlington, VA-based shopping center developer has formally submitted its plan for the retail-entertainment complex to a committee formed by the town’s board of selectman especially for this proposal.

David Cressman, the town manager, tells GlobeSt.com that the residential idea, which involved about 450 units, “created too many problems. We told them to drop it.” Cressman points out that the main problems involved the development’s lack of access to South Street, which would mean residents wouldn’t be able to use that roadway. Also, school buses would need to take Route 93 which would further complicate traffic issues.

“The whole idea was to do a commercial/industrial project,” says Cressman. Once the proposal leaves the committee, the selectman can call a town meeting to rezone the site for the proposed mall, which is a 38-acre parcel owned by Perkins Development Trust. The site is currently zoned for residential use and Mills will purchase the property if the town approves the project.

The plan involves 750,000 sf of space and another 200,000 sf of common spaces that would include restaurants and other service industries. In addition, the plan calls for 50,000 sf of office space and Cressman says the most recent proposal involves an ice rink.

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