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BROOKLINE, MA-The persistence of Winn Development has paid off. In its second appearance before Town Meeting, the zoning change required for the firm’s 220,000-sf building project to go forward was approved.

Winn, which owns the three parcels that comprise the Village Square business district, originally wanted to build a 125 foot biomedical building on one of the parcels. The other two buildings at this location consist of a medical office building and a day care center and they won’t be impacted by the new zoning because they are fully developed.

The height and the density of Winn’s original proposal were a concern to some residents and, while a majority approved the zoning change, the plan failed to get the required 2/3′s vote. At the time Roger Cassin, managing partner of Winn Development, is quoted in local published reports as saying that he would not pursue the proposed redevelopment project.

Cassin did not return calls by deadline, but Jeff Levine, assistant director of the planning and community development department of Brookline, tells GlobeSt.com that the developer was impressed at the level of support the project had among residents. When it failed to pass, he says, residents approached the developer about pursuing the project, which could bring in an estimated $900,000 to one million dollars annually in taxes.

Levine says that in the new plan the main changes to the project consisted of lowering the height of the building to 115 feet and limiting the biomedical uses. “This gave people a higher level of comfort [with the project],” he says.

Levine also points out that while there was some discussion about the density of the project, at this point it is still 220,000 sf although some of the above ground parking could go underground. “There was a lot of concern about the visual impact of the building,” says Levine, who adds that the building is sandwiched between two other commercial buildings between Route 9 and Brookline Village. He points out that the site for this project was picked out in the town master plan as a potential location for commercial use. Two Brookline Pl. is currently a small retail building.

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