During Monday’s meeting, the City Planning Board adopted a resolution declaring itself the lead agency for the environmental review of the proposed Barrel Factory Lofts development. At the same time, the board members and the town planner asked the developers to submit the results of a noise study that had been carried out at the site, as well as to conduct a traffic study to determine the impact of the development on the surrounding area. Developers were also asked to provide visual representations of how the project would look from the surrounding area.
Daniel Simon of MHV BF Developer LLC said that a noise study is under way. He said the noise tracking equipment has been at the project site since Thursday and is scheduled to be received on Tuesday. Simon said the developer’s consultant would make a full report on the noise and frequency of trains passing the site. He said the consultant will make recommendations on how to mitigate the impacts on existing buildings and the new residential building proposed for development.
“From our perspective, the hype is clearly real,” Simon said. “It is something we have to deal with. We will try to mitigate it as best we can for everyone’s comfort.” He pointed out that there is already a lot of residential development in the neighborhood.
The Barrel Factory Lofts development is proposed on an L-shaped property facing Cornell Street and Bruyn Avenue in downtown where the barrel making building is located at 35 Bruyn Ave. It, along with the Fowler & Keith Building at 104 Smith Ave, is proposed to contain 100 residential units and ground-floor commercial space in a new four-story building on the corner of Cornell Street and Bruin Street.
A railway line runs along the Bruyn Street side of the property.
The project also calls for seven work/live spaces for artists, resident amenities, and commercial spaces in the former barrel factory building.
The Fowler & Keith Building will continue to be used as a warehouse, although exterior renovations are planned including a new roof, windows and siding. The addition that connected the building to the old barrel mill will be removed and the property subdivided.
The project calls for 54 studio apartments, as well as 28 one-bedroom units, and 18 two-bedroom units that will be developed in the new apartment block.
City planner Susan Cahill said the results of the noise and traffic study must be completed before the planning board can schedule a public hearing for comment on the project. She said the developers will also be required to put together a more detailed filing and additional documentation prior to the hearing.