By Holly Crocco
Hardscrabble North Salem Holdings, LLC, has submitted an application to the Southeast Planning Board/Architectural Review Board to develop an approximately 200,000-square-foot logistics center/distribution facility on a 46.75-acre property at 151 Fields Lane in Southeast, called Orchard Hill Logistics.
The project would include two buildings (50,000 square feet and 150,000 square feet), with associated parking and loading spaces, driveways, stormwater management practices, lighting, landscaping, manufactured slopes and retaining walls.
According to the project description, about 24 acres of property would be disturbed, including 3 acres of wetlands buffers.
So far, the developer has submitted an application for a conditional use permit to conduct light manufacturing on-site, and associated wetlands applications.
“The layout plan that we developed for the site was developed with a sensitivity to the environmental constraints and the regulated areas that are onsite,” said Paul Dumont of JMC Planning, Engineering, Landscape Architecture & Land Surveying, PPLC, during the Jan. 9 planning board meeting, when the developer’s initial presentation was made.
The property would include one access drive, in addition to the two buildings and associated parking.
“The design of the buildings were really designed to work with the topography,” said Dumont. “The buildings will be set into the hillside, and the rear of the buildings will act as a retaining wall.”
Retaining walls and manufactured slopes will be used to create level plateaus for each building pad, which will require height variances, according to the applicant. While town code states that no manufactured slope shall exceed 30 feet in height, the applicant proposes a 76-foot slope. Also, while town code dictates that retaining walls shall not exceed 10 feet, the developer is proposing a height of 14 feet.
The maximum permitted building height for the site is 45 feet, and the applicant has not yet indicated the height of the proposed buildings planned for the project.
According to Dumont, a traffic study was conducted in which five intersections in the area were studied during peak morning and evening times, as well as peak Saturday hours. “What we found is that, when applying the build volumes, there was no change in local service to any of the studied intersections,” he said.
Planning Board member George Pangis noted the project’s proximity to a virtually identical project – Lincoln Logistics – on the same road. Which has already been approved. “You’re aware there’s another large project currently being built, a logistics center?” He asked the developer.
“We are,” said Dumont.
The project would be considered a “spec build,” meaning there are currently no tenants lined up for it.
Planning Board Chairman Tom LaPerch noted that Lincoln Logistics also has no tenants secured. “In today’s environment, until the walls are up, no one is going to make a commitment,” he said.
He noted that the project has “a long way to go” and this was only the developer’s initial presentation.