Plans for a mixed use development for the former Hendries’ Ice Cream factory were unveiled at a community meeting Wednesday night.
By Fred Hanson
The Patriot Ledger
MILTON – Vacant for more than a quarter-century, the former Hendries’ Ice Cream plant may soon be coming down.
Town officials are hoping to fast-track the latest proposal for redeveloping the nearly one-acre property at Central Avenue and Eliot Street. Carrick Realty Trust, which owns a portion of the site, is seeking to build a mixed-use development which would include 38 apartments, 3,800 square feet of retail space, 88 parking spaces and some open space on the property. It is similar to a plan proposed four years ago, but with less retail space and more parking.
“We want the process to move along quickly” for approving the plans, Selectmen Chairwoman Katie Conlon said.
She said the new development would be around for 50 or 100 years, so it is important to get it right.
Carrick already has approvals to build 58 apartments on the site under a comprehensive permit.
Conlon said the selectmen are close to an agreement with Carrick on selling the about 8,200 square feet of the site owned by the town.
The new plans received a favorable reception from the three dozen people who attended a community meeting on the plans at the Milton Council on Aging Wednesday night.
The ice cream factory closed in 1990 and has been vacant ever since, and town officials have expressed concerns about the possibility of fire or collapse. Redevelopment proposals have been discussed for at least 15 years.
Frank O’Neill, who owns commercial property across the street, said “it’s been a long 15 years observing the Hendries’ property. It looks like we’re now observing the finish line.”
Peter Jackson of Capen Street said the latest plan is “much improved from what it was before.”
He would like to see selectmen set a timetable for the demolition of the building in any transfer of the land.
The plan needs approvals from the conservation commission and the planning board. The planning board will hold a hearing on the plan at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at town hall.
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