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$5M mixed-use development proposed at historic Scott Mill property in Saugus

The Central Group Executive Director Stephen Boccelli speaks about the proposed development that would add 36 apartments to the land next to the storage units at the historic Scott Mill property in Saugus. (Spenser R. Hasak)

SAUGUS — The historic Scott Mill property could soon be transformed into an Iron Works-inspired community where people can live, eat, and store their belongings.

A $5 million mixed-use development is proposed on Central Street beside 222 Central Storage. A three-story apartment building would be constructed on the right of the old mill-turned-storage facility with 26 one-bedroom, townhouse style apartments, eight two-bedroom apartments and parking beneath. Three of the units would be affordable.

An office building at 228 Central St. would be torn down to make room for 2,000 square feet of commercial space. The ground floor is proposed to be a cafe with additional commercial space underneath.

The design of the development is inspired by neighboring Saugus Iron Works, from the color scheme of red and black to match the Iron Works house to the design of the chimney.

“I think it’s a desirable place to live,” said Stephen Boccelli, executive director of The Central Group. “Not everybody wants to live on Route 1.”

Two Hundred & Twenty Two Central St., an entity owned by The Central Group, already has 4.1 acres at 222 Central St., .25 acres at 214 Central St., and .27 acres at 228 Central St. The company has been family owned by Boccelli and his father, Joe Boccelli, since 2001.

180 Central Development LLC, an entity owned by Boccelli, purchased 180 Central St. in September 2018 for $1.2 million. Rumors have spread in town that the plan is to turn the 1814 mill into condominiums, but there are no plans in place to redevelop the property, said Boccelli.

People are also under the misconception that the storage facility will close to make way for the development, which is also untrue, said Boccelli.

Original plans for the 222 and 228 Central St. development included eight units across the Saugus River, which were eliminated after the pair received input from neighbors. The overall size of the project was also reduced from 74 units to 34 and the majority of the units were changed to one-bedroom.

A traffic impact study and comprehensive site and soil assessment have been completed.

“We’re not some large group, we’re just a family trying to make this development happen,” said Boccelli, who added that the development is by-right.

“The river is our backyard as well as yours — we wouldn’t want to do anything that’s going to be detrimental to the area,” he said.
If approved by the Planning Board and Conservation Commission, it will be the first project under a Saugus Mill Mixed Use Overlay zoning district passed by Town Meeting in 2014. In the zoning, the Planning Board is the special permit granting authority.

The project will go before the Planning Board on Feb. 7 and before the Conservation Commission Feb. 13.

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The view looking across the Saugus River at the proposed Mill District Development apartment complex that could be added to the existing 222 Central Street site in Saugus.

(Photo by Central Group)

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A view looking north along Central Street at the proposed Mill District Development that could be added to the existing 222 Central Street site in Saugus.

(Photo by Steven)

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An aerial view of the proposed Mill District Development in Saugus.

(Photo by Steven)


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