Metz Auto Plant being demolished for Big Box Retailer.

metz-factory2

Developer demolishes old Raytheon building for new BJ’s
By Richard Conn/Daily News staff
Daily News Tribune
Posted Jul 26, 2009 @ 11:01 PM
WALTHAM —

A Seyon Street site that was once slated for a Lowe’s Home Improvement store will now be home to a BJ’s Wholesale Club, according to a spokeswoman for the developer of the property.

Diana Pisciotta, spokeswoman for Boston-based Samuels and Associates, said an 117,000-square-foot BJ’s is planned for the 20 Seyon St. location., which the developer will build “by right.”

The old Raytheon building on the site is being demolished to make way for BJ’s.

In 2007, Samuels and Associates pitched a 143,000-square-foot Lowe’s for the site, a proposal that was met with an outcry from neighboring residents who worried about traffic and other quality-of-life issues.

Samuels and Associates withdrew its special permit application to the City Council in May 2007 and vowed to go ahead with the project under existing zoning rules and without conditions imposed by the city.

The developer then won an important legal decision against the city last fall, when a judge ruled that Seyon Street was a public way.

The city had argued that it owned the rights to Seyon Street and it was neither a public nor private way and therefore could not be used as a point of access for the proposed development.

Pisciotta said she couldn’t yet comment on the reason for the switch from Lowe’s to BJ’s, but said a press release is being prepared.

The former Raytheon building that’s now being demolished was built in 1914 by famed automaker Charles Metz and used to manufacture vehicles. In May 2008, the Waltham Historical Commission for the first time enacted the city’s demolition delay in hopes negotiating with the developers to see if they would consider other alternatives to demolition.

The ordinance imposes a six-month delay on the destruction of any buildings or homes 75 years or older that are deemed historically or architecturally significant.

Arthur Bennett, program director for the Historical Commission, said the developer simply waited out the six-months. He said in the future the commission would like to see the city consider a one-year time frame.

Richard Conn can be reached at 781-398-8004 or rconn@cnc.com.

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Published in: on July 27, 2009 at 8:15 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I wondered about the sawtooth design of the Metz factory, and then I realized that it would allow many large, almost vertical skylights… a nice feature in a 1914 factory with limited electric lighting.

    Phil


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