Developer Puts Controversial Housing Site On Market

135 Wells Ave. Newton

Developer Cabot, Cabot & Forbes has placed on the market a 6.3-acre Newton property where its attempts to build a 334 apartments under the Chapter 40B affordable housing law are being reviewed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

135 Wells Ave. is leased to Boston Sports Club through 2023 with a 180-day landlord termination option, according to marketing materials from HFF in Boston, which listed the property.

Newton officials oppose Boston-based Cabot, Cabot & Forbes’ plans for a 334-unit apartment complex on the site, including 84 units restricted to households earning less than 80 percent of the area median income income.

The Newton zoning board of appeals in 2014 denied Cabot, Cabot & Forbes’ application for a comprehensive permit under Chapter 40B, which would have enabled it to build 334 apartments on an industrial-zoned parcel. The Newton board of aldermen in 2015 declined to lift a deed restriction on housing on the site.

The state Land Court backed the city’s position in 2016 and Cabot, Cabot & Forbes appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court, which heard oral arguments in the case April 6.

HFF describes 135 Wells Ave. as an “ideal covered land play” that will provide the next owner with significant cash flow under the current tenant while pursuing redevelopment plans including office, retail, mixed use and medical office by right.

Jay Doherty, CEO of Cabot, Cabot & Forbes, declined to comment on the decision to place the property on the market. Newton City Solicitor Donnalyn Kahn said the city was not aware of the potential change of ownership but its position in the legal case has not changed.

Cabot, Cabot & Forbes purchased the property for $16.4 million in June 2014 with a $10.4 million mortgage from TD Bank.

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Developer Puts Controversial Housing Site On Market

by Steve Adams time to read: 1 min