It appears that Burlington will soon have a picturesque, pedestrian-friendly downtown, but it’s not going to be located around the town center. Todd Freemont-Smith of the Nordblom Company shared the company’s updated vision for Northwest Park with Patch this week. The 150 acre Northwest Park is located off of Middlesex Turnpike along Third and Fourth Avenues. Nordblom promises wide sidewalks, Victorian-style lighting and charm, and a culinary center that will invite residents and visitors to stroll, shop and dine.
Work is well underway to prepare the site for Northwest Park’s bold future. Thanks to a $2 million Mass Works grant in 2010 which was matched by the Nordblom Company, the intersection at Third Avenue and Middlesex Turnpike has been revamped to handle the expected traffic. Third Avenue itself has also been reconfigured to include a roundabout at the end of the street .
Wegman’s, which has signed a 30 year lease with options to renew, is planning to build a 135,000 square foot facility with adjacent parking for 800 vehicles. The plans include a 14,000 square foot mezzanine overlooking a food court, an outdoor café and outdoor cooking classes. Patrons will be able to enter and exit Wegman’s from Third Avenue, Fourth Avenue or from Network Drive via Second Avenue.
Wegman’s will anchor what Nordblom hopes will become a culinary center for the region with family-owned or small chain restaurants. While Third Avenue will be the main street for restaurants, Fourth Avenue is intended to be the park’s office gateway. Freemont-Smith shared with Patch that Nordblom recently received word that the Town was awarded another Mass Works grant for $1.5 million to reconstruct Fourth Avenue. The work will include new curbing, wide sidewalks and Victorian style lighting. Fourth Avenue and part of Middlesex Turnpike will also be repaved. Nordblom intends to tear down the building on the right corner of Fourth Avenue and Middlesex Turnpike and replace it with a 150,000 square foot Class A office building.
According to Freemont-Smith, the design also calls for a series of green parks that connect the major roadways so that pedestrians can easily walk from offices to stores to restaurants. Nordblom also intends to build residences, although unlike the original plan presented in 2006, the new plan calls for apartment buildings adjacent to retail and restaurants, as opposed to above.
The retail businesses will be targeted at office workers such as dry cleaning services, cell phone stores, a mailing center and a bank. Most stores will not exceed 4,500 square feet and no department stores are planned. For more information, visit http://3rdaveburlington.com.