reimagined Aimco • Trinity Financial • AIR Communities • Elkus Manfredi Architects Copley Wolff Design Group • VHB
North Andover, MA
Where Situated along the Route 114 commercial corridor, the redevelopment envisions a mixed-use community oﬀering a dynamic live-work-play environment. Housing, retail, oﬃce, and hospitality uses compliment the walkable, pedestrian friendly master plan centered around vibrant public park spaces, and with architecture that embraces North Andover’s historic charm.
Since 1970, Royal Crest Estates has provided the North Andover community with rental apartment homes throughout the 76-acre site. But after 50 years, the buildings and site infrastructure are nearing the end of their useful lives. Now is the opportunity to: create homeownership and rental opportunities for both young and active adults who want to remain in the community; construct state-of-the-art energy and water efficient buildings; design a walkable, pedestrian friendly community with public transportation connections; and feature architecture that embraces North Andover’s historic charm.
Royal Crest reimagined will help the community curb sprawl development and worsening environmental conditions. It aims to better serve the economic, environmental, and social needs of North Andover. The project is consistent with, and furthers the goals of both North Andover’s Master Plan and Housing Production Plan by encouraging smart growth, creating a diversity of housing options, targeting redevelopment along commercial corridors, preserving open space, and promoting public transit.
Engaging the public is key to our success. Over the last several years, the redevelopment team worked closely with residents and stakeholders, in North Andover, and used feedback to shape the project design. After presenting an initial design, the team listened and made many major changes to the project along the way. The changes included, among other things, decreasing overall density and building heights, reducing the number of housing units, increasing the setbacks from Route 114 and the surrounding neighborhoods, creating more green space, and preserving existing trees.
VILLAGE CLASSIC NEW ENGLAND WOOD FRAME HOMES
CAMPUS HISTORIC NEW ENGLAND COLLEGIATE ARCHITECTURE
TOWN CENTER NEW ENGLAND COLONIAL NEO-GEORGIAN ARCHITECTURE
- north andover, ma
january 18, 2022
MILL NEW ENGLAND HISTORIC MILL BUILDING ARCHITECTURE
elkus manfredi architects
North Andover’s History
There will be four neighborhoods, or districts, within the new Royal Crest. While each district includes its own distinct historic architecture and feel, all complement each other and work together to create a vibrant, cohesive community where Royal Crest residents and visitors can live, eat, work, shop, study, and play. Architecture in the Mill District will invoke the region’s manufacturing history, and will host loft apartments, senior housing and offices. The Town Center District, with colonial architecture, will be a hub for the development and will include a park, more apartments, neighborhood retail and cafes along its streets, and a boutique hotel. The Campus District will include student apartments designed in Georgian style, and the Village District a neighborhood of historic New England style townhomes. Green space abounds, and multi modal trails meander throughout the entire development, along with public transportation connections.
Housing The project will provide quality homes, including comfortable new residential, 40B Aﬀordable and 55+ age restricted housing. A mix of architectural styles - including apartment buildings and townhomes composed in a historic New England aesthetic - will establish an inclusive neighborhood for existing Royal Crest tenants and future North Andover residents. Housing will range from townhomes for families to smaller apartments for young professionals and empty nesters. Student apartments are planned for a portion of the site, consolidating the more than 800 students that live at Royal Crest currently, in to a dedicated, managed complex, while still allowing them to enjoy the amenities of the project.
Retail Small, neighborhood shops and restaurants will occupy the first floor of buildings within the new Royal Crest Town Center district, providing shopping and dining for Royal Crest residents and visitors.
Office A small amount of office space will be included in the project, adding more energy to the Mill District neighborhood and the project overall.
Open Space 43 acres of green space, small and large parks, preserved wetlands, and forest create a neighborhood oasis for residents, guests, and all that enjoy natural spaces. A new, wide, natural buffer will be created between the new Royal Crest and adjoining neighborhoods. Additional plantings and fencing will be added to the buffer to enhance our neighbors’ privacy.
Transit We have coordinated closely with the Merrimack Valley Regional Transportation Authority (MVRTA) to ensure Royal Crest will have ample public transit options. MVRTA will provide service to the Lawrence and Andover Commuter Rail stations, as well as downtown Boston.
Feedback from the community included requests to celebrate the region’s manufacturing and mill history. Mill building architecture and accents will blend with modern loft apartments to create a new, unique neighborhood with a familiar feel. An oﬃce component is planned as a later phase to provide opportunities for local businesses to grow.
Town Center Hotel
Anchored by a large public park, the Town Center District is the hub of the new Royal Crest. It will have a mix of uses, including new restaurants and boutiques, as well as a quality grocer. Shops and dining will be on the first floor of the multi-family apartments that run along the park. The park itself is more than 2 acres and will be public green space to gather, enjoy an outdoor lunch, or host community events. A boutique hotel will oﬀer quality lodging accommodations for families visiting during the holidays, those on business travel, and parents attending events at nearby Merrimack College.
The proposed student housing buildings will consolidate the 800 students that reside at Royal Crest currently. As dedicated student housing, students can be managed closely while the new Royal Crest gets the benefit of tahe vibrancy and energy that students bring. With dedicated parking and on-site management, the district will have its own identity while still being able to take advantage of the nearby public park and other uses spread throughout the new Royal Crest. The complex will have a significant buffer between both neighboring residents, and Route 114.
Community feedback drove the New Englandstyle architecture envisioned for the Village District where townhomes will be the primary use. Blocks of attached clapboard townhomes will have peaked roofs and other accents with front doors opening on to the neighborhood streets. Garages are along alleys behind the townhouses and there is a signature open, walkable mall. A clubhouse for residents provides activities and indoor gathering space and the significant, forested buffer assures privacy for Village District residents and adjoining North Andover neighborhoods.
Walking paths will encircle the site, winding through acres of dense woods and protected wetlands. In addition to creating outdoor recreational opportunities for the community, the wetlands will also sustainably address storm water management on site and restore natural habitats. Today’s Royal Crest was designed and built in another era. The reimagined Royal Crest will utilize cutting edge sustainable design and provide some of the most environmentally friendly housing in the region.
In addition to the improved community with more housing choices for residents, the reimagined Royal Crest will provide the Town with enormous direct beneﬁts and community enhancements, including:
Net Positive Tax Revenue • Royal Crest, the town’s largest taxpayer, from a development that costs North Andover money (net negative of $0.5M to $1.5M) to a redevelopment that generates positive revenues that far exceed costs of town services, new revenues ranging from $2M-$4M annually. Open Space and Public Schools • Pedestrian walking trail to Franklin School • 1.5 mile walking and biking trail connected to new Town multi-use path network • 23 acre wooded and wetland buﬀer permanently restricted as open space • $850,000 for parks and ﬁelds as dictated in the 2021 Parks and Fields Master Plan • $3.5 million for the Franklin School Gym and increased classroom space Community Partnerships • $650,000 for the design and addition to Fire Station 2 • $500,000 for community policing initiatives • $500,000 for the design and addition of the Youth Center • $300,000 to fund a grant program under the Town’s Department of Community and Economic Development • $200,000 for the Stevens Memorial Library bookmobile • $150,000 for the Senior Center
Housing • 97 units of permanently aﬀordable housing • Achieves Town’s threshold requirements for aﬀordable housing under Chapter 40B, exempting Town from “unfriendly” 40B developments • Provides many diﬀerent housing types, including housing for seniors, dedicated student housing, luxury and aﬀordable rental apartments, and townhouse-style units Traffic Mitigation and Pedestrian Safety • Covered bicycle parking and EV Charging Stations throughout project site • Expanded transportation options through coordination with the MVRTA and MBTA • $1,000,000 for Traﬃc Mitigation and Monitoring • $1,000,000 for Pedestrian safety enhancements on Route 114 Water and Sewer Improvements • $600,000 to the Town of North Andover Merrimack College Contributions • $1.65 million payment to Town to fund Town initiatives
To learn more about how Aimco, AIR Communities, and Trinity Financial are reimaging Royal Crest, please visit newroyalcrest.info or email firstname.lastname@example.org