DEVENS -- After years of efforts to turn the former Army Fort Devens into an eco-friendly industrial park, MassDevelopment is launching a new initiative: Creating more homes.
MassDevelopment, the quasi-public economic development agency that manages Devens, has issued a request for qualification for residential development of the Grant Road neighborhood. The agency hopes to find a developer to build 120 residential units at the 70-acre project area.
The RFQ comes on the heels of the successful sale of all 20 zero-net-energy homes that the agency had developers built in Devens. The agency has also attempted to contract with Trinity Financial of Boston to redevelop the historic but abandoned Army barracks at Vicksburg Square into 246 apartment units. The proposal failed in the Ayer and Harvard town meetings on March 28 last year.
MassDevelopment has worked to turn the former Army base into a place for people to work and live, according to the vision provided by the residents of Ayer, Harvard and Shirley. Under bylaws, Devens can have up to 282 residential units, of which 140 have already been created. The agency said in its press release Wednesday that it's time that it had more housing.
"Demand for nearby housing is likely to grow with 3,200 employees and counting working in Devens," the press release said.