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Developers Break Ground on Luxury Senior Living Facility

National Development in conjunction with Epoch Senior Living, along with several partnering entities, ceremoniously broke ground on the forthcoming senior living facility Waterstone at Wellesley this morning.
The groundbreaking made official the project, which will include 138 luxury rental units, fitness facility among other amenities. There will also be a CVS on the premises.

Despite some contention with Wellesley abutters – and previously litigation – the project at the home of the old Grossman's hardware store will now be built and completed by March 2012, said Jack O'Neil, managing partner for National Development, surrounded by several town officials and other individuals involved with the development. "We ran into some interesting and tough opposition from abutters that weren't thrilled with the concept," he said. "We finally settled and here we are." The Grossman's building stood dormant at the property, located at 25 Washington St., for 16 years, said O'Neil; and while there was some sentimental value to the store's big orange sign for some, ultimately, the project is viewed as a developmental triumph, according to Mary Bowers, neighbor to the property. "I've looked at that sign my whole life," she said. "Although as neighbors we fought this large undertaking, for me, I'm glad there is now activity in the lot." The sign was taken down in August when Newton-based Cranshaw Construction began work in the area. To commemorate the iconic store, National Development put together a plaque with a piece of the old Grossman's sign. Orange bricks from the original building were also being given out at the ceremony. There is no word on rents of the property's units yet, according to O'Neil, as the market will have to dictate those amounts in the future. But Larry Gerber, CEO of Epoch Senior Living, painted a picture of eventual high-end living at the as-yet-developed plot. The facility will include fine dining, underground parking, and house keeping services in addition to senior healthcare services and assisted living, according to Gerber. The site will also house 21,000 square foot surgical center run by Newton-Wellesley Hospital, which signed the lease for the space today, according to O'Neil. National Development Managing Partner Ted Tye earlier remarked at the fiscal benefits of the project. "I asked [Attorney] Bob Davis what a good name for the project would be, he said 'the annuity at Wellesley,'" said Tye, which drew laughs from the 40-or-so attendees. Following the speeches, members of the Wellesley Board of Selectmen, National Development and Epoch ceremoniously shoveled a pile of dirt to honor the occasion.