Director Says Project Stalled by an Internal Dispute

April 10, 2024
The mixed-use project at 310 The Great Road is stalled because of a dispute between the owner and the architect. Photo by Wayne Braverman

Construction of the mixed-use project at 310 The Great Road is stalled because of a dispute between the owner and the architect, Planning Director Tony Fields told the Bedford Planning Board on Tuesday.

“The architect walked off the job and took permission to use his plans with him,” Fields said in answer to a question from member Chris Gittins on why nothing has been happening at the site. “The design architect is the one who has the appropriate licenses to provide certification about the construction process.”     

“Even though the contractor started putting some insulation on the sheathing, the town had to stop them because there’s not an architect of record,” Fields said. 

For decades there were fast-food restaurants at that location, most recently Papa Gino’s, which closed in 2018. The Planning Board in 2021 approved a three-story building, with 16 residential units on the second and third floors and office and retail on the ground floor. The owner at that time was Lexington Realty Holdings.

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Construction began more than two years ago. Initially, Fields said, the project “fell victim to the sudden increase in the cost of materials during construction.” But then, “We understand that something came up between the property owner and the design architect.”

“They are going to have to resolve things with the prior architect or bring in a new architect,” Fields said, which will mean “an added cost to re-create all those drawings.”

“How can the architect just take the plans? Didn’t somebody pay for them,” queried board Chair Todd Crowley. “We’re not going to get in the middle of it,” Fields said. “It has to be worked out before construction can continue.”

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Nancy Kolb
April 15, 2024 9:36 am

This one sided article is incomplete as it does not contain the views of the developer or the architect.

April 11, 2024 9:28 am

Gosh! We are experiencing similar. Plaans to rebuild shed. A shed! Beautiful plans printed out. Friends who are architects declared them awesome! But because we hadn’t hired an architect, Building Inspector rejected. Weird fussy stuff. I worked in Building Inspectors Office as a kiddo. Never seen anything like this. 😔

Michael Bossi
April 11, 2024 9:23 am

By now the weather has affected this project a bit too much to be comfortable with. That and in all honesty, the building is an eyesore just in stance compared to the surrounding buildings. I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up just tearing it down because the plywood must be starting to rot by now. It’s been like this for a while and with the recent snow and rain that can’t be good.

April 11, 2024 4:05 am

Picture it now, it’s a beautiful spring morning, the birds are chirping, you open your windows to get a pleasant breeze and your new condo echos with “Welcome to Dunkin Donuts can I take your order” as engine exhaust from the DPW trucks wafts through you home. What a joke this entire project is. You would have to be INSANE to live there.

Lynda Bailey
April 10, 2024 9:01 pm

Sounds like someone did not get paid?

Peter Ricci
April 10, 2024 5:51 pm

The design architect is the one who has the appropriate licenses to provide certification about the construction process.” This quote should make you go hmmmm. Just standing outside the building makes one wonder if the process was being followed, with all the weather affected plywood, the building was not weathertight for so long.
Usually large commercial projects are planned for increases or unexpected costs. This also makes you go hmmm.
I believe it would be Prudent, for the powers of be to check the past history of this builders projects. One understand it can be complex on what they can get involved in but I would think that past building history would be important to see how this project continues to go forward.

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