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HUDSON -- After the developer shared some ideas and asked for input from residents at an April 13 open house, a concept plan for Downtown Phase II is expected to be ready next month.
More than 75 residents attended the meeting at the Jo-Ann Conference Center where Testa Companies presented a slideshow of ideas and also had printouts of the proposed changes for additional input from residents.
City Planner Greg Hannan, Joel Testa of Testa Companies, Justin Goodwin of MKSK along with other members of the developer team were present.
Goodwin said the first open house helped to shape their plans for the general direction of the project and a concept plan development would be presented in May, but not at the April 24 date originally announced.
Some of the items considered by the developers were housing diversity, street and traffic concerns, a recreation area and the historic character of the area, Goodwin said.
Goodwin announced that Downtown Phase II couldl include realigning Village Way. Instead of ending at Morse Road, it would continue along the railroad tracks and then head north across Owen Brown Street to intersect two new streets that form a loop attached to Morse Road, Goodwin explained.
The new street structure would divide the different areas of the development, he added.
Another aspect could be a green space area to form a boulevard on Owen Brown Street between Morse Road and the newly routed Veterans Way.
The green space area in the boulevard would provide a scenic view for residents on Owen Brown Street by moving the front of the new buildings back away from the road, Goodwin said. It also would calm traffic. Another option could be to make Owen Brown a brick street to calm traffic and add to the historic character.
The buildings would transition from commercial on the south end to residential on the north end. The residential area could be a walkable neighborhood with urban housing and pocket parks or courtyards. In addition, Goodwin said some sort of park or recreational area could be added for office employees and residents.
The residential space would not be just for seniors but have people of all ages, a community within the city, Testa said.
"There is a high interest in empty nester housing, but the market can accommodate a range of ages," Goodwin said.
Testa said the trend is moving toward an urban lifestyle, and Hudson is losing its population because it doesn't provide mixed use and a walkable choice.
The market will drive how much and what types of housing will be part of Downtown Phase II, Goodwin said.
Testa said they would create flexible space, either office, residential homes or townhouses.
A signature building would be created for the end of Clinton Street to form a visual connection as people come into the phase II area, Goodwin said.
Testa said they looked at a hotel for the development but were not sure about location or size.
Some of the residents were concerned with increased density of the housing and the larger scale of buildings.
Goodwin said the facade would be broken up to not feel as big, but the plan was for higher density of buildings with little or no yards. Residents would walk to downtown or parks for open spaces.
"Our goal is to make it an extension of phase I," Testa said. "We want to create some things not in Hudson -- a design for the next 50 years."
Phase I resulted in the First & Main shopping district and the Hudson Library and Historical Society. Phase II would have little retail and not compete against Phase I.