Evergreen Village Collaborative master plan proposal for Grant Road, Devens. (Credit: Evergreen Village Collaborative)
Evergreen Village Collaborative master plan proposal for Grant Road, Devens. (Credit: Evergreen Village Collaborative)

Evergreen Village Collaborative's master plan proposal for Grant Road, Devens. (Credit: Evergreen Village Collaborative)

DEVENS -- The MassDevelopment Board of Directors has voted to negotiate a development agreement with Evergreen Village Collaborative, a Lexington-based group, for 120 units of housing in Devens's Grant Road neighborhood, a roughly 35-acre portion of the 4,400-acre community.

Housing, including single-family homes, duplexes, townhomes and multifamily buildings, is allowed under existing zoning. In April, the agency issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a developer or multiple developers to build and market up to 120 residential units. MassDevelopment will sell the development sites to Evergreen Village Collaborative, which has proposed a diversity of unit types arranged in a walkable neighborhood style.

"We look forward to working with Evergreen Village Collaborative on this new Devens neighborhood," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. "Demand for nearby housing is likely to grow with 3,600 employees already working at Devens businesses, and these unit types will appeal to many workers."

Evergreen Village Collaborative plans to build about 40 large and small single-family homes, 40 duplex and townhome units and 40 rental apartments. Twenty-seven units will be affordable to moderate-income households, defined as 80 to 100 percent of area median income.

The architect-designed homes, in a variety of traditional styles, will be arranged around public open spaces and will be zero-net-energy "capable," meaning that the addition of photovoltaic panels or other features could bring these homes to zero-net energy use.

"We are excited to have been selected and look forward to collaborating with MassDevelopment to create a model for innovative future communities at Grant Road," said Dan Gainsboro, co-developer at Evergreen Village Collaborative. "We believe this will provide a great new neighborhood for the Devens community."

Devens bylaws allow maximum residential development of 282 units, of which 140 have already been renovated or built. Over the past two years, developers have built and sold 20 zero-net-energy homes in Devens, part of a pilot project to provide replicable examples of current and innovative sustainable buildings that are reasonably priced and practical.

The agency met with community members at the beginning of the process to discuss potential for the area. Six developers responded to the RFQ, and an internal selection team reviewed the proposals and made the final recommendation to the Board of Directors.

Located in north-central Massachusetts and managed by MassDevelopment, Devens is home to a varied mix of businesses, government organizations and nonprofits employing more than 3,600 people. Created by statute in 1993 to support business growth and attract economic development opportunities in the region, the 4,400-acre site features fast-track permitting and other incentives for businesses.

The Devens community also includes more than 2,100 acres of recreation and open space, private residences, schools and a network of human and social services providers.