Developer Sam Park is huddling with state and Waltham officials on how to revamp local roadways to make way for a giant second phase of his redevelopment of the old Polaroid campus alongside Route 128.
The Boston-based developer is wrapping up the demolition of some of the remaining Polaroid buildings on the 120-acre property, and preparing to start construction next spring on the first phase of 280,000 square feet of offices, retail space, and restaurants.
Now Park says he is exploring plans to add another million square feet of office, retail, and possibly hotel space to the site, which he bought for $40 million in 2010.
But in order for his plans to work and win city and state approval, Park must first come up with a plan to divert the throngs of extra traffic his project would likely dump on a number of already clogged residential streets in Waltham.
“We are eager to move forward,” said Park, chief executive of Sam Park & Co., in an interview last week. “We didn’t acquire the property with the sole purpose of just building 280,000 square feet.”
In a first step, Park recently met with city and state officials in the Boston office of Victoria Maguire, the permit ombudsman in the state’s Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
While no detailed roadway plans were hammered out during the gathering, she said, the idea was to start the planning process.
One basic requirement is that the project’s second phase should not dump additional traffic onto Stow Street and Tavern Square, according to Park.
However, Park said, the aim will not simply be to deal with the extra traffic his project will generate, but also the ongoing problem of commuters cutting through Waltham streets to get between routes 117 and 128.
Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy also made clear that any proposal would have to ensure cars and trucks are diverted from the residential streets near Polaroid.
McCarthy insisted it is too early in the process to discuss various options.
“I want to keep the traffic up on 128 and out of the neighborhoods,” she said in an interview last week.
Park agreed, though he ventured to say that ideas discussed in the past, such as flyover ramps and bridges, may not be realistic.
The goal is to make it easier to get from Route 117 to routes 20 and 128 without cutting through local neighborhoods.
“Prior schemes look at very costly structures,” Park said. “The solution needs to be realistic in terms of frontage roads and slip ramps from 117 to 20.”
Park said he anticipates it will take at least a year to come up with a traffic mitigation plan that can pass muster with city and state officials.
As for details on the big second phase of the project, Park said he is looking at another mix of office and retail space, possibly with a hotel or two.
Meanwhile, work on the project’s first phase is pushing ahead, with demolition and utility work currently the focus of construction crews.
While there has been steady interest on the part of retailers in the first phase, no deals are ready to be announced, Park said.
The first phase was kept deliberately small, he said, in order to buy time to work out the much more extensive roadway plan needed for the much larger second phase.
“It is very small compared to other 128 projects,” he said.
Meanwhile, state economic development officials are closely watching progress on Park’s project, considered a major addition to the Route 128 corridor.
“It absolutely has the potential to be very significant in terms of economic development and job creation,” Maguire said.