Plymouth Village Landing to remain commercial, apartment plans killed


PLYMOUTH – A lawsuit over the Plymouth Zoning Appeal Board’s decision to block the conversion of commercial space in the Village Landing Marketplace into apartments has been dropped.

Owner Rich Stefani of RJS Property Service quashed his lawsuit against the zoning board late last month. The original plan was to convert three of the seven buildings in the Village Landing Marketplace into 18 apartments.

“It’s not economically feasible,” Stefani said of a lawsuit. “If I’m fighting for 40 to 50 apartments, that’s one thing, but for only 10? It’s not economically feasible.”

Stefani said he initially filed a complaint because he planned to sell the property to a potential new owner who wanted to convert the commercial space into apartments. When the deal fell apart, Stefani said he knew it could cost “six figures and more” to fight the zoning council’s decision.

“There is no guarantee, even if you win, that you won’t get a lot of conditions, which is not economically good. So, I said, ‘Kill him’,” Stefani said. .

Lawsuit filed 1 year ago:Plymouth developer sues after being denied permission to convert businesses to apartments

The developer said he has already had other offers on the property.

“The market is more than crazy,” he said. “There is a lot of money to lend out here, and the price people want for properties is phenomenal. If I reinvest, I pay the highest price in the market and unless something looks realistic and the numbers work, there is no sense in doing so.

The “crazy” real estate market:Long queues and auction wars mark the South Shore’s tense real estate market during the pandemic

Stefani said he had no new plans for the property or its commercial tenants.

“For now, I’m just going to sit down and be happy where I am,” he said.

Stefani bought the Village Landing complex in 2004.

Plans to convert three of Village Landing's seven units into apartments have been scrapped.

A controversial proposal

While the Plymouth Zoning Appeal Board denied the permit for the apartment proposal, the plan gained approval and support elsewhere in town, including from the planning council and the Plymouth Center steering committee. Residents and business owners, however, have testified against the plans.

Abandoned plans called for the three buildings at Village Landing to include five affordable two-bedroom apartments, 11 one-bedroom apartments and two studios. No changes to the exterior appearance or footprint of the buildings were proposed.

City attorney Carolyn Murray said that since the city had never filed a response, Stefani did not need their consent to drop the lawsuit.

See past developments of the Village Landing plan for apartments

January 5, 2021:Plymouth developer sues after being denied permission to convert businesses to apartments

November 27, 2020:DOCUMENT: Land court lawsuit regarding Plymouth ZBA denial

November 17, 2020:DOCUMENT: Amended Plymouth Zoning Appeal Board decision denying permit for apartment conversions

November 9, 2020:DOCUMENT: Plymouth ZBA’s initial decision denying apartment conversion permit

October 23, 2020:Plymouth ZBA nixes Village Landing apartment plan

September 21, 2020:Owner of the Landing Village: companies remain

September 16, 2020:From Village Landing buildings to apartments

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Former Wicked Local reporter Emily Clark contributed to this report. Contact reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite at [email protected].

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