By NEIL ZAWICKI

The selectboard on Monday gave the green light for the surety bond for the private mixed use development known as the 444 Route 7 project. A surety bond is a legal document that guarantees funds will be available should there be any issues the town needs to repair or address from the development.

The project, planned by Milton contractor William Sawyer, is located on the 3.8 acres along 444 and 252 Route 7, just north of the Milton Diner. It will include 12,500 square feet of commercial space, 17 one-bedroom apartments, and 24 three-bedroom townhouses along the back of the parcel. It is expected to cost $3,776, 000, and has cleared the Milton Planning Division through the Design Review Board. 

The proposed site land contains a collection of derelict homes and other structures, which will be demolished ahead of the project start, which is planned for late summer. 

Planning Department director Michael Burris said he expects the developer to complete the zoning permit by the end of this week, with plans to break ground on phase one—the retail space— by mid September. Burris said the hope for the developer is to complete the infrastructure for the first phase before winter. The second phase will break ground shortly after that, and the completion date for the project is not yet known.

Burris said the town has also approved the plans for easements on the property. O-Leary Burke Civil Associates drafted the bid estimate for the easement projects, which landed at $206,620. The developer is also expected soon to pay connection fees, which run $370,000 for both phases. Those fees fees will go to the town’s enterprise fund, which is used to offset costs for sewer and water ratepayers.