John Bruni, dba “36 Essex Road Limited Partnership,” has filed an application with the state to build a 194 rental housing unit complex on Essex Road in Ipswich ,adjoining the buildings at the former Bruni’s Marketplace, which will be called, “The Residences at Essex Pastures.” The plan was filed under Chapter 40B, a state law which allows developers to bypass local zoning bylaws when less than 10 percent of town’s housing is deemed affordable. The proposed development would cover 13.3 acres, has five massive multi-story buildings, several “town homes,” and includes 345 parking spaces.


Although the proposal states that includes “creation of open space and passive recreation areas,” a glance at the above map suggests that the existing”pastures” in the proposed development would be almost completely replaced by the buildings, parking lots and minimal green space.

Elevation for a 4-story unit
3 story unit elevation
3 story unit elevation
Elevations for “Townhomes.”

Estimated density

The town of Ipswich has 42.5 square miles. As of the census of 2000, there were 12,987 people, or about 300 people per square mile, which is approximately one person for every two acres. Taking into consideration that about half of Ipswich land is wetland or otherwise preserved by the state, town or organizations, the density on available land is 1 person per acre. There were 5,290 households, and 3,459 families residing in the town. The average number of people per household in Ipswich is 2.37. (Source: Wikipedia)

With a density of 2.37 persons per unit, at full occupation the proposed development of 194 units could therefore be expected to house 460 individuals on its 13.3 acres, a density of 35 persons per acre (including the paved lots.)

I superimposed the architect’s layout of the site on a Google Map to create the map image at the top of this page. By comparing the 194 residential units in this 13 acre site with the approximately 50 homes on small lots in the nearby Upper River Road -Masconomet Road neighborhood, I conclude that the population density in the proposed complex will be approximately 3 to 4 times the density of the Upper Ipswich Road-Masconomet neighborhood. The buildings will be unlike anything Ipswich has ever seen before.

Site map

This Google map view of the proposed site for development at Bruni’s is included in the application

Requested waivers from Ipswich Residential Zoning Bylaws

The developer is requesting waivers from many of the town’s bylaws

3 thoughts on ““The Residences at Essex Pastures”

  1. We definitely need a community development plan in this town–one which will address the priorities of what we want this town to look like in 20 years. Our gateway areas are being filled with large buildings (i.e. new Medical Building, Powder House, Aubuchon on the very edges of the roadsides. We need green buffer zones and landscaping and shade trees. The name Essex Pastures is laughable– unless pasture land means asphalt. This project isn’t about affordable housing… it is about developer greed.

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