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Suburban office parks are starting to add housing to the mix

The Globe has a big piece this morning on how some suburban office parks in the area are starting to add housing components to their sites in order to better compete with “live, work, play” environments offered by rival offices buildings in Boston, Cambridge and other urban areas.

So it looks like, at least for some suburban office parks, it’s “good-bye” to old business-park models that included office buildings, cafeterias and parking, and that’s it, and “hello” to retail stores, restaurants and even housing to complement offices.

We’re talking hundreds of much-needed housing units being built this way. So it’s a welcome trend in Massachusetts, though the jury’s still out whether housing is a truly viable plan for specific sites or not. The closer to public transit spots (either commuter or light-rail trains), the more viable it seems.

Above is a rendering of the proposed “Crossroads” development in Hopkinton at the site of the original (and now vacant) EMC headquarters along 495.