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Apartment plan for Twin Brooks canceled; Riverview School to buy the 40-acre property

The Riverview School
Riverview School Cape Cod
The Riverview School

The heavily debated apartment complex proposed for the former Twin Brooks golf course in Hyannis will not be built after all.

The 40-acre parcel has a new buyer: Riverview School, a boarding and day school in Sandwich for students with complex learning challenges.

Stewart Miller, the head of school, said Riverview wants to add programming for students over 21.

“This school really changes the whole trajectory of students’ lives,” he said. “But when they turn 22, that's kind of an arbitrary cutoff, and they don't have the ability to stay at the school. … We want to use this as an opportunity to create programming so that belonging to Riverview doesn't need to end at 21.”

He said Riverview received its largest-ever private donation to support that work.

The golf course property was the subject of a lawsuit by the community group Save Twin Brooks, which wanted to see at least part of the land saved for conservation and recreation.

Save Twin Brooks and two other plaintiffs sued the Cape Cod Commission and developer Quarterra (formerly Lennar Multifamily Communities, or LMC), seeking to appeal the Commission’s approval of a development plan for 312 apartments.

Angela Rutzick, a spokeswoman for Save Twin Brooks, said the group welcomes Riverview with open arms.

“We don't have any idea of what the planning is going to look like, what the buildings are going to look like,” she said. “But looking at their campus in Sandwich, we are thrilled that they've done such a great job there and hope that they're going to continue to do that here.”

Save Twin Brooks hopes to work with the school to protect natural resources on the property.

Rutzick said Quarterra’s previous agreement to purchase the land expired. She said she wasn’t sure if the agreement had been renewed.

Quarterra could not be reached for comment.

Dan Lee, the company’s northeast division president, said last fall that Quarterra remained fully committed to the project, in spite of the delay caused by the lawsuit.

Housing advocates vocally supported the proposed apartment complex, known as Emblem Hyannis.

During a hearing before the Cape Cod Commission in 2022, residents testified about the hardships of finding year-round housing on the Cape. Some said increasing the inventory of apartments would help hold down rent prices.

Riverview School has a contract with Twin Brooks owner Wesley Finch to buy the land, Miller said. He said he expects to close on the sale in March.

The change of plans for Twin Brooks leaves unanswered a larger concern raised by the Barnstable Land Trust: that regional land-use policies on Cape Cod make previously developed green spaces — such as golf courses, farms, and summer camps — vulnerable to other forms of development that communities may not be expecting.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.