MEDC extended invitations to 25 of the city’s largest commercial property owners/managers and about 15 attended along with Mayor Nancy Stevens, MEDC board members, City Councilors, and other local officials. MEDC Chairman Arthur Bergeron stated the purpose of the meeting was the establishment of a dialogue between MEDC and the City’s largest commercial property owners. Chairman Bergeron noted that the MEDC and the property owners shared a common interest in their quest to have all of Marlborough’s commercial properties at full occupancy. If full occupancy can be reached, they would enjoy increased profits and the City would enjoy increased tax revenues, hence the need for dialogue in an effort find out from these property owners how the MEDC and the City of Marlborough could assist them in realizing this mutual goal.
Former MEDC chairman and former Mayor of Marlborough, Michael Hogan served as the moderator for the discussion which was built around tenant acquisition, tenant retention and tenant environment. There was a consensus among those present that the City’s permit approval processes and inspectional services are provided in an expeditious and professional manner, when compared to some neighboring communities.
Feedback indicated that potential tenants are emboldened by the current market conditions and are asking for more amenities in their deals, therefore it is important for commercial property owners and prospective tenants to know the City’s position on providing them with the kinds of assistance they need.
Another important observation was that the average tenant is consuming twice the energy today that they used just a few years ago and they want assurances about power “capacities” and “availability”. Property owners want assurance that local infrastructure capacities will not be an obstacle to growth in the future.
Marlborough’s location vis-à-vis its highway access to I-495, 290 and Route 9 is a convenience for many businesses that locate here and participants felt that MEDC should consider an outreach program aimed at commercial tenants to let them know what is available in Marlborough.
Said George Ciccone, Executive Director MEDC, “the attendance, level of participation and openness expressed by the participating commercial property owners and managers was very encouraging. Once Marlborough’s economic development master planning effort is underway early 2011, we will be contacting this group again to solicit their further input and participation.”