Community Advocate – A proposal to rezone and redevelop the 109-acre former Hewlett-Packard (HP) campus located on Forest Street into a district that would allow for commercial office space, retail shops and restaurants, a hotel and residential units was presented to the City Council Oct. 15 during a public hearing.
Atlantic Management of Framingham is proposing to change the former HP site to a mixed-use overlay district that would allow for multiple use that it claims is the current trend in suburban commercial real estate development, as many companies today prefer to provide employees the option to live, work and play in one area. The former HP location is adjacent to the buildings recently purchased by TJX.
The proposed rezoning was brought to the City Council in early September by attorney David Gadbois, who introduced Atlantic Management officials at the public hearing. Their proposal, Forest Park, is directly aligned with the city’s master plan, which Atlantic Management President Joseph Zink said they used as a guide throughout the development process. Zink told the councilors that, ultimately, Forest Park could bring the city a potential $4.3 million in annual gross revenue at stabilization. He emphasized that his company would work closely with the City Council and other departments in the city to mitigate traffic impact and impacts to municipal services.
The two existing vacant buildings on the campus, off Interstate 495, were built in the 1970s and contain 750,000 square feet of commercial office space. Radio Corporation of America developed the existing buildings and sold the parcel in 1973 to Digital Equipment Corporation, which sold the property to Compaq in 1998. In 2002, HP purchased Compaq and took over the Marlborough campus.
“This is really an exciting idea,” said Ward 5 Councilor Robert Seymour, who also commended the group for working with the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in trying to diversify and expand the city’s tax base. The Urban Affairs Committee will review the proposal and report back to the full council.
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