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Marlborough’s Commercial Vacancy Rate Bounces Back After Fidelity Departure

CITYBIZ LIST – Marlborough’s commercial vacancy rate has bounced back more rapidly than most Commonwealth communities, according to the Marlborough Economic Development Corp (MEDC).

“Marlborough should take pride in its openness both to planning and development, a trait all too rare among Commonwealth communities,” said MassDevelopment CEO & President Marty Jones, who was the keynote speaker at the MEDC Founders Reception. “On March 17, 2011, a MetroWest Daily News headline blared, ‘Fidelity move will leave nearly half of Marlborough’s office space empty.’ That reads like a tipping point into the economic abyss, but today, just three short years later, Marlborough has a lower vacancy rate than neighboring cities and towns.”

Speaking at the event, MEDC Executive Director Tim Cummings pointed out that last year alone, Marlborough’s office vacancy rate fell by a third to 22% from 34% in 2012. Cummings said that over 600,000 sq. ft. of office space was either leased or purchased in 2013, and about a dozen new companies moved into the city.

Last year, with the support of MassDevelopment, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Boston issued a report that prompted a series of public visioning sessions aimed at developing a comprehensive action plan for the revitalization of Marlborough’s downtown. As a result, the Downtown Marlborough Working Group, comprised of MEDC and city officials, business owners and local residents, is set to bring about substantial zoning changes to the area as early as next month.

The final meeting, after which the downtown Marlborough committee will hand its final recommendations over to the City Council, is scheduled for 5:30pm on June 5th at Memorial Hall.

This article was originally published here.