Friday, September 26, 2008

What's all that digging at the corner of South Street and West Main?

I'm proud both to work at EMC and to volunteer in Hopkinton as Vice Chairman of the Planning Board.

As an employee of EMC, an abutter to the development at the corner of South Street and W.Main St., my adherence with Massachusetts ethics guidelines prohibited me from participating in the site plan review for this particular project.

EMC employs over 38,000 people worldwide, and several thousand employees work right on South Street in Hopkinton. A lot of my colleagues on South Street, noticing the clearing of the land at the corner, lately have been asking me what's going on there. And I'm sure others are wondering too:

The development at the corner of South Street and W.Main Street has been in the works for a few years; it's a mixed use retail and office space development.
  • Like many towns along Route 495 in Massachusetts, Hopkinton sees the 495 interchange as a priority area for business development, as reflected in the Town of Hopkinton Master Plan (7MB).
  • Hopkinton Town Meeting's vote to re-zone the previous patchwork of differently zoned lots (coffee shop, Puppy Patch, Ryder truck storage) as Business Zone paved the way for the current development.
  • Once the zoning was in place, the proposed development proceeded through a series of reviews, and received the Planning Board site plan approval in 2007.

Traffic was a significant concern; the town relied heavily on traffic consultants during the review, and EMC certainly weighed in directly too as did other abutters.

The work currently in progress at the South Street/W.Main Street corner reflects the property owner, CJPM Development L.L.C., efforts to prepare the site for development.

Sorry I don't have a nice on-line digital image of the site plan -- it's stunning to see how much state and local requirements still mandate everything to be on hard copy paper! Part of the problem, too, is that with limited budgets, towns have a hard time investing in the latest information technology.