State Approves 4.5 Million-Square-Foot Office, Retail and Residential Westwood Station Project
Smart Growth, Transit-Oriented Development Receives Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) Certificate
WESTWOOD, MA (November 2, 2007) --- Westwood Station, a 4.5-million-square-foot master- planned community that includes a unique mix of Class A office buildings, retail shops and restaurants and luxury condominiums at the Route 128 Amtrak/MBTA commuter rail station, has been approved by the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency (MEPA) today.
Developer Cabot, Cabot & Forbes (CC&F) and its joint-venture partners, Commonfund Realty, Inc. and New England Development, announced that the state has issued a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) Certificate for the project, setting the stage for groundbreaking later this year.
"By approving the Westwood Station project, the state has acted on its commitment to boost the region's economy and stimulate growth. Governor Patrick and his administration have made responsible economic development and permitting a top priority," said Jay Doherty, president of CC&F. "Our goal is for Westwood Station to be the premier office, retail and residential destination along Route 128. It will be a one-of-a-kind development, serving as headquarters for world-class companies, providing outstanding retail and restaurant options, and redefining suburban living."
The $1.5 billion Westwood Station project includes 1.5 million square feet of office, 1.35 million square feet of retail, 1,000 residential units, two hotels and significant landscaped, public open space. The project incorporates Smart Growth principles by clustering density and a mix of uses next to the Amtrak/MBTA commuter rail station, encouraging greater transit use, and creating a pedestrian-friendly environment that is unrivaled in any other suburban setting. A hybrid shuttle bus system will transport guests from the MBTA station to the office park and retail shops, and the developers have sponsored a ZipCar program on-site.
Westwood Station's development plans have undergone a comprehensive review by the local permitting authorities and a Special Permit is expected to be issued in November 2007.
"The redevelopment of the University Avenue Industrial Park has been an important priority for the Town of Westwood," said Westwood Board of Selectmen Chairman Nancy Hyde. "Since the 2005 rezoning, Westwood town officials have taken great care to make Westwood Station a project our community can enjoy and be proud of for many years to come."
Westwood Station's overall infrastructure investment totals approximately $125 million. The developers have committed to building two new highway exit ramps, including the Route 128/Blue Hill Drive off-ramp and the I-95/Dedham Street northbound off-ramp, as well as a complete overhaul of the I-95/Dedham Street bridge and corridor.
The project will also greatly enhance the area's existing environmental conditions through an innovative water conservation system and use of renewable energy. Earlier this year, the U.S. Green Building Council recognized Westwood Station for its sustainable design by choosing the project for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) pilot program.
In addition, with a groundbreaking targeted for December 2007, the project has enjoyed an exciting amount of retail interest.
"Westwood Station will be an extraordinary shopping and dining destination," said Stephen R. Karp, chairman of New England Development. "National retail tenants have long recognized Westwood Station as an ideal opportunity to have a greater presence in this region, and with the state's approval, that opportunity is one step closer to realization."
About Westwood Station
Westwood Station is a 4.5 million square-foot mixed-use development located at Routes 128 and I-95 and adjacent to the Route 128 Amtrak/MBTA Commuter Rail Station. The project is transforming an aging and underperforming industrial park into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly destination with a mix of retail, office/commercial, residential and open space. In May 2005, the Westwood community voted to re-zone the 141-acre project site to accommodate in excess of 1.35 million square feet of retail, 1,000 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of office, and one or more hotels. Groundbreaking is targeted for late 2007.
About Cabot, Cabot & Forbes
Cabot, Cabot & Forbes (CC&F) is one of Boston's oldest and most respected real estate development firms. Originally established in 1904 as a real estate management firm, CC&F has developed in excess of 60 million square feet of office, R&D and industrial space around the United States since 1960. This includes more than 20 million square feet of first-class office space in prime downtown locations and noted office, mixed-use projects and transit-oriented development throughout the United States.
About Commonfund Realty, Inc.
Commonfund Realty is the real estate arm of Commonfund, one of the nation's largest managers of college and university endowment funds. Founded in 1971, Commonfund is devoted to enhancing the financial resources of educational and other select non-profit institutions including endowments, foundations and healthcare organizations through superior fund management, investment advice,
treasury operations and e-procurement services. Directly or through its subsidiaries, Commonfund manages approximately $36 billion for more than 1,600 educational institutions and foundations, representing the largest pool of educational endowment and operating funds in the world.
About New England Development
New England Development (NED)has partnered with CC&F on creating an innovative, open air retail center at Westwood Station. Founded in 1978 by Stephen R. Karp, NED is one of the premier real estate development and management firms in the Northeast and has more than 25 million square feet of retail and commercial space to its credit. New England Development has redefined shopping convenience with some of the most widely recognized and successful retail malls and remains on the forefront of retail development. Today, the company's retail properties include, among others, CambridgeSide Galleria in Cambridge, MA, Wisconsin Place, a 1.1 million-square-foot mixed-use development in Chevy Chase, MD, and Nashua Landing in Nashua, NH. In addition, the firm's diverse portfolio features The Pinehills, a 3,000-acre master-planned community in Plymouth, MA, first-class office space, premium residences, and upscale hotels.