WESTWOOD, MA (January 2, 2008) --- The Westwood Planning Board has issued the Master Plan Special Permit for Westwood Station, which is the final approval needed to begin construction on the innovative, mixed-use development. In November, Planning Board members voted unanimously to approve the application for a Master Plan Special Permit submitted by developer Cabot, Cabot & Forbes (CC&F) and its joint-venture partners, Commonfund Realty, Inc. and New England Development, concluding a lengthy planning and approval process.
'The issuance of this Master Plan Special Permit is the culmination of years of planning and review by many individuals,' said Jay Doherty, president of CC&F. 'We thank the Planning Board, Selectmen, and other town officials and residents for all their invaluable input in assisting us in getting to the construction phase of Westwood Station. We look forward to continuing our work with the community as we build this premier, world-class destination in Westwood.'
Ten of the 11 existing University Avenue industrial buildings, totaling 1.1 million square feet, are currently undergoing demolition. Building planning and design work is also underway in preparation for site plan review.
Westwood Station will include a mix of Class A office buildings, retail shops, restaurants, luxury condominiums, hotels and landscaped public parks. The first phase of the development - which includes approximately 90 retail shops and restaurants, a 125,000-square-foot office building and 500 residential units - is expected to open in 2009. Approximately 90 percent of the retail space is committed to national high-end retailers and restaurants looking to locate in the new development, which will be a destination for shopping and dining.
'With the formal issuance of the Special Permit, many national retailers, who have long recognized Westwood Station as an ideal location, can now finalize their plans to establish their presence in the region,' said Stephen R. Karp, chairman of New England Development.
In November, the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency approved the Westwood Station development plans when it issued a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). The development includes 1.5 million square feet of office, 1.35 million square feet of retail, 1,000 residential units, two hotels and 40 acres of landscaped, green space. It has a projected total development cost of $1.5 billion.
Since its inception, the planning and design for Westwood Station have centered on Smart Growth principles and 'green' development. In July, 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. The development includes an innovative rooftop rainwater recycling program, underground irrigation system and 60kW solar demonstration project. A hybrid shuttle bus system will transport guests from the MBTA station to the office park and retail shops, and the developers will sponsor an on-site ZipCar program.
In May 2005, Westwood voted to re-zone 140 acres along University Avenue that contained an underutilized industrial park. The new zoning cleared the way for redevelopment into a mixed-use project with office, retail, hotel and residential space. CC&F, working with the Town of Westwood Economic Development Steering Committee, developed a master plan for the area, and submitted a Master Plan Special Permit application on December 13, 2006. Since then the Planning Board has held 18 public hearings and seven deliberation hearings on the Master Plan Special Permit.
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 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. 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.
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 $40 billion for more than 1,600 educational institutions and foundations, representing the largest pool of educational endowment and operating funds in the world.