In Southborough we have our share of office buildings, and it looks like we may be getting one more. The Zoning Board of Appeals earlier this month gave its stamp of approval to a new 4-story, 70,000-square-foot office building at 146 Cordaville Road. Developer Bill Depietri of Southborough-based Capital Group Properties told the board he hopes to apply for a building permit next year.
The building would be located just across the street from the Transfer Station. As designed, it will be one of Southborough’s few 4-story structures. Town bylaw caps building height at three stories, but Depietri argued that due to the site’s low elevation, a three-story building would not be seen from the street, making it hard to lease the space.
A majority of the zoning board voted to approve the 4-story plan, but Chairman Sam Stivers objected. “I think this is overbuilding for that particular site,” Stivers said. “The height continues to bother me. It’s too much for the site.”
Stivers also said he was concerned about the precedent that would be set. Board member Matt Hurley agreed, but called the situation “unique.”
“(Depietri) made a good case that it will be a better, more attractive building at four stories than at three,” Hurley said.
Another concern of the zoning board was increased traffic along busy Cordaville Road. The new building would share an entrance with 150 Cordaville Road (the former High Speed Video building), and cars entering the site would turn at the light by the Transfer Station.
A traffic engineer hired by Depietri told the board there would not be a significant impact on traffic. He also said the left-turn lane leading into the site could be expanded to accommodate more cars.
Depietri, who owns several office buildings in town, told the zoning board that the vacancy rate for commercial space in Southborough is less than 10%, but the vacancy rate for properties he owns is under 2%.
Depietri purchased the property at 146 Cordaville Road in June. He told the board he has had conversations with the owner of 150 Cordaville Road, and would be interested in purchasing it if he could find a tenant. Depietri also owns 153 Cordaville Road across the street.
Taxes on the new building would net the town an estimated $115K annually.
At what point is Southborough going to look really creepy with every building this developer builds looking almost exactly the same? They seem to do a nice job as developer office buildings go, but a little originality would be appreciated by those who have to drive by them every day. Can the town try to have some input on this subject or no?
Thank you Mr. Hurley. It’s nice to see that some folks remain unbiased and see the project for what it is. And look at the revenue that would be generated.
Of Course Bill is talking to the owner of 150 Cordaville, Phil whose name is allover that sign is in front of that building is Bill’s brother inlaw, Phil’s married to Bills sister. Looks like either Bill or the zoning board are trying to pull a fast one !!!!
Let’s be open to an idea that will generate tax revenue and a place to work (I’m getting tired of the train ride to Boston everyday). If Capitol Group can build and lease it, during times like these, let’s encourage it instead of dissing it.
and just to clarify, I’m not the “Of Course Bill” that Mike Jr references.
Really??? Do we need another unoccupied building in town? But what Bill Depietri wants to do in this town Bill gets to do!
Why bother with zoning by laws?
For a variance, you are supposed to show a hardship.
Where is the hardship?
The difficulty in leasing space in a 3 story building that is too small to be seen?
All developers should start using this line.
In agreement–If Capitol Group can build, lease and occupy it let us work with them, not against them in making it look attractive and perhaps come up with a traffic pattern that is doable (widening that left turn lane seems to be in the talks). There will be traffic, it exists and that is a fact of life unless you stay indoors but there will be tax revenue $ to offset it, you cannot have it all–move forward.
In one post you have all these people complaining that ARHS may take students in for $5000 a piece – people are all up in arms about this ( I actually think its a good idea if the student population is dropping) and then we have a way to generate an additional $120,000 in revenue and people are complaining about this. I got news for you people,… have you been hearing about the drop in local aid from the state? Where is the shortfall going to come from? Property Taxes. This has NO negative effect on the town of Southboro and will only make the town a few extra $$$
What happened to the longstanding idea of renovating the existing building on this site into a new police station for the town?
Over the past few years there have been several studies and proposals to build new/ add/ren a police station at the existing site. All of these proposals have failed to move forward for the same basic reason. Money. The estimates are $6-8 million making this the most expensive building (net of reimbursements) that our community has built. Remember these are only estimates and recent experience suggests that the final price tag will be 10% to 20% more.
The reality is that our debt service (% of our budget devoted to debt service, including Algonquin) is among the highest in the commonwealth and we will not return to “normal” (top 1/3) until about 2014 or 2015.
So the reality is that in an era where we are struggling to find the funding for teachers, police officers, and fire fighters it makes no sense to take on another heavy debt obligation.
I think the prudent thing is to develop a multi year plan for modest improvements to the existing facility for the forseeable future.
Smart development will not only generate tax revenue for our town but also bring new people to our town to support local businesses. Given the location of this property, the impact will be minimal to our roads and services. The Zoning Board’s open mind will improve the health of our town.