Here’s a business story that pulls together news on Town government, economics, a resident, and even our school system.
Last week, a Kansas based investment adviser announced the acquisition of Southborough based Ferris Capital. The announcement by Creative Planning touted Ferris’ $755 million in AUM (Assets Under Management). The announcement described:
David M. Ferris, CEO and CIO of Ferris Capital, created a wealth management firm that was as driven, fast-paced, and determined as he was to provide a top-of-the-line experience to his clients. The 10-year-old firm now has a team that is adept at managing generational wealth, succession planning, investment management, real estate, retirement planning, private equity, and much more.
You can read more about that here.
One week before the announcement, Ferris made a very different announcement – inviting families with kids to come over to 118-120 Turnpike Rd to catch large trout they just stocked their ponds with. (Check out those details here.)
It’s worth highlighting that Ferris is a resident who grew up in Southborough and graduated from Algonquin.* Scroll down for more detail on that upbringing, which makes a great case for the Town’s investment in our school system and our special needs programs.
But first. . . Ferris Capital isn’t the only Southborough based business he founded. He also runs Ferris Development. The commercial real estate firm recently made news this spring for an investment it made in town.
Ferris Development bought 250 Turnpike Road, the 9.83 acre site of the former Honeywell/Kaz building. Town officials have been eager to see the vacant Route 9 property put to good use since Kaz relocated to Marlborough in 2014.
Ferris bought the parcel for $3.7M in March. According to the Worcester Business Journal, that’s $2.3M less than the former owners purchased it for in 2007.
At their May 9th meeting, the Planning Board approved the developer’s application to split the parcel. It met the criteria for an “Approval Not Required” project, which doesn’t require a hearing.(See image right. Or for more details, see the meeting packet here.)
For the 4.294 acres on Route 9 West, the developer will be bringing a project back to the Planning Board for Major Site Plan Review. He tells me that project is for a self storage facility.
The other 5.536 acres are zoned for residential use, with frontage on the south section of Parkerville Road. Ferris plans to use it to develop a 65-70 apartment 40B project. He tells me that they are excited to work with Town officials who have been proactive and responsive.
At the Planning meeting, member Marnie Hoolahan noted the stonewall on the Parkerville Road side of the residential parcel. She told the developer’s representative that if they want to move it, that would require a Planning Board hearing. He responded that their survey found a 30 foot gap in the wall. They may be able to make use of without moving anything.
Planning members also referenced the need to be careful of the wetlands on the property. Ferris has already filed with the Conservation Commission to confirm those boundaries. The first two scheduled public hearings were continued to a future date at the developer’s request. At their June 2nd meeting, Conservation Agent Melissa Danza updated that the developer was waiting on revised plans based on a recent field visit with a consultant.
As for Ferris’ background growing up in town, he shared:*
My family moved to Parkerville Rd about 50 years ago and I went to Public schools Neary, Woodward and Algonquin. I had a severe learning disability and was blessed that Marcia Bachmann at Neary diagnosed me in 3rd grade (which I repeated) with Dyslexia. The extra special Ed support of Southboro schools growing up and a mom Maureen Ferris talking me to countless special Ed meetings made all the difference in my life and career and allowed me to go onto Boston College and Loyola Law School.
The irony about the 250 turnpike project is that when I was at Neary School my parents would take me to Andrea restaurant at the end of Parkerville Rd (across the st from 250 Turnpike) if I got a A (which was usually only gym class) they would let me get a lobster dinner.
We have remained residents since I grew up in Southboro and it’s amazing community of people.
You can read more about his professional bio here and here.
*Ferris was a classmate, which is why I remembered he grew up here. I asked him to clarify how long his family had been in town, and he volunteered the great details above.
It’s encouraging to hear that there are interesting possible projects. After the past six years of intimidations and threats to public officials and unorthodox irregularities by other 40b so-called developers, resulting in “manipulation” of the law and a case that never belonged in court, the residents are fed up and tired of anything less than straight forward business and adherence to rules and state law. This is business.
Please, less sentimentality, and more professional business dealings. Not interested in personal learning disabilities, lobster rolls, or fishing. Am interested in project details, local impacts, and costs to town, if any. Unclear what this acquisition – merger and its non local, conglomerate aspects play or not in the proposed projects.
This is a community blog. Some readers are interested in more than just the “business”. They’re interested in news about residents and other feel good stories.
I work more than 40 hours per week, by myself, for far less than minimum wage. I do it as a free service to the community. But I can’t please everyone and I can’t cover everything.
Bravo to you. I appreciate your blog. You are not an investigative reporter. ‘The residents are fed up’ .. please. You are fed up. Let everyone speak for themselves. And now we all know you are fed up. Now why not find out the answer to all those questions you pose.
I assume you didn’t go to the Planning Board meetings about this property to get first hand knowledge with respect to the “professional business dealings”, but rather chose to rely on Beth’s blog so you can then complain that it’s not the Southborough equivalent of the WSJ. If you’re that concerned, I suggest you take more of an active role.
Beth, thanks for the above. Comments appear to be about the project, not the blog. Regardless, wondering about the storage use?
There are many types of storage popping up in town recently, including contractors storage on Northborough Road (empty), the multi story UHaul building, storage units under construction on route 9, self storage on route 9, etc. Since when has Southborough become the storage capital of the world? No one is moving out, by and large, and no one is coming in. So where is the demand coming from? What kind of storage. Storage of what exactly? There should be a demonstrated need made apparent. Is this even feasible? Or another infeasible runaround? Or to become empty eyesore, like Northborough Road?
I can’t answer that. However, there will be a hearing for the Major Site Plan Review. You can ask your questions there.
Neither the Planning Board, Conservation Commission or SB get to pick and choose what type of business or development can go on a piece of property. As long as the proposed use is within the 4 corners of the towns zoning and development by laws that choice is solely up to the owner/developer. Apparently this owner believes that storage units and 40b’s are a profitable use of the property that conforms to your development by laws. It is his choice to make not ours.
Ah, nothing says Southborough like apartment buildings and storage facilities. This is nothing more than developer greed and it has nothing to do with the best interests of the town or the people.
I’m sure the Planning Board will be quick to approve it!
Although storage units don’t add much to the character or vitality of a town, I am happy to read that there may be more affordable housing units – something Southborough needs more of. Affordability provides opportunities for younger people who grew up here to have a path to remain here (otherwise wholly priced out) and enables others who didn’t grow up here to put down roots. I, for one, welcome the economic diversity.