Wayland Voters Network
September 14, 2005
Dear Wayland Voter,
A reminder that you are invited to a public forum on how to improve
Town Meeting, this Thursday, September 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Public
Safety Building. This forum is being held by the Town Meeting Study
Committee, which was approved by last spring's TM and charged with
developing recommendations for improving TM attendance.
Speaking of Town Meeting, WVN urges you to attend the Special Town
Meeting on Nov. 1, when the main business will be the mixed-use
overlay district zoning article that would enable the development of
a "Town Center" on the former Raytheon property on Rte 20 (zoning
bylaw requires 2/3 approval by Town Meeting), and the location of a
cell phone tower on Reeves Hill. This newsletter, written by WVN
subscriber Molly Upton, is one in a series re the proposed Town
Center Project that we will publish prior to the Nov. 1 Special Town
TOWN CENTER ISSUES ANALOGOUS TO SHOPPERS WORLD
Mark Bobrowski, Wayland's attorney on the redevelopment of Wayland
Business Center, told the Planning Board at a recent regular meeting
that some of the issues they face are similar to those of Shoppers
World. His comment referred to the common practice among developers
of shopping centers with large stores of "flipping the pads," i.e.,
selling the footprint area upon which a building either stands or may
be built. The Planning Board was wrestling with trying to ensure that
various town departments are not besieged by multiple builders
simultaneously seeking permits.
This sounds different from earlier discussions when the developers
spoke of a Town Center comprised mostly of small stores, all
developed by the same company. The developers have given mixed
messages on the subject of long-term ownership of the Wayland
At an earlier meeting, KGI spokesman Frank Dougherty indicated they
sometimes sell the "pads" prior to build out. At a subsequent
meeting, Great Island partner Chuck Irving told the Planning Board
they would be happy to retain ownership of the whole site.
This observer can't help but wonder: Can Wayland obtain the type of
service-oriented, small-store environment and sensitive Town Center
design as initially presented by the developers, given that they are
known for projects whose core tenants are large chains with large
There appear to be multiple firms involved in the Wayland Business
Center project. They include the property's owner Congress Group, led
by Dean Stratouly, and developer KGI and its subsidiary, Streetscape.
The parent companies of KGI are The Koffler Group and Great Island
Development. Wayland resident Chuck Irving is a principal of Great
Island Development, which has launched the Windalier Fund in
conjunction with The Dead River Company, according to the Boston
Business Journal (June 18, 1999).
So, by my count, that's Congress Group, Koffler Group (which includes
KGI and Streetscape), Great Island, and possibly Dead River.
KGI TRACK RECORD
The developers have admitted they have not done a "lifestyle center"
before, and their track record bears that out. Their projects are
shopping/strip malls, and their tenants are for the most part either
large box retailers or small eating chains. Their projects are almost
always located adjacent to major highways. A quick glimpse at the
following description of KGI projects in a past issue of NE Real
Estate Journal illustrates this point.
"KGI is a full-service real estate owner/developer/manager with a
diversified portfolio that it is actively expanding. In addition to
retail properties, the firm owns and manages office, R&D,
industrial/telecommunications, multi-family and assisted-living
facilities. KGI Properties is located in Providence, R.I., and in
"At any one time, the company has about $100 million of development
property under construction. Its portfolio features 25 Wal-Mart-
anchored shopping centers. Over the last year, Bed Bath & Beyond,
BJ's Wholesale Club, Dick's Sporting Goods, Home Depot, Kohl's,
Lowe's, Sports Authority, Staples, Stop & Shop, Target and Wal-Mart
joined the list of retailers opening stores in KGI Properties retail
centers. Typical KGI projects include:
"Woburn Mall, a 250,000 square-foot mall that KGI is renovating on a
23-acre site in Woburn, Mass. It is one of the premier retail
locations in the Greater Boston area.
"Hooksett Commons, a ground-up retail project of about 650,000 square
feet in Hooksett, N.H. Major tenants include Target, BJ's, Kohl's,
Home Depot, Staples and Wendy's. Additional land is available for
"Northwoods Crossing, a 51.5-acre property in Taunton, Mass., where
construction has been completed on the first five retail sites. BJ's
Wholesale Club will anchor the first development with a 116,000
square-foot facility. The other four will include a bank, two
restaurants, including a Wendy's, and an additional 45,000 square-
foot strip center.
"Stoughton, Mass., a new retail development on an 18-acre site that
KGI purchased in June 2003. Located in the Stoughton Technology
Center, near businesses that include BJ's Wholesale Club, Bob's
Discount Furniture and Stone & Webster, KGI's retail center will
feature a new 88,000 square-foot Kohl's as well as two sit-down
"Apple Valley Mall, a 108,200 square-foot shopping center located
about one-half mile west of the Route 295/44 interchange in
Smithfield, R.I. The site includes an additional 11 acres of
developable land. Anchor tenants are Stop & Shop, National Amusements
and Blockbuster Video."
The information above can be found at:
Another project is "North River Plaza, a 234,110 square foot shopping
mall located just off Route 3 on Route 139 in Pembroke. The plaza is
anchored by Super Stop & Shop, TJ Maxx, and the soon-to-be-added
Kohl's Department Store. Other tenants include KB Toy Works, Dress
Barn, Strawberries, Payless Shoe Source, and North River Cleaners,"
according to a 2001 press release from Finard, which leases much of
Great Island's properties.
TOWN CENTER OR SHOPPING CENTER?
First the developers said they needed a large supermarket as anchor.
In a recent meeting, KGI's Frank Dougherty told the planning board
they need at least four tenants (national names) as junior anchors
with at least 20,000 sq. ft. each, in addition to the food store. For
size comparison sake, Barnes & Noble in Shoppers World is just under
30,000 sq. ft.
The proposed mixed-use overlay district zoning bylaw requires a
special permit for a food store not to exceed 53,000 sq. ft, as well
as for retail buildings between 10,000 and 30,000 sq. ft. There is no
specified limit to the number of buildings of various sizes (other
than the limit of one food store). Only the retail/office total
square footage would be limited, to 200,000 square feet.
The bylaw also allows a large residential component, of which at
least 25 percent of the units shall be affordable. The number of
units would be limited to 120, with a maximum of 240 bedrooms. At
least 70 percent of the units shall have two bedrooms. The total
residential area is limited to 210,000 sq ft. A special permit would
be required for any residential building with more than 20 units.
---- Molly Upton
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Wayland Voters Network
Margo Melnicove and Michael Short, Editors