Monday, May 21, 2012

Mixed Use Project Proposed for 54 Loomis Street

A mixed use project is being proposed for 54 Loomis Street. Details are very preliminary but the project is expected to contain some retail. The building which was previously occupied by Pharmalucene, is about 12,000 square feet and sits on a 45,000 square foot lot close to Bedford Depot Park. The site is currently assessed at just over 580K.

This property is located in the new overlay district zoning that was created for the Bedford Depot Park area and may used for retail purposes such as a store or restaurant.


What would you like to see replace the old building?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

who needs more housing --- just retail! Stop the insanity of my affordable housing and density! We are at 18 percent.

Anonymous said...

Restaurants/retail would be nice, there is enough office space in the area by D'Angelo Road...are they planning on demolishing the existing structure or renovating?

Adam Schwartz said...

My understanding is that the structure would be torn down.

Anonymous said...

"the town wants" "the town wants" stated in todays Minuteman.
the Bedford taxpayers do not want , congestion and ugly structure how high will this be and ofcourse they have a bylaw about the square footage. this town has been losing/business to neighboring towns. Businesses provide a higher tax to the town. is this what the Bedford town wants???apartments and no taxes? more accidents with young kids crossing from the bike path on the opposite of Loomis Street. Parking for an additional 70 cars. Priorities are all wrong in this town, Bedford citizens are visiting surrounding town's businesses as they all vacate Bedford.Has Blake Block been filled, has Taylor Pond apartments and the other apartment complex across from that been filled up yet? and what about the crowdedness of our schools. OH YEH??lets talk

Adam Schwartz said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for the comments. One of the issues in Bedford (and surrounding towns) is there is a big glut in office space. With a lot of vacancies the value of these office buildings is very low. This causes more of the property tax burden to fall on the residential properties where the values have generally gone up. For example with 54 Loomis the Assessment went from 767K in 2010 to 591K in 2012. With respects to rental apartments, these have done very well in Bedford. The occupancy rate of Avalon Bay and Bedford Springs is over 95% (I don't know the numbers for Taylor Pond). The current Assessment for Bedford Springs is $16 Million for 164 Apartments (not including the land). This works out to 100K per apartment. Even if you assume the apartments at 54 Loomis would be worth half, the assessment would go from 591K to 1.5 Million.

Anonymous said...

What about 70cars from 30 2 bedroom apartments,and 10 one bedroom apts. Traffic congestion and safety for the bikers crossing directly across from th building? Crowd our schools more. 28 kids in each classroom watch our grading go down. Why di Pharmalucence leave this Great town of Bedford? How didBedford officials let them just pack up from 3 buildings. That's the real problem. How many businesses left or closed up the last few years? Who monitors this ?who gets overpaid to watch this happen. Progressive Bedford?????

Adam Schwartz said...

Hi Anonymous,

The good news with apartments is that the traffic would be spread out more during the day than it would with a business where it's mostly during rush hour. By the way it's 20 Two Bedroom and 10 One Bedroom (30 apartments total).

As far as safety, there is already a crosswalk from Loomis directly to the other Bike Path.

With respect to the schools, you would not get many children with 1 and 2 Bedroom apartments - you can take a look at the actual numbers for Avalon Bay to get an idea. You get far more kids from town home and single house developments like the new Pulte Homes development. The current enrollment for the schools for next year is 2471 increasing to 2475 for SY 2015. Personally I think kids are the future lifeblood of the town and will help keep Bedford vibrant.

Pharmalucene applied for and got a $20 million Recovery Zone Facility Bond to build a new HQ in Billerica. MassDevelopment was involved in helping them get the bond. Both Billerica and Bedford are listed as a Economic Target Area (see http://www.mass.gov/hed/docs/bd/tax-incentives/eta-map.pdf). I don't know the specific reason they choose Billerica.

Pharmalucene was also able to work out a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) deal with the Town of Billerica to reduce their annual property taxes by about 60K for a number of years in exchange for increasing the value of the site. Bedford has had Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreements with several companies including Anika Therapeutics, FujiMicrodisk, iRobot and Mabbett & Associates. Town Meeting must approve all TIF agreements.

Some recent larger businesses that have moved in to Bedford are Acme Packet and iRobot.

I do agree with you that Bedford can do more to help attract and retain businesses. In fact this is something I am working on. I would be interested in hearing from you any specific ideas/suggestions that you have.

Anonymous said...

I have many ideas as I am a commercial property owner in town. Unfortunately town officials have sabatoged many and the new businesses went to surrounding towns. I can list off several. Great people who began to care about Bedford but could not business permits. Due to craziness from town officials , so sad. I learned to keep my mouth shut and pay my 2 property taxes one business and one personal I am a resident too.

Adam Schwartz said...

Well be sure to let me know if you change your mind about speaking up. I'm looking to add more people to a business development group.