By Keith Regan, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Cumberland Farms plans to move its corporate headquarters from Framingham to its existing distribution facility on Flanders Road, contingent upon Town Meeting voters approving a tax increment financing (TIF) agreement with the convenience store chain.
Cumberland Farms Director of Tax John Martin told the Board of Selectmen Feb. 9 that the company is prepared to invest as much as $12 million to upgrade the property near the Southborough town line to accommodate as many as 200 corporate office staff.
“The work we do will have to be transformational,” Martin said, although the building footprint will be largely unchanged.
In exchange for the investment and job creation, Cumberland Farms is seeking a TIF agreement, which voters will take up at the March 12 Town Meeting. Under the deal—similar to those offered to other businesses, including a pharmaceutical company that received a TIF just last year—would reduce the company’s tax burden on its new investment by 50 percent in the first year and lower amounts for the next five years. Over the last 15 years of the 20-year deal, the taxes will be reduced by 10 percent.
Selectman Ian Johnson said the board welcomed the expanded presence of the business, which he said has been “a great partner to us here in town.”
Chair George Barrette said the board would go to bat for the TIF at Town Meeting, which has yet to reject a proposed tax agreement. “We will work to do whatever we can to make this happen—at least I will,” he said.
In other business, the board approved a site plan for the Nathan Fisher House and surrounding property.
In addition to renovating the Fisher House—which the town tried to sell for years before eventually dropping a conservation restriction requiring its exact preservation—the project will build two new buildings: A 6,500-square-foot wellness center and a 7,000 square feet building designed to host compatible restaurant and retail uses.The 3-plus acre parcel will be accessible from Route 9 and will include 96 parking spaces to serve all of the uses on the property.