BJ’s move creates opportunities for Westborough, officials say

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By Susan Gonsalves, Contributing Writer

BJ’s headquarters in Westborough is quiet, these days, as many employees are working remotely due to COVID-19. (Photo by/Dakota Antelman)

WESTBOROUGH/MARLBOROUGH – Although BJ’s Wholesale Club has been a member of the business community for a decade, Westborough officials understand the company’s need to “right-size their space” into offices better suited to how they operate, Board of Selectmen Chairman Allen Edinberg recently told the Community Advocate.

Edinberg, who also serves on the Economic Development Committee, noted that EDC Coordinator Zach Boughner is working with stakeholders to help attract new tenants or redevelopment concepts at BJ’s current location at 25 Research Dr.

BJ’s is seeking to move its headquarters into two buildings in Marlborough located at 100 and 250 Campus Dr. The company has filed an application with the city for a 20-year-tax increment financing (TIF) agreement.

Edinberg noted that BJ’s did not have a TIF agreement with Westborough and said that as an office building, “the near-term direct tax impact for the town is minimal.”

Edinberg also noted that BJ’s has a few years left on its lease. “Given the location and the property, we anticipate new tenants and potentially, redevelopment plans for the site,” he said. “As plans evolve, our `One Stop Shop’ for planning and permits will help potential tenants or buyers evaluate their options.”

He added that the Board of Selectmen’s involvement in the process is to participate in the site plan review.

Sun glints off part of one of the buildings BJs will soon move into on Campus Drive in Marlborough. (Photo by/Dakota Antelman)

A spokesperson for BJ’s Wholesale Club said the relocation of its home office (corporate headquarters) was prompted by a need to better support the future of its work.

The new office space will feature a modern design and open floor plan, the spokesperson said, “creating a more collaborative work environment for the team members.” 

Additionally, the new space will be equipped with the technology infrastructure to accommodate hybrid work.

The fact that Marlborough is easily accessible and in close proximity to many major highways and a variety of attractions, hotels, shopping and restaurants were also factors in its selection as a new location.

The spokesperson expressed the company’s appreciation for the positive reception it has received from the City of Marlborough and the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation.

The estimated $15 to $18 million construction project will include approximately 190,000 square feet of office space and a data center. An additional $5 to $7 million will be spent on building a 120,000-square foot parking garage on the property for 300 vehicles.