By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY — After a developer pitched potentially redeveloping the Beal Early Childhood Center into mixed-use buildings called “Beal Commons,” the Board of Selectmen unanimously entered into an agreement for professional services to help them as they negotiate with the developer.
As Chair John Samia explained it in the board’s June 13 meeting, the agreement approved paying $5,000 to MassDevelopment, which is the Commonwealth’s finance and development agency that works with businesses, nonprofits, banks and communities to promote economic growth, according to its website.
MassDevelopment, Samia said, will then pay for the services of Landwise LLC.
The Watertown-based Landwise describes itself on its website as an advisory firm that helps “owners and institutions to maximize the quality, utility and value of their land assets through expertise in planning and land use economics.”
In an email to the Community Advocate, Town Manager Kevin Mizikar said the agreement is to provide professional services to the selectmen to assist the board in their negotiations with the developer.
“This could include valuing the land and proposed buildings, reviewing regulatory requirements associated with the proposal and providing other real estate consulting services,” Mizikar said.
The developers, Civico and Greenly Development, presented their conceptual plans for the site back in May. At that time, they proposed two buildings with a mix of apartments and businesses on the ground floor.
In the past, the selectmen have said that the town’s intention was to develop something on the site that would help invigorate the town center of Shrewsbury.
During a Selectmen’s Roundtable in June, Samia said that the town is working with Civico and Greenly to create a more concrete concept.
He projected that Civico and Greenly would return to a selectmen meeting this summer. He continued, projecting that the public would have an opportunity to weigh in on the project sometime this summer or in the fall.