Decision on warehouse near Shrewsbury town line may come in Sept.

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Second nearby project also moving forward after 13-year delay

By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter

Decision on warehouse near Shrewsbury town line may come in Sept.
NorthBridge’s proposed warehouse would be located on Pine Hill Drive. (Photo by/Laura Hayes)

SHREWSBURY — The Boylston Planning Board may issue a decision on the proposed warehouse near the Shrewsbury border in September, Planning Board members said during their Aug. 2 meeting. 

The project would be located near FedEx on Pine Hill Drive. 

As it discussed this project, the board also heard the details of another project on the other side of FedEx on Shrewsbury Street. 

Developer suggests adjusting nearby traffic light

The developer, NorthBridge wants to build a 396,375-square-foot warehouse on a 60-acre site on Pine Hill Drive.

Larry Beals of the engineering firm Beals Associates, Inc. said they were interested in the site because of its proximity to Interstate 290. All of the traffic will go toward the interstate, he said. 

One of the changes discussed Aug. 2 was the location of the flags outlining the boundary of the wetlands, Beals said. Their policy is not to develop within 25 feet of the wetlands, which has led to NorthBridge reallocating some of its planned parking spaces to other spaces in the lot, according to his presentation. 

Additionally, once the building is occupied, the developer is proposing to make adjustments to a traffic light that currently hangs over the intersection of Pine Hill Drive and Route 140. 

Long delayed project, also near Shrewsbury border, moves forward

According to Project Manager Brittany Gesner, a project for that 160 Shrewsbury St. site had been approved in 2008 before being put on hold due to the recession.

Now, the developer is proposing construction of two buildings. One would be a 373,000-square-foot building, which would be occupied by Rand-Whitney to manufacture cardboard. The second 307,000-square-foot building is being actively marketed, Gesner said.

FedEx studied the corridor and installed the traffic signal, board member Richard Baker said.

“So now, in effect, you guys [NorthBridge] come in and you’re piggybacking onto what they did, and then we have another applicant which will in effect be piggybacking on what you did. I’m just trying to figure out what the fairest way is to take care of this, what is apparently a relatively small risk that we’re going to have a problem in the future,” Baker said. 

All of the businesses will be affected if the signal doesn’t work, he said. 

“I’m pleased that you’re offering to revisit this and make a commitment to adjust the light. I’m just wondering what if it doesn’t work. The town has a mess,” Baker said.

NorthBridge said they would come out and conduct another study once the building is occupied.