McGovern Auto seeks to redevelop ‘run down’ site off Route 9 in Shrewsbury


McGovern Auto seeks to redevelop ‘run down’ site off Route 9 in Shrewsbury
There are two existing buildings currently located at 420 Boston Turnpike. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

SHREWSBURY – A “run down” site on Route 9 in Shrewsbury may become the future home of a McGovern Auto Group collision center and fit up center. 

The proposal, focused on the site at 420 Boston Turnpike, came before the Board of Selectmen on Feb. 8, drawing reaction from board members.

“I’m glad to see something getting done on the site,” said Selectman Maurice DePalo.

McGovern’s attorney Richard Ricker said the property has a long history that has, recently, troubled local emergency officials.

“I personally have spoken in the past with three of the most recent fire chiefs, and in each of those conversations, it was related to me that they felt that those buildings were the most dangerous in this community,” Ricker said.

‘This building has seen its day’

Ricker said that McGovern has purchased the property.

Their plans indicate that there are currently two buildings on the site. 

“This building has seen its day,” said McGovern’s engineer Garrett Horsfall, of Kelly Engineering Group. 

He cited an aerial photo of the site and reiterated his point. 

“The site itself has seen its day,” he said. 

Proposed plans

McGovern plans to knock down a smaller building toward the front of the site near Route 9. 

Horsfall said about half of the property’s larger building will be removed as well. That will leave approximately 112,000 square feet on the ground level of a new McGovern building, with a “small” mezzanine on the second level. 

That mezzanine would be used for storing parts and as an office, Horsfall said.  

McGovern hopes to create a collision center and a fit up center for its municipal dealership operations. 

“It’s going to be a state-of-the-art facility intended to bring in quality jobs and state-of-the-art equipment,” Ricker said. 

McGovern anticipates that the center would specifically bring approximately 50 to 60 jobs to Shrewsbury.

Facility would serve local dealerships

Meeting on Feb. 8, Shrewsbury selectmen approved a garage license and two separate requests for storage parking for McGovern’s BMW and Audi operations in town. 

The requested garage license would allow McGovern to operate this center. 

“The municipal auto dealership is typically where you would see police cars fitted up and fire vehicles fitted up — that type of vehicle,” Ricker said.

The staff would fit vehicles with their necessary lights and sirens after they arrive from their respective factories. 

McGovern currently provides these fit-up services at a facility in Framingham. 

Ricker said the additional collision center would serve several of McGovern’s dealerships, including those Audi and BMW dealerships in Shrewsbury and the Autobahn USA and McGovern Buick GMC dealerships in Westborough. 

Town official thanks McGovern 

GIS maps indicate that this site spans 15.26 acres. 

Because of the change in grade from the road to the building, Horsfall said a lot of the parking on site spaces won’t be visible from the road if this project goes forward.

Additionally, McGovern will be working with a landscape architect to “spruce up” along Route 9, including adding trees as well as new pavement and drainage system, Horsfall said.

“We don’t always have the opportunity to have an investor in town like Mr. McGovern,” said Town Manager Kevin Mizikar. “We just want to extend our appreciation for your continued investment in the community and the jobs that you provide.” 

Next steps

The project will still have to go before several Shrewsbury boards before attaining any final approval.

Those include the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Conservation Commission and the Planning Board. 

The Zoning Board of Appeals meeting is already scheduled for Feb. 28. Ricker said he hopes those other meetings will also occur in the “very near future.” 

“Time is of the essence in these types of things,” he said. “[McGovern] has a serious investment here and wants to do it and do it right.” 


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