Proposed industrial building to go before Shrewsbury Planning Board

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Proposed industrial building to go before Shrewsbury Planning Board
A sign sits on 440 Hartford Turnpike. (Photo/Caroline Gordon)

SHREWSBURY – The developers of a 134,000-square-foot industrial building will present their plans to the Planning Board on Dec. 1. 

The site, located at 440 Hartford Turnpike, spans 10.5 acres and is located at the corner of Stoney Hill Road and Hartford Turnpike. This site was originally permitted as part of a 40B project called The Pointe at Hills Farm. 

The building would be constructed as a speculative building, which means the developers would attract tenants during or after the construction process.

Last May, the application was filed by Shrewsbury Land Property Owner LLC, which is based in Boston. 

Over the summer, project engineer Gene Sullivan told the Conservation Commission that the site would most likely be a warehouse, though there could be light manufacturing on the site.

“Our anticipated market is that it would be more of a warehouse, distribution user,” Sullivan said.

He noted they are proposing a right turn in and out of the site onto Route 20.

According to Sullivan, there would be 28 loading dock doors on the front of the building facing the road. 

Sullivan noted that he had already received a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) to position the loading docks that way. This means the building would help block out noise for nearby residents on Stoney Hill Road and Thistle Hill Drive.

The Pointe at Hills Farm plans

The land was previously permitted as part of a 40B project called The Pointe at Hills Farm, which would have consisted of 248 apartment units on two noncontiguous sites at 440 Hartford Turnpike and 526 Hartford Turnpike.

Phase one of the project would have specifically focused on building 156 units at 440 Hartford Turnpike.

At the time, the Board of Selectmen did not support the project as part of a request for a Local Initiative Program application with the state Department of Housing and Community Development.

The Community Advocate reported in 2016 that those who opposed the development asked the state to reject the project because it was too large and would disrupt the area.

However, the ZBA ultimately granted the comprehensive permit in late 2016. A few years later, the ZBA granted an extension for the comprehensive permit decision.

In 2021, the ZBA received an application to modify the comprehensive permit, which reduced the scale, scope and number of units for the project.

Ultimately, the owner had sold 440 Hartford Turnpike and proposed to develop “phase two” of The Pointe at Hills Farm at 526 Hartford Turnpike, according to the ZBA’s 2021 decision.