section contains answers to general questions concerning the Old English
Square development. Click
here to submit a question.
What is going to happen to the Wright Brothers'
bowling alley? It's very important because it's the only place in town
for young people to go.
The owners of the bowling alley business have a lease for their building
that runs at least until 2008. So they should certainly be around until
then. In the meantime, we feel that the bowling alley is very compatible
with what we have planned for the site.
is the Old English Square Project?
A: The Old English Square Project
is a mixed-use development project planned for the Town of Holbrook
offering a pedestrian-friendly shopping village and residential community
that will revitalize the downtown area and generate a significant amount
of new growth revenue for the Town.
is the proposed site for this project?
A: The land behind Wright Bros.
Sports Center at 231 Union Street, formerly the Wright/English farm,
is the proposed site for the Old English Square development.
Q: What steps are involved in the approval process?
A: First, the parcel needs to
be re-zoned to permit a mixed-use designation. Once the re-zoning is
approved, development plans will be submitted and will be the subject
of a public meeting review with the planning board. With finalized development
plans, the project will be voted on at Town Meeting for approval.
Q: What are the development plans for this site?
A: The project consists of two
parts - the Retail Village with approximately 36,000 square feet of
retail/commercial space in two buildings facing Union Street and 28
residential units - 21 over retail stores and 7 townhouses - and the
Residential Village with 315 residential units. The Retail Village is
expected to hold 4 to 6 shops, plus 5 to 6 small businesses. Coffee
shops, movie rental stores, dry cleaners, and restaurants are potential
retail tenants. The small businesses are expected to be law offices,
doctors' offices etc. In between the buildings will be a green space
and a driveway. View drawings and
Q: Will the residential units offer one or two
A: Of the 28 residences planned
for the Retail Village, 11 are one-bedroom, 10 are two- bedroom and
7 are a townhouse design. The 315 residential units planned for the
residential village include 157 one-bedroom units and 158 two-bedroom
Q: Has the Town given the developer the go-ahead
for this project?
A: For this project to move forward,
the parcel must be approved for a zoning change by Town Meeting. Currently,
it is zoned for business or commercial use. The developer will need
a zoning change to permit a mixed-use zoning designation allowing multi-family
housing and commercial uses. The developer, Joseph R. Mullins Company,
is seeking Holbrook's approval to re-zone the parcel from the current
commercial zoning designation to a rail transit district.
Q: Will Holbrook residents have an opportunity
to vote on this project?
A: A representative Town Meeting
will be held in May 2003 at which time Holbrook's Town Meeting Members
will vote on behalf of Holbrook residents on whether or not to re-zone
the site, allowing the project to move forward.
Q: When would construction begin? How long will construction last?
A: Construction of the project
could begin as soon as 2004 with retail and residential occupancy expected
some 24 months after the start of construction.
What are the benefits to Town residents?
A: The benefits to the Town of
- An attractive
residential and retail community located near the center of town
- Annual net revenues
(after municipal service costs) of approximately $500,000 per year
- Building permit
and associated building fees of approximately $300,000
- A shopping village
offering new retail outlets and office space
- The new residential
units will generate $3.3 million in additional retail sales for existing
- 343 residential
units and approximately 36,000 sq. ft. of commercial space generating
about $830,000 in new property taxes annually
- An increase in
total assessed valuation by at least $51 million dollars
- An increase in
local bonding capacity potential of between $7 and $8 million dollars
- Increased local
- Alternative housing
for area seniors
- Bike paths
of open space
- Developer to
donate land for recreation
- Meadow at back
of property will be maintained
- Minimal impact
on Holbrook's school system and town services
Does the proposal include plans for affordable
A: The proposal does not include
any affordable housing component.
of this Project on Holbrook
is the impact of this project, including the new residential units,
on the school system?
A: To analyze the impact that
this development would have on the Town of Holbrook, a Fiscal Impact
Report has been prepared by John Connery, Principal of Connery Associates
and Fiscal Consultant to the Old English Square Project.
examination, the Project's Fiscal Impact Report shows that this development
will add approximately 22 school-age children to Holbrook's school system.
These children would be dispersed throughout different grades and would
have a minimal impact on the schools' population and resources. And
because half of the condominiums planned for Old English Square are
one-bedroom units, this will preclude large families from moving in.
Connery has produced similar studies for towns and developers throughout
the Fiscal Impact Report.
How will the project affect taxes in Holbrook?
A: According to the fiscal impact
report conducted by Connery Associates, the proposed project generates
strong long-term net revenues for the community and will be a significant
factor in helping to offset future municipal costs - because it will
pay its own services (maintenance, trash removal, landscaping, snow
removal, etc.) and will have little impact on school enrollment, the
project will add tax revenue. The Board of Assessors has reviewed and
accepted the tax revenue projections. For further details, the fiscal
impact report is available for review.
What impact will it have on traffic?
A: A traffic study for the Old
English Square development site is currently being prepared by the engineering
firm H.W. Moore Associates, Inc. When the study is completed, the development
team will make it available to the general public. The commuter rail
station on the Holbrook-Randolph border is only a short distance away.
What effect will this project have on Town
A: The proposal will generate
long term net revenues for the Town, thus enabling Holbrook to maintain
and improve town services, such as the Police Department and the Fire
Who will be responsible for maintaining the
onsite infrastructure of Old English Square?
A: The developer will be responsible
for providing services such as road maintenance, trash removal, landscaping,
plowing/sanding and lighting.
Can the town's business owners expect any benefits
as a result of this project?
A: This new retail and residential
community will revitalize the downtown area and generate a significant
amount of new growth revenue for the Town. According to the Fiscal Impact
Report prepared by Connery Associates, the project will generate approximately
$3.3 million in additional retail sales within the Town of Holbrook
and $15 million regionally.
here to read questions from community members regarding the project.
© 2002 The Mullins Company