Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Live Reporting: Economic Development Committee meeting - Sep 9, 2015

Committee Present: Kelly, Bissanti, Vallee,
Absent: Padula

Other Town: Nutting, Taberner, Wierling, Halligan, Pfeffer, Feldman
and 4 citizens

1. Economic Development Marketing Update

Brian Taberner, provides the marketing update
quality of life, great place to do business two focal points
summary of what has been done and what is underway

Biotech conference in PA that Rep Jeff Roy attended
he took some of the brochures (see handouts)

Brian going to a conference in Boston and will be taking some of the materials to hand out
regular marketing brochures
available on webpage, redoing webpage to be called "Franklin Development"
including the videos prepared by Franklin TV

finds space in publications for relatively small budget to spread awareness
New England Real Estate Journal

Site Selection magazine - 1/2 page ad last year

Expansion Solutions - full page (advertorial) in biotech section

LeadGen - will provide info if ad purchased, usually from the conferences where they find businesses who might be interested in Franklin

Business InFocus magazine, full page plus article with info on Franklin

also focused on Downtown with Metrowest Tourism Bureau
Metrowest Guide comes out twice a year, looks for other businesses to put ads in
got Franklin (in some form) into 39 of the 40 something pages

Rack cards - from Metrowest focused on Franklin and downtown businesses

working with Dean College on a couple of projects
promotion of downtown via branding
one class starting now is just beginning to work on this

working with a class at Clark Univ to help with the Cultural District paperwork

Kelly - have you talked to Marlboro about their economic development efforts?
Brian - yes, we have been in talks with them. They have a full time economic development director. We know what they are doing.
Nutting, we need to get to other shows and pick and choose which ones to attend

Bissanti - do you go with knowledge of what is available?
Brian - yes, we have what we know of.

Kelly - the small ones are the important ones, they are the ones we see every day. The larger ones can generally handle themsleves

2. Nu-Style Property Update

There were originally four parcels
#1 is owned, #2 should be set of sale
#3 should be prepared for sale
#4 was already purchased

consideration of #2 as the owner of #1 has already expressed interest

#3 still needs to get environmentally cleaned

consensus will be to proceed as Jeff proposed
will bring before the Council for decision

3. Pond Street Property Update

• Solar Lease Proposals
• Condominium Proposal

solar still an issue with caps expiring at State
not a viable option for further development

need to vote yes, no or table it
currently holding deposits from the proposals

would entertain a motion to give the solar deposits back

we feel it would not be prudent at this time to make a decision so close to a new council coming in
condo development would be willing to clean up the property, solar developers were not interested in cleaning up the property

hotel developers were concerned with the clean up

representing two chains, 2-4 acres required for a stand alone hotel
leave 30 acres of green space, still puts traffic on street but leaves better part of parcel alone

in order to do that, would require a whole new RFP
limiting the site to green space and hotel space

town would need to create a subdivision to create the 3-4 acre plot for the hotel and leave the remaining untouched

the meetings had come up from phone calls from RFP responses that could of come in but missed the deadline

possible sale price of $200K /acres, would need to be appraised
comparative hotels provide about $300K in revenue per year

Current condo developer present in meeting
would like direction from the Town, are interested in the property but do have other business opportunities

Kelly - discouraged by the solar, before we look at any proposal need to look at all the details
25 students would be a new classroom

we went for a re-zone, the site will get developed, we need to figure out what can go there that will be a good benefit for the town

I am interested by the hotel proposal if we stick the hotel down by the interstate and away from the the residential

I don't know if we need to do a phase 2, we need to work with the neighbors
we could have a whole new council in November and need to collectively figure out how to make this work

I am not ready to vote on what we have infront of use

We can give the solar guys their checks back

amended motion to reject and refund the solar bids and table the condo until next meeting
seconded, passed

after conversations with hotel vendors, they could buy the lot but would not likely do anything in a 2-3 year period

Sandy V - appreciate Matt's points and willingness to work with the residents. If we are to move forward if it is going to be a consensus, they let it be a consensus.

Bissanti - I don't see an answer to this prior to the election, I am sensitive to the neighbor I see it as a residential area. I don't see it as commercial. I don't see it as a hotel. That is my take on, I'd like to see it kicked down the road to another council. Right now we have good interest. with a developer, but I don't see it happening

Bissanti - it is an F rating for a left hand turn onto Pond St

Nutting - we have met with District 3 and they want to do the traffic counts when school has re-opened. Whether there is a development or not, the state does have to deal with it

That can be a slow crawl with the state

McDowell - there can be MassWorks grants, to help

motion to adjourn

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