"The famed Framingham Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center was sold for $15 million at auction Tuesday.People’s United Bank, which owns the first mortgage on the property, was the winning bidder of the iconic 376-room hotel that is designed to look like a castle and is visible from Rte. 9 and the Mass Pike.“It was a buy-back by the mortgager,” said Justin Manning, president of JJ Manning Auctioneers. “Nobody beat the lender.”The facility could "possibly" remain a hotel or may be sold, said Manning."
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
FM #367 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 367 in the series.
This shares the Economic Development Committee Business Listening Session #2 that was held on Monday, October 19, 2020.
The meeting started about 30 minutes late with no explanation as to why. There was an expression of ‘thanks for your patience.’ Two representatives of the Franklin legislative delegation (from the office of Senator Splika and Senator Rausch) were on and left before the meeting was opened.
The meeting was conducted in a hybrid mode; some of the key participants in the Council Chambers the remainder participated virtually via Zoom conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.
Links to the meeting agenda, future schedule for the listening sessions, and my notes are in the show notes. The recording runs just over an hour and fifty three minutes (~1:53) Audio file = https://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HZrzckZK
Meeting agenda https://www.franklinmatters.org/2020/10/restaurants-hotels-hospitality-business.html
Future schedule of listening sessions
My notes captured via Twitter and shared here in summary form
We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.
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The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.
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|FM #367 - EDC Listening Session 2 - 10/19/20 (audio)|
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
- The meeting started about 30 minutes late with no explanation as to why.
- There was an expression of ‘thanks for your patience.’
- Two representatives of the Franklin legislative delegation (from the offices’ of Senator Splika and Senator Rausch) were present early in the pre-meeting and actual meeting
- Owner/operators of Hampton Inn, 67 Degrees Brewing Co and Rhapsody Cafe were present to share their stories of struggle to survive
As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
The Twitter hashtag can be found online #edcls1019
Other photos taken during the meeting and shared via Twitter can be found in one folder https://photos.app.goo.gl/hgVYYxKJC6ShomA8A
- Real time reporting underway for the EDC listening session #edcls1019 Hampton open and underutilized, struggling to make it
- #edcls1019 what can we do to help? #thinkFranklinFirst one thing. Wedding market none existing, sports market little to nothing, Dean closed so no help there... Travel is down, along with excess capacity, a problem...
- Running with 9 employee on desk and a couple of house keepers, limited grab and go, could use the outdoor pool during the summer, others with indoor pools were closed. #edcls1019 extended stay have done better than hotels in this time, due to facilities
- #edcls1019 discussion on hotel tax is a local option, would require legislation to defer. (domino effects to that) (a deviation to this "listening session" by attempting to resolve the issue at hand)
- Suggestion from Lisa/FDP, maybe the ultimate 'staycation' space and coordinate with local restaurants for take out, #edcls1019 FDP working with local papers to get creative for holidays, etc.
- Jack Lank of Chamber touts their Facebook page to 'Rally round the restaurants' https://facebook.com/United-Regionals-Rally-round-the-Restaurants-109228560731634/ #edcls1019 also the chamber has a back to business page same concept wider business spread
- https://facebook.com/United-Regionals-Back-to-Business-106228444403838/ the back to business link #edcls1019 "scare the dark out of the closet"
- Chamber does verify info before posting, did see 24K visitors to social media pages in last several weeks to get info #edcls1019 Taste of the region would have been 35th year
- 67 Degrees had just opened before the super bowl, expedited their growth plan to survive, canning had not been in the plan initially. #edcls1019 initially opened with chips/hummus was good, then shifting to real food becomes a challenge, i.e. food trucks restricted
- Now looking to see what the indoor capacity req would be; currently only have 39, if 25 req that's a challenge. #edcls1019 need servesafe certified, in combo with a caterer? Looking for clarification. Hotels here don't have their own kitchen, King St has been wonderful
- #edcls1019 Bissanti knows of caterers who would stay on site; caterer business is not booming right now. Motion on Town Council agenda to help with food trucks for winter time via the farm license. Local restaurants have been good help but aren't staffed for dual ops
- Food truck serves a different market maybe lunch crowd but different from a dinner at a restaurant. #edcls1019 servesafe certified is a MA requirement. Rhapsody owner present, kinda holding their own doing all they can to stay afloat
- Outside seating will go away with weather, surviving barely. Micro grant application for business with less than 5 employee, still accepting apps. Eligible up to 10K. A lot of work for an admin to do, extra effort, working round the clock #edcls1019 worth effort or waste of time
- Rep Roy these conversations are happening every day trying to figure ways to help #edcls1019 resources are available for help, if you have trouble navigating let me know. Will see what options are for deferral
- Partnership meeting Thursday Nov 5, don't have to be a partner to attend, working on holiday happening ideas, looking to advocate Franklin first. Lighting up Franklin, little money required to get lights on, for downtown and beyond, until March 1 #edcls1019
- Oops, I guess I never signed off formally last night. Hope you all realized that! The meeting was interesting starting 30 minutes, late and all.. catch you next time #edcls1019
|Quick recap of the Business Listening Session 2 - Oct 19, 2020|
Sunday, October 18, 2020
|Restaurants, Hotels & Hospitality Business Listening Session Meeting - Oct 19|
Sunday, May 31, 2020
As residents and users of these services, perhaps more frequently to the restaurants than lodging, it would be good to be aware so we'll know what to expect as we venture forth.
Links to the guidelines are provided below.
Audio file for the Friday, May 29 COVID-19 update by Gov Baker - https://youtu.be/SYu8dLOpe0c
Tuesday, November 26, 2019
|construction underway at 725 Union St|
This one per the site plans (see links below) a "Home 2" suite style hotel by Hilton. https://www.hilton.com/en/home2/
revised plan (1/14/19)
All links from the Planning Board page for Approved Projects
|725 Union St - Home 2 Suites by Hilton|
Friday, November 23, 2018
"Representatives from Foursquare Development LLC came to a public hearing on Monday to hear input about their newest project, the Home2 Suites Hilton Hotel on 725 Union St.
The 92,000-square-foot undeveloped property is located directly behind Joe’s American Bar & Grill. This would be the third Hilton Hotel in Franklin. The idea for the hotel is to accommodate extended-stay hotel visits.
Developers are seeking two special permits from the town. One is seeking to change the lot’s usage to accommodate hotels, and the other is to make sure that the hotel can be built up to 50 feet. The building is designed to have four stories and 100 rooms available.
There will be no restaurant or bar in the proposed hotel."Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Because of the extreme cold weather on Thursday, the Franklin Turkey Trot 5K Family Fun Run was moved to Saturday, Nov. 24. The event takes off at 8 a.m. from, and ends at, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Jordan Road.
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
For more info on the race, visit the web page www.franklinturkeytrot.org
|Franklin Turkey Trot rescheduled to Saturday, Nov 24|
Saturday, November 3, 2018
New hotel - 725 Union St:
In accordance with the Town of Franklin Zoning By-Laws, the Franklin Planning Board will hold a public hearing on Monday, November 19, 2018 at 7:20 PM in the Town Council Chambers of the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street, for a Special Permit and Site Plan application titled "Proposed Hotel, 725 Union Street" Franklin, MA prepared by JK Holmgren Engineering, Inc., Brockton, MA., and submitted to the Department of Planning and Community Development on October 5, 2018, by 4 SQ Development LLC, 83 Hartwell Ave, Lexington, MA.
The property is located in the Commercial Il Zoning District (Assessors Map 314 Lot 016) at 725 Union Street. The applicant is proposing to construct a 58,248 sq/ft building consisting of four (4) stories, 100 room hotel building.
The applicant is requesting two (2) Special Permits,
- one for Building height of up to fifty (50) feet under the Chapter 185 Attachment 9, Maximum Height of Building
- and the second for Chapter 185 Attachment 3, Hotel Use.
Residential Development - 215 Prospect St:
In accordance with the Town of Franklin Zoning By-Laws, the Franklin Planning Board will hold a public hearing on Monday, November 19, 2018 at 7:25 PM in the Town Council Chambers of the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street, for a Preliminary Subdivision Plan application titled "Prospect Farms" prepared by Andrews Survey and Engineering, Uxbridge, MA., dated Octobei• 29, 2018 and submitted to the Department of Planning and Community Development on October 29, 2018, by Maddi North Street Development LLC, Franklin, MA.
The site is located at 215 Prospect Street and 4 Nicholas Drive in the Rural Residential I Zoning District (Assessor's Map 325, Lot 003 and Map 326, Lot 36).
The applicant is proposing to construct fifty-three (53) single family residential building lots along with approximately 6,650 linear feet of new roadway.http://www.franklinma.gov/sites/franklinma/files/agendas/public_hearing_notice_27.pdf
|Public Hearings for (1) new hotel and (2) a 53 unit residential development|
"A public hearing is planned for later this month to discuss a new Hilton hotel that’s planned for Union Street.
The public hearing for a special permit and site plan for the project, called “Proposed Hotel, 725 Union Street,” starts at 7:20 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, in the Council Chambers of the Franklin Municipal Building. The session will provide neighbors and other interested people to weigh in on the plan.
Town Planner Amy Love said Hilton’s interest underscores demand for hotel rooms in town.
“It’s a private industry, but I think that the applicant and owners do their own research,” she said. “I think they come to a determination that there’s a need in this town.”Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
"With the balance of power in Washington in the balance on Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker won’t say whether he’d like to see his Republican Party retain full control of Congress.
Baker has faced questions throughout his campaign for re-election about his support for Republican candidates up and down the ballot in Massachusetts, including U.S. Senate candidate Geoff Diehl, who was the chief Donald Trump surrogate here during the 2016 presidential campaign.
And to all those question, the governor has said that while he endorsed “the ticket,” he is focused on his own campaign.
In the final debate of the campaign on Thursday night, Democrat Jay Gonzalez hammered Baker for his support of Diehl and attorney general candidate Jay McMahon, another conservative, pro-Trump Republican the governor has endorsed as part of the GOP ticket. Gonzalez said McMahon has referred to immigrants as “savages” and has said he believes in a “god-given right to assault weapons.”
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
The Franklin Town Clerk page with additional information
Additional info can be found in the 2018 Election Collection
|Election Information for Nov 2018|
Sunday, July 24, 2016
|MassBudget - Airbnb taxes|
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:
The article comes with a link that shows the amount of local revenue generated from this tax in each of the 177 cities and towns (50 percent of those in the Commonwealth) that has adopted the optional room occupancy tax, and the additional amounts raised by the 93 cities and towns that have elected to tax at a rate higher than 4 percent.
The local option tax generated a record $130.4 million in FY11 for cities and towns, and does not appear to have weakened demand for rental rooms in the Commonwealth, given the data presented in the article.
The article notes that 124 of the Commonwealth's 352 cities and towns, or 35 percent, either have no rental rooms or fewer than three businesses generating room rental income.
That leaves about 15 percent of the state's cities and towns that have foregone the opportunity to generate tax revenue from the local option room occupancy tax.