Photo credit: MetroWest Daily News
Article by Henry Schwan for the MetroWest Daily News (October 28, 2020)
NATICK — A proposed mixed-use development at the site of the former St. Patrick’s School is potentially closer to becoming reality after Town Meeting overwhelmingly approved two measures Tuesday night.
A 122-11 vote — with two abstentions — supported a zoning change, sponsored by the Select Board, that extends the downtown mixed-use district to include 45 East Central St., the site of the former St. Patrick’s School.
Developer Stonegate Group plans to tear down the former school and replace it with a building that includes commercial space on the ground floor and residential apartments on the upper floors. The property was zoned residential before Tuesday’s night’s vote.
The second vote, 129-5, approved a home rule petition — sponsored by the Select Board — that grants a liquor license to 45 East Central St. State lawmakers must ultimately sign off on the petition. Stonegate Group said it needed the license to entice a restaurant to lease space on the ground floor of its planned building.
The liquor license request was included in a development agreement the board signed with Stonegate Group back in February.
Julian Munnich, a Town Meeting member who sits on the Planning Board, criticized the article that called for the zoning change. Munnich referenced the development agreement the board signed with Stonegate Group, questioning whether there was sufficient public comment before it was reached.
Munnich favors an alternative zoning change for 45 East Central St. that is expected to be presented at Thursday’s virtual Town Meeting. It is sponsored by Munnich, and calls for the creation of the East Central Overlay District.
“We have ways of doing this more public, more open, to protect other people’s interest,” Munnich said.
Town officials and some neighbors said all discussions about a zoning change were held in public. Neighborhood meetings with town officials and the developer were also held.
“This has been a long and collaborative process with many stakeholders, including the abutters (that live near the proposed development),” said Select Board Chairman Jonathan Freedman.
The development includes a total of 54 residential units — 46 in the main building that replaces the St. Patrick’s School, plus eight in four two-family townhouses on properties behind the main building. There will also be an underground parking garage.
Twenty-five percent of the total units (14) will be classified as affordable housing — 11 for those who earn 80% of the area median income, which is the middle number of all incomes for a given area. Three are reserved for those that earn 30% to 50% of the AMI.
All 54 units would count toward the town’s affordable housing stock, because they are rentals.
Stonegate bought the former school, and three lots — 4 and 6 Lincoln St. and 5 Wilson St. — in 2015 for
$3.4 million from the Archdiocese of Boston. All four parcels total 1.8 acres, and will encompass the project.
One of Stonegate Group's brightest commercial tenants is DetraPel, a start-up company who manufactures cleaning products locally in their Framingham warehouse.
This talented group has recently switched gears and is now producing products that can safely be used to disinfect and sanitize hard surfaces against 140+ organisms, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
You can read about them in the MetroWest Daily News article below and check out their website (www.detrapel.com) for more details.
Be well and be safe!
written by Thomas Maye for MetroWest Daily News (photo credit: Daily News and Wicked Local / Art Illman)
FRAMINGHAM - It was only two years ago that DetraPel Inc. and its young founder, David Zamarin, earned a $200,000 investment from Mark Cuban and Lori Grenier after an appearance on “Shark Tank.”
Now the Blandin Avenue startup that sells stain-protectant sprays is earning kudos for its contributions to the community during the global pandemic.
DetraPel’s six-person team has shifted “98% of (their) energy” to making disinfectant products to help local community organizations, according to Marketing Manager Ania Scott.
“We are doing all that we can, but we really hope other small companies think about pivoting their day-to-day operations to help the fight” against coronavirus, she said.
The seven-year-old company has grown significantly since Zamarin, then just 19 (he was 15 when he founded the company in 2013), showed its fabric protectors on “Shark Tank,” winning over Cuban and Grenier. But as it has moved its focus to making disinfectants, Scott said the company’s team has been forced to scale back production on their main-selling products.
DetraPel has ordered new machinery to automate the disinfectant manufacturing process, ramped up production, and is working day and night “to get this stuff out the door, because we know how important this is to get out to the community,” Scott said.
The company is also working with Mayor Yvonne Spicer’s office to make hand sanitizer for the Framingham Fire Department.
Scott said the process will take at least two weeks, as the company needs to work with suppliers to get materials and have the product approved by the FDA.
“It’s a completely different formulation that requires FDA approval, and we just got our FDA facility approval overnight, basically,” she said. “Everything is slow now, unfortunately.”
Scott said it was too early in the process to determine the monetary value of the planned donation.
Acting Fire Chief Michael Dutcher, who along with Mayor Yvonne Spicer visited DetraPel’s Blandin Avenue production facility on Thursday, was thrilled.
“It’s great (that) a local company has changed their direction on the fly like this,” Dutcher said. “They saw a need in the community. They saw there was a need and they’re going to be able to fill that void.”
Dutcher said the company has already donated some cleaner and disinfectant to the Framingham Fire Department.
Consumers can buy disinfectant through DetraPel’s website, but much of the stock will be donated to nearby hospitals, fire stations, grocery stores and other places with essential workers, she said.
“We’re taking any donation inquiries we can from the local community,” Scott said. While larger retailers have expressed interest in buying DetraPel’s disinfectant products, the company has turned down those offers to focus on donations.
“We’re being careful not to over-promise,” she said.
Scott added that there’s a widespread shortage of the raw chemicals required to make the hospital-grade disinfectant formula, which is based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency recommendations.
“Despite being a small business, we’re constantly working with our chemical suppliers to try to expand our product lineup to include valuable products that are imperative in this time of crisis. The more we can produce, the more we’ll be able to donate ... We’re definitely going to do the most we can.”
Through these challenges, Scott said she felt immense pride at other small, local businesses who’ve helped in coronavirus efforts, and in the dedication of the company she’s come to call home.
“I’m happy to be part of such a small team of some of the hardest-working, kindest people I know,” she said.
There will be a public meeting in an Open House format from 4:00-7:00 pm on Tuesday February 25th, 2020 on the third floor of the Natick Town Hall at 13 E. Central Street.
At this forum, we will welcome your opinions and questions as well as provide further information about the development project.
This is the first of several opportunities for you to provide your input.
Additionally, Public Hearings will take place before the Planning Board, Zoning Board & Finance Committee. All of these bodies welcome written comments as well as ones made in person.
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday evening for our Open House!
Written by Henry Schwan for the MetroWest Daily News (February 13, 2020)
Photo credit: MetroWest Daily News Staff Photo / Henry Schwan
Natick-based developer Stonegate Group, LLC, wants to tear down the former St. Patrick’s school on East Central Street, and replace it with a mixed-use development.
You can also follow us on Facebook at Stonegate Group LLC Saint Patricks Project or by clicking here.
Article written by Rachel Kashdan for Boston Magazine
Looking for a fun challenge? Try not to touch anything at Modern Relik’s new 6,000 square-foot home showroom. Located on Harrison Avenue in the South End, the space teems with plush furnishings and chic accessories. Thankfully, running your hands over everything in the store isn’t just okay—it’s encouraged.
From the Framingham Economic Development & Industrial Corporation's (EDIC) July 1, 2019 newsletter