Tuesday, October 12, 2010

LOCAL NEWS: Woburn firm buys stalled Westwood Station project

A Woburn real estate development company has bought Westwood Station, a mixed-use development on 140 prime acres in Westwood that has languished for more than five years after its former owners’ dream for the site died when the economy declined.

Eastern Real Estate LLC’s deal to buy Westwood Station was finalized Thursday night, after it acquired the note-in-lieu-of-foreclosure from Anglo Irish Bank and equity partner Commonfund Realty, which had worked with the site’s former owners, New England Development and Cabot, Cabot & Forbes.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Nancy Hyde, chairwoman of Westwood’s Board of Selectmen, said the town is optimistic the sale will lead to the resumption of development. The state has promised $55 million in infrastructure funding for the project, including roads.

“We look forward to establishing a strong working relationship with Eastern,’’ Hyde said.

At 4.5 million square feet, Westwood Station was pegged in 2006 as the country’s largest planned mixed-use development, combining boutique retailers and hotels, upscale living and dining options, and commercial space. But as funding hopes tanked, the project’s first phase, 2.6 million square feet, was downsized to less than 500,000 square feet of big-box and smaller retail stores.

The new owners said the purchase is an opportunity to reenergize the project.

“Eastern recognizes the extensive work that has gone into the planning of Westwood Station, and we look forward to advancing the project so that the associated benefits to the community and the region can be realized in a timely fashion,’’ Daniel J. Doherty III, one of the 10-year-old company’s principals, said in a statement.

Michele Morgan Bolton Boston Globe October 2, 2010

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