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Holliston - Local Town Pages

Appliance Warehouse Proposed at 555 Hopping Brook 550,000 square foot facility to operate weekdays only

Conceptual building design presented to the Holliston Select Board by New England Appliance Group which seeks to build a 550,000 square foot warehouse at 555 Hopping Brook Park. Source: Holliston Select Board meeting, July 18, 2022.

By Theresa Knapp 
On July 18, members of the New England Appliance Group met with the Holliston Select Board to discuss a possible tax increment financing (“TIF”) agreement for a building at 555 Hopping Brook Park where they hope to relocate their corporate headquarters. 
NEAG is a “leading cooperative organization and provides buying, warehousing, distribution, training, and marketing services to its 126 members” in New England and Upstate New York. Its members are primarily small, independent family-owned appliance retailers who benefit from group buying, according to the presentation representatives made to the town. 
NEAG Chief Operating Officer Brian Bowen told the Select Board they are looking for a building they can own. He said the plan is for “CRG would be building the project and we would be putting up a substantial amount of money. Once the building receives the necessary occupancy permit then we would be closing on the building.” 
The proposed building is 550,000 square feet with 80 to 100 loading docks and an average of 50 truck trips per weekday (no weekends), typically between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
Bowen says, “We expect it to have little or no impact on the community.” 
Last year, CRG Acquisition, LLC sought to build a 800,000 square foot warehouse facility in the same area. After several hearings and a great deal of public input, the Planning Board denied that request and subsequently.CRG filed an appeal that is still making its way through the court system. 
In a July 5 “Incentives Intent Letter” to the town, Bowen made an argument for a TIF. 
“The proposed project consists of relocating and expanding the Company’s current operations. NEAG plans to purchase land and construct an estimated 550,000 square foot facility for its corporate headquarters and distribution facility. The project investment is estimated at $100 million, including $65 million in hard and soft construction costs, $10 million for personal property and $25 million in land and related costs. The Company plans to retain 63 full-time jobs and create 20 new permanent full-time jobs as a result of this project.”
Bowen said they are currently based in Franklin where they have outgrown their space. Holliston is one of a few sites they are considering. Representatives said, if a TIF is not granted on the $100 million project, they will likely build in another town. 
Town Administrator Travis Ahern said the last time a TIF was approved in Holliston was in 2002. 
Once NEAG officially requests a TIF, the request will be reviewed by a TIF team (to include Ahern, the town’s principal assessor, Selectperson John Cronin, and perhaps another person) which will make a recommendation to the Select Board which would ultimately send it to Town Meeting for final approval. NEAG hopes to have the TIF request on the fall warrant.