Week in Review: Patriot Place Expansion, Foxborough Detective Rumored to have Won Lottery, NFL Free Agency & More
A recap of this week's top local headlines from March 11-15.
Miss anything in Foxborough this week? Here's your chance to sit back and catch up on some Patch. Below is a recap of this week’s biggest headlines on Foxborough Patch:
Expressing a desire to expand its business opportunities at Patriot Place, Kraft Group representatives unveiled plans to the planning board Thursday to add a second hotel, “quick-serve” restaurant and a “daily needs” retailer adjacent to Route 1 complex's North Marketplace.
Dan Krantz, the Kraft Group’s director of site development, briefed the board Thursday on plans to develop an approximately 4,500 square foot "quick-serve restaurant," a 14,000 to 16,000 square foot “daily needs retailer," and a 125 to 150-room hotel in the parking lot adjacent to Route 1 just south of the existing Renaissance Hotel. The quick-serve restaurant won't require a liquor license.
The plan, according to Foxborough Town Planner Sharon Wason, would reduce game day parking by roughly 900 spaces but the company’s traffic monitoring plan submitted in December “indicates that it should not be an issue.”
The purpose of the meeting was to give the town advanced notice of the Kraft Group’s intent to file site plan approval documents for the three proposed buildings adjacent to Patriot Place's North Marketplace.
Wason said the Kraft Group will “complete leasing arrangements, finalize designs and plans and return to the planning board for site plan approval within a 30 to 60 day window.”
Foxborough police detective Brian Gallagher may be the town’s newest millionaire.
According to The Sun Chronicle, Gallagher is believed to be the winner of a “$10,000 a Week for Life” scratch ticket he purchased at The Country Store at 212 North St. (Route 1) Foxborough.
Gallagher, who could not be reached by The Sun Chronicle Tuesday or Foxborough Patch Wednesday, has been a police officer in town for over 20 years and served as Foxborough High School’s wrestling coach for 11 years. If Gallagher is the owner of the winning scratch ticket purchased last Friday at the local convenience store, he will have the option of choosing an $8 million, one-time payout or collect roughly $10,000 a week for life, according to the Chronicle.
The Country Store also sold a $1 million scratch ticket winner in October 2011, according to The Sun Chronicle.
Since losing their house to foreclosure and having it auctioned off to a bank in September of last year, John and Julie Hazeldine have been working to buy back their 27 Spring St. home that John has lived in for over 60 years and his grandparents built in 1926.
Having suffered two strokes in 2008 and undergoing hip replacement last year, John walks with a limp in his right leg and his right arm is paralyzed. Out of work, he and his wife could not afford the house payments on Julie's salary alone.
Word spread quickly about the Hazeldine's plight from Foxborough to around the world and donations began pouring in, with up to over $42,000 raised as of last week.
Good news for the Hazeldines and all of their supporters is the Foxborough family has been pre-approved by Boston Community Capital for a loan of about $117,000 to buy their house back.
“Nothing has been finalized," John said. "We went in Monday and we had their attorney with us. We did some paperwork and the attorney called us last night and asked us what we wanted to do. It’s kind of looking good. It’s just a matter of time. We’re trying to get it done before the 15th.”
Friday, March 15th is the deadline that Direct Federal Credit Union of Needham, who currently owns the Spring Street property, has given the Hazeldines to move out of their Foxborough home.
The deadline has been extended multiple times after Attorney General Martha Coakley's office stepped in and brokered an agreement between the Hazeldines and the bank.
Unable to ban marijuana treatment centers in Foxborough, the community will need to establish a zoning district to avoid a dispensary being constructed in an unwanted section of town.
“What we need to do is address the situation before a business comes to Foxborough to apply for that permit now that [marijuana treatment centers] are legal,” said Foxborough Board of Selectmen chair James DeVellis. … “We need to decide where it is or isn’t appropriate in town and under what circumstances just like any other business.”
On Wednesday, Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office announced its ruling in a decision regarding a by-law passed by the town of Wakefield. In the decision issued to the town of Wakefield, the AG ruled that the outright ban conflicted with the statute passed by ballot petition in 2012 that ensures reasonable access to marijuana treatment centers, according to the AG’s office.
“That law’s purpose cannot be served if a municipality were to prohibit treatment centers within its borders, for if one municipality were allowed to do so, all could do so, making reasonable access impossible,” the AG’s office said in a press release issued Wednesday. “The AG’s office did conclude that municipalities can adopt other zoning by-laws to regulate, for example, the location of these treatment centers within the town.”
DeVellis stressed the importance of establishing a zoning district to regulate marijuana treatment centers, similar to how towns regulate adult entertainment businesses.
Have you ever worried about what would happen if your young one fell into a pool when you weren't looking?
Mothers and fathers at the Hampton Inn in Norwood can ease that worry a little more each day they take their child to swim with Deborah Rossetti, an instructor with Infant Swimming Resource.
ISR, founded in 1966, is a program that teaches children from six months to four years old skills to survive a fall in the water.
Rossetti said she has taught about 1,000 young swimmers since 1990 and has been headquartered at the swimming pool at the Hampton Inn on Route 1 in Norwood for the past five years.
For Rossetti, it is a very rewarding career.
“Every day, I feel like I am preventing a drowning because I’m teaching them the skills. But when I hear that they actually survived a drowning it’s the greatest reward I could ever hope for in my life,” she said.
“I have had personally at least six or seven children over these years whose mothers have contacted me and told me ‘This is what happened and this is what my child did thanks to you,” said Rossetti. “It’s what keeps me doing this day after day.”
The program works by teaching them to hold their breath when they feel water and they learn to go from a face-down position to a face-up position, to rest and breath and float and cry out for help when they wind up in the water.
They are also taught to keep an eye out for the sides of the pool and to grab on when they can.
“The children develop this overall respect and understanding of the water,” Rossetti said.
Eleven-month-old Liam Ivatts from Foxborough was in the pool with Deborah Wednesday morning working on his technique.
His mother, Tara, is amazed at the results she's seen in the five weeks the blond haired, brown eyed ball of energy has been in the pool with Deb.
Since opening 12 years ago in Foxborough, Sal and Mal’s Pizza has defined the meaning of a true family business.
Owner and operator Chris Politsopoulos said he has been in the pizza business for over 31 years. He said he runs Sal and Mal’s with his wife, Linda and his sons, Paul and Nicholas.
“It’s literally a family operated business,” he said. “One thing me and my wife have always had is the quality to make sure the customers are always happy.”
Politsopoulos said he got his start in the business while he was going to school in Manhattan, N.Y.
“I started working in a pizza place in New York back in the 80s,” he said. "New York supposedly has the best pizza, and basically I learned the business from the true sources in how to make a New York-style pizza. I learned the business inside and out.”
Politsopoulos said Foxborough is his third location, and he has pizza shops in Dorchester and Roxbury. He said while he loves living in Massachusetts, he does not understand the pan style pizza.
Fourteen Foxborough residents interested in running for town offices this spring have become official ballot candidates for the April 30 annual town election, according to Town Clerk Robert Cutler’s office.
The 14 candidates each submitted nomination papers with the required 50 signatures certified by Cutler, officially putting them on the ballot. With the deadline to submit nomination papers (with at least 50 signatures) only four days away, Town Moderator Frank Spillane, selectman candidate Richard Letson, Planning Board candidate Ronald P. Bresse and Board of Assessors candidate Robert J. Hadge have yet to return papers.
Letson told the Foxboro Reporter last week that he doesn’t “have a snowball's chance in hell” of winning one of the two selectman seats open in April and has since bowed out of the race. It is the second consecutive year Letson has expressed interest in running for selectman but has withdrawn before Election Day.
As of March 13, the two major races slated for the April 30 election are for selectman and school committee.
Expressing a desire to remain in Foxborough, Invensys has submitted its first Tax Increment Financing (TIF) proposal to the town as negotiations began late last week.
According to the proposal, the TIF would last 15 years and save Invensys a total of $1,880,944 while enabling the company to invest $33 million-worth of renovations to existing buildings and remain in Foxborough.
“The company currently occupies three underutilized and outdated locations in Foxborough,” said Invensys Senior Vice President Steve Sacco in a recent letter to Town Manager Kevin Paicos. “It has proposed plans to consolidate into two buildings to maximize efficiency and provide a more modern and attractive workspace for its employees.”
The total project investment is currently estimated at $33 million and the investment breakdown is as follows:
- $4 million for renovations at 38 Neponset Ave. building
- $26 million for renovations at the 70 Mechanic St. building
- $3 million for personal property
Sacco told Paicos that remaining in Foxborough and investing in Invensys’ current properties in town has been “identified as one of the viable options” and could prove to be the company’s most attractive if the company’s TIF proposal is approved by voters at May’s Annual Town Meeting and finalized by the Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council.
“The benefits to Foxborough from the proposed Invensys project would be substantial,” Sacco said. “Invensys would continue to stimulate economic development in Foxborough and retain hundreds of jobs in the community. Moreover, the company would continue to remain an active and dedicated member of the community.”
Under the current proposal, Foxborough would receive $7,632,716 in total revenue over the 15-year term of the TIF, including 998,051 in TIF taxes over the final 11 years of the deal. The current proposal would exempt Invensys from TIF payments to the town in years 1-4.
The proposed exemption term (year-by-year) for both the 70 Mechanic St. and 38 Neponset Ave. properties is as follows:
It certainly hasn’t been quiet around Foxborough since the start of NFL free agency Tuesday with the New England Patriots losing fan favorites, adding new players to the mix and hosting several NFL free agents.
Locally, the biggest news from the first week of free agency was also the hardest for Patriots fans to come to terms with … Wes Welker leaving Foxborough for Denver.
Patriots fans widely blamed the team for Welker’s departure, calling the receiver’s exodus a “big mistake” by the team.
Hours after news broke of Welker’s decision to sign with Denver, the Patriots announced the signing of wide receiver Danny Amendola to a 5-year contract.
UPDATE (March 13, 5:45 p.m.) - Broncos executive VP of football operations John Elway confirmed the news via Twitter: "Agreed to terms on a 2-yr deal with Wes Welker. Excited to have Wes join the Broncos. His production & toughness will be a great asset!"
Multiple reports say Welker's deal with Denver totals $12 million over two years. NFL Network's Albert Breer reports Patriots final offer to Welker was two years totalling $10 million plus incentives.
ORIGINAL STORY - NOTE: NFL Network's Albert Breer confirmed the news on NFL Network at 4:54 p.m. Wednesday. Breer reports Welker's deal in Denver is for two years. Financial terms of the agreement have not been released.
This one is going to sting Patriots Nation ... Wes Welker trading in the Red, White and Blue for Denver orange?
Looks like a done deal.
The New England Patriots and Welker were unable to get a deal done prior to the start of NFL free agency Tuesday and a day later it appears the fan-favorite wide receiver is leaving Foxborough to join Peyton Manning and the AFC rival Denver Broncos.
Foxborough Democrats will sponsor a discussion of gun violence on Monday, March 18 at 7 p.m. in the McGinty Room of the Foxborough Public Safety Building.
Those invited to speak on the topic are State Representative Paul Heroux of Attleboro, Representative David Linsky of Natick, Representative Frederick “Jay” Barrows of Mansfield and Foxborough Police Chief Edward O’Leary, according to Foxborough Democratic Town Committee chair Dennis Naughton.
Representative Linsky is the sponsor of H 3253, an act relative to further regulating the licensing, sale and possession of firearms and increasing the tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition.
This bill has been assigned to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, chaired by Senator James Timilty.
The meeting is open to the public and all are invited to attend. Any questions regarding the event should be directed to Naughton.
Brian Earley, Franklin resident and General Manager NPP Development/Patriot Place, and Mike Patch, North Attleboro resident and President of CSM Group, Inc., will serve as the chairs of the Hockomock Area YMCA's 2013 Reach Out For Youth and Families Campaign.
“We are thrilled to have Brian and Mike leading this year’s campaign," said Ed Hurley, President of the Hockomock Area YMCA. "The need continues to grow in the 15 communities we serve and under their leadership, we will raise funds for critical programs and services for area families in need. They are true champions of the mission of the Hockomock Area YMCA and are passionate about helping to improve the quality of life in the communities they live and work."
Earley added he was thrilled for the opportunity to lead "such an important community effort."
"The stories of children and families we are able to help are inspirational and I know we are making a difference right here in our own backyard," Earley said. "This year we have an aggressive goal of raising $1,000,000 through the campaign and special events. We are proud that 100 percent of these funds go directly to helping area children and families in need.”
Patch echoed Earley's sentiments.
“I am excited to be volunteering with such an incredible organization," he said. "The Y has such a great story to tell with the work it does every day in our community. Through Reach Out for Youth and Families, the Y is making an impact on our friends and neighbors in need through its many programs and services.”
The Foxborough Regional Charter School community will welcome a special guest to campus on April 3rd when Holocaust survivor Janet Singer Applefield comes to town.
The event, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will feature Applefield's moving personal experiences throughout the Holocaust, as she and her family fought for survival. Visit her website here for a preview of her story.
Foxborough has a crime rate that is noticeably lower than the average of communities similar in population size, according to real estate data compiled by NeighborhoodScout.com.
Foxborough is safer than 59 percent of the cities and towns in the U.S. of all population sizes, according to the report and the town's crime rate is lower than 55 percent of the communities in Massachusetts. If you live in Foxborough, your chance of becoming a victim of crime in the community is 1 in 63.
According to the data, Foxborough experiences an average of 271 total crimes annually (22 violent and 249 property).
Residents’ chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 772, much lower than the state average (1 in 233). Property crimes are more likely to occur in Foxborough as 1 in 68 residents may become a victims.
Foxborough has more artists, designers and people working in media than 90 percent of the communities in America, according to real estate data compiled by NeighborhoodScout.com.
“Foxborough is a town of artists,” the report says. “This concentration of artists helps shape Foxborough’s character.”
A city built and run by students that connects classroom lessons with real-world experiences otherwise known as “Exchange City” was the Teaching and Learning Highlight at the last Foxborough School Committee meeting.
Under the direction of Ms. Alison Mello, K-8 Director of Math and Science, five students representing the Ahern Middle School seventh grade came forward to share their experience with the real-world simulation as well as their insightful reflections.
Exchange City is the seventh grade learning program that gives students a basic understanding of government, economics and financial literacy in addition to workforce skills. The work first began in the classroom as part of their enrichment curriculum where they learned how to create budgets and business plans, explore careers, use economic theories in order to run their own business including producing, pricing and selling items.
The New England Patriots lost two of their own free agents Tuesday but none named Wes Welker.
The Philadelphia Eagles announced on the first day of free agency they had come to terms with former Patriots safety Patrick Chung on a 3-year, $10 million contract, reuniting the former Oregon Duck with his college coach, Chip Kelly, in Philadelphia, according to NFL.com.
Chung spent four seasons with the New England Patriots but missed 12 games over the past two years. The former second round draft pick leaves Foxborough for Philadelphia with 239 combined tackles, 3 sacks, 7 interceptions and 1 touchdown in 50 career games, according to ESPN.com.
Chung took to Twitter (@PatrickChung25) to announce the news.