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Friday, December 8, 2006

1,000 new homes in Hopkinton?

HOPKINTON

Hopkinton could be headed for another big growth spurt.

A purchase and sales agreement is expected to be signed next week for the sale of 750 acres next to Weston Nurseries.

Roy MacDowell, the president of Boulder Capital, a local real estate development company, said the sale price is $20 million with a deferred payment of another $5 million and the possibility of more if the company is able to get local approval for more residential units than expected.

The company is expecting to build roughly 1,000 units – a mix of single-family houses, condos (possibly age restricted) and rental apartments or houses – as well as some retail, and possibly office and institutional space.

MacDowell emphasized it’s far too early to commit to specific uses and amounts because the company has to do more research and talk to the town about what it desires.

Even after the P&S is signed there is still a chance that Boulder Capital could be outbid. Because the matter is in bankruptcy court, other bidders will have about another month to outbid the company, if they are willing to go at least $1.5 million over Boulder’s bid.

Weston Nurseries President and CEO Gary Furst said he believes there are four or five other interested bidders. According to MacDowell, his company then has another chance to bid. A judge has the final say on who gets the deal.

After that, the town will have 120 days to match the winning bid because the property was enrolled in a state land preservation program that afforded the owners local property tax breaks. The recent draft master plan notes that voters may be reluctant to authorize new borrowing (they rejected the proposed Fruit Street athletic facilities this spring.)

Boulder Capital is based in Weston and developed Cronin’s Landing in Waltham, a mixed-use development on Moody Street.

-- Lisa Kocian

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