The Gillette Company acquired 130 acres of land that abutted Route 128 (I-95 S) and Route 109 in Westwood, MA. At one point, they intended to create a major corporate campus on the land’s rolling hills and woods. Several years later the management decided to remain in Downtown Boston and to sell the land.
We led the process of creating a master plan and to receive all the entitlements to fully develop the property – which was necessary to establish its value. We had a 600,000 square foot master plan designed with preliminary architectural and engineering plans, as well as market and cost analyses, environmental and traffic studies prepared. The plan was rejected by the town. We downsized the masterplan, presented it again to the community and, again, it was rejected – even though several years earlier the land had been rezoned for office uses and our submission more than met all the town’s requirements. With Gillette’s consent, our counsel commenced litigation against the town.
In previous such suits, if the court concurred with the plaintiff’s arguments, the court would send the plaintiff back to the community with its ruling. Often, the community would then find another reason to reject a developer’s proposal and the developer was then faced with whether to go through the process again and, possibly, again. Each iteration could take more than a year and incur huge expenses.
In a landmark ruling, the court not only ruled in our favor, but it told the town that it had to approve the plan. The land was sold to a major financial institution, which developed an executive park with two first-class offices buildings on the site, containing more than 300,000 square feet of office space.