CHICOPEE - Owners of an Easthampton building materials distribution company announced it will move back to Chicopee by September.
The Holden Humphrey Co. started in Chicopee in 1987 and moved to Easthampton in 2006. Monday it announced it is seeking more space and will return to Chicopee, Mayor Richard J. Kos said in a written statement.
Company President and CEO Lance Humphrey signed a long-term lease to rent about half of the building at 77 Champion Drive. He plans to move the company's 40 employees and equipment by September, Kos said.
"They are a growing business so there is a potential for increased jobs in the future," said Joel McAuliffe, communications director for the mayor.
The business will move into about 82,683 square feet of vacant space at the former Rock-Tenn Corp. building. Menck USA, a German custom window manufacturer, moved into the other half of the roughly 150,000-square-foot building in 2013.
When Menck moved to Chicopee, then-Mayor Michael D. Bissonnette and the Chicopee City Council created an incentive agreement that waived property taxeson the building for the first year. The break then decreased by 25 percent a year until the company had been in the city for five years. The tax incentive is worth about $250,000. Menck also worked with the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council to receive state tax incentives.
The incentive, which lasts through 2019, technically goes to the property owner, but it was understood that the savings would be passed onto tenants.
"We are very excited to now have this facility fully occupied and bringing over 40 positions to Chicopee," said Michael L. Vedovelli, director of Community and Economic Development for the city. "We have been working very closely with the property owners, Winstanley Enterprises LLC, on finding a complimentary tenant for this property."
The Holden Humphrey Co. was founded by Lance Humphrey and Peter Alexander. They serve lumber dealers, manufacturers and distributors throughout New England, New York, and northern New Jersey, the statement said.
"We are incredibly excited to be returning home to Chicopee," Humphrey said in the statement released by the mayor's office. "I thank Mayor Kos and his administration for their assistance as we look forward to a continuing to serve area businesses as the premiere two-step building materials distributor."
Humphrey could not be reached for further comment Monday.
"We are excited to welcome Holden Humphrey and their jobs back to Chicopee," Kos said. "We will continue to work with them to improve their continued success and growth."
This is the third major business announcement for Chicopee this year.
U.S. Tsubaki Auto LLC finalized plans this month for a $11.5 million expansion that includes building a 100,000-square-foot addition to its building on Lonczak Drive.
In February, Peter Wirth, the owner of a Mercedes-Benz dealership in New York announced he would invest about $11.8 million to open a second dealership on Burnett Road at the property of the former Plantation Inn.
Built in 1996, the 15.5 acre Wonderland Marketplace is a 135,000 square foot, multi-tenanted retail center, situated approximately five miles north of downtown Boston in the heart of Revere, one of Greater Boston's most densely populated suburbs.
Located across the street from the Wonderland commuter line station, this well-established shopping center is anchored by a strong roster of national credit tenants including Marshalls, Staples and Big Lots! The Property also includes the United States Postal Service, Hair Cuttery, and the 99 Restaurant and Pub.
Current availablity included in-line suites from 1,100 SF to 40,000 SF with the potential for a drive-through window, as well as an outparcel accommodating up to 4,500 SF.
CHELMSFORD - Chef and owner Jim Rogers has been busy planning and designing and dreaming since he announced last July that Chelmsford Town Center would be the site for the second location of his much-lauded Andiamo Restaurant.
Last week, Rogers welcomed media and town officials for a hard-hat tour of the new location where interior construction is now underway.
If all goes according to schedule, Rogers hopes to open Andiamo Restaurant and Bar in mid-May.
But there's a lot to do before then to outfit the restaurant that will seat about 160 guests inside and 40 outside for "al fresco" dining.
Rogers' vision for the restaurant includes expanding upon what he's already become known for at Andiamo - it means "Lets Go" in Italian - in Newburyport, which opened in 2012.
Since he's able to build the Chelmsford location from the floor up, Rogers said he has taken particular time to work out the details and include exactly what he needs to achieve his vision for the new restaurant.
"By designing the kitchen and the whole restaurant there, we can design everything we need to make the menu work," Rogers told Patch in July. "It's a real treat. I've done it, but not from a cement floor."
Andiamo in Chelmsford will feature an open kitchen concept and a wood fire oven, according to a press release. A large gas fireplace in the center of the restaurant and an impressive wine list will also be part of the guest experience.
Additionally, the kitchen will be equipped with a machine, imported from Italy, to make homemade fresh pasta. Rogers told Patch that he enjoys making homemade ravioli, but is generally only able to offer one or two flavors a day at Newburyport; the machine in Chelmsford will allow Rogers to offer more options.
The restaurant will feature favorites from Newburyport, including signature dishes such as butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter sage cream sauce, chicken parmesan over fresh pasta in an arugula pistachio pesto, and weekly antipasti plates.
Traditional Italian dishes and daily specials are all part of the experience Rogers is designing for Chelmsford.
"In the restaurant business we all know there is nothing better than food that starts from scratch," Rogers said in a statement. "You can imagine how thrilled I am to have been able to design a brand new restaurant from scratch."
CHELMSFORD - An Italian restaurant will soon become the anchor tenant for Chelmsford Town Center plaza, a multimillion-dollar development destined to be a boon for the town.
In addition to creating construction jobs, the new businesses have also brought a variety of other job opportunities. Andiamo will hire about 70 full- and part-time employees to be servers, dishwashers, cooks and bartenders.
So far, Winstanley said, all tenants are reporting strong sales, even without the plaza fully occupied. He said Choice Fitness reported receiving a record number of memberships.
He said his company will continue to make future improvements.
"We plan on being here and continuing to invest in the property and really make this a great site and great location for the people in this community and for people outside the region that will travel here to visit the restaurants and the stores," Winstanley said.
Evan Belansky, the town's community development director, said the plaza is already helping the center by bringing more people downtown. He expects more patrons will come as other storefronts are filled.
"The more people that come to the plaza obviously have to drive through the center, which brings more visibility to the other businesses in the center," he said. "Couple that with our continued branding and marketing of the existing businesses and the cultural and historic resources of the town, an increase in daytime or nighttime visitors can only benefit other existing businesses in the town."
With the additional restaurants nearby, Belansky said people attending shows at the Chelmsford Center for the Arts will have expanded choices to eat dinner or go for cocktails. It adds up to the public staying downtown longer, he said.
He said the town will continue to work on connecting the plaza with the rest of the center through sidewalk improvements and incorporating the new establishments into Chelmsford's marketing efforts.
On Thursday, developer Winstanley Enterprises, chef/owner Jim Rogers and others gathered for a peek of the construction at Andiamo Restaurant + Bar, soon to be the second location of a successful Newburyport restaurant.
Rogers said he enjoys having a blank canvas to design his new restaurant, expected to open in early May, from the ground up. It's a big change from the original Andiamo, which he said has been somewhat constrained by its location in a historic building with limited kitchen space.
"We didn't just buy a restaurant, paint it, change the sign and open it," Rogers said. "We're really building something amazing here."
During a tour of the space, he outlined plans for varied seating, an open kitchen, a bar with televisions for sports viewing, a wood-burning gas oven, wine cabinets and a stone fireplace. Sliding doors will section off an area for private dining for functions, parties and corporate meetings. The space is equipped for audio-visual presentations and features a 60-inch plasma TV.
Adam Winstanley, principal of Concord-based Winstanley Enterprises, said he didn't want Chelmsford Town Center "to feel like just another shopping center." He said he sought out entrepreneurial tenants that had something unique to offer in order to create what he called "an upscale lifestyle center."
Choice Fitness and Dunkin Donuts are the only large chains with a presence in the Boston Road plaza, while Japanese restaurant Nobo and Loch Ness Play Center are family-owned.
Next to come will be A'Gaci Spa and Pita, a Greek fast-casual restaurant, Winstanley said. He is also in negotiations with an upscale hair salon.
Winstanley said it was important to find an anchor restaurant to fit the end-cap space designed to include a patio for outdoor summer dining.
"That's what I think will make this downtown more special and make people feel like there are things in the downtown that they're excited about, whether it's here at our property or over at somebody else's property," Winstanley said.
Since Winstanley acquired the former Stop & Shop property for about $7 million two years ago, he's invested another $7 million in construction and other improvements. He said he expects another $1 million to $2 million will be invested by the time the space is open for business in June -- and that doesn't include costs incurred by tenants for individual fit-outs.
During construction, the footprint of the former building was downsized by about 20,000 square feet, Winstanley said. The structure was rewired and received a new roof and facade, he said, complete with tower features and specialty lighting that is wired to change colors on holidays.
"There are a lot of bells and whistles that have gone into the real estate to make it special," he said.
Award winning Chef, James Rogers, is excited to announce his new restaurant, set to open in Chelmsford MA, at 16-20 Boston Road, in a new lifestyle center developed by Winstanley Enterprises LLC called "Chelmsford Town Center". With construction anticipated to start in September.
Chef Rogers opened the original Andiamo Restaurant + Bar just under three years ago in October of 2012 in his hometown of Newburyport, MA. Since then, Andiamo has been widely supported by critics and local restaurant goers, being featured on the Phantom Gourmet and winning a handful of awards, most recently winning "The Best of The North Shore Best Italian Reader's Choice 2015" and "Daily News Best Bets 2015 - Best Martini." With the success of his first restaurant, Rogers is more than ready to expand.
"I am so excited to bring our signature restaurant experience and unique twist on traditional recipes to the next level in a new area." said Chef Rogers. "The fact that our Chelmsford site will also be built out to our specific wants and needs is also extremely exciting. My wife and I are truly looking forward to becoming part of the fabric of another community," said Rogers, adding, "Andiamo's first location in Newburyport has a special place in our hearts; from our dedicated first-class staff to our amazing customer base and fresh food, it has really set the tone for what our brand stands for. We can only hope to have those similar successes in our new Chelmsford location."
Andiamo in Chelmsford will feature an open kitchen concept with a beautiful Marra Forni wood fired oven. Signature dishes have been carefully perfected such as the Butternut Squash Ravioli in a brown butter sage cream sauce, Chicken Parmesan over fresh pasta in an arugula pistachio pesto, and weekly antipasti plates. Guests can expect traditional Italian dishes alongside new and exciting daily specials.
Chef-owner Rogers pays tribute to Italy with his handmade raviolis, pastas, and cheeses. You can expect his high quality dishes alongside a handcrafted cocktail list and an extensive wine menu, many of which will be imported from Italy.
Andiamo Restaurant + Bar will have 160 seats inside and 40 for al fresco dining, matching that warm and intimate environment that the Newburyport location is known for. Chef Rogers and his team look forward to serving you.
For more information, please visit www.Andiamo-Restaurant.com or contact James Rogers directly at (978) 804-8876 or via email, JRogers@Andiamo-Restaurant.com.
MANCHESTER - A real estate investment and development company has purchased the Plaza at Burr Corners for $22 million and plans significant improvements, including a new supermarket.
Winstanley Enterprises, based in Concord, Mass., bought properties that comprise the retail center on Tolland Turnpike and Buckland Street from Gateway Lauren LLC, according to records filed Friday in the town clerk's office. The sale price was close to the town's total appraisal of the properties, Assessment and Collection Director John Rainaldi said.
"We plan an extensive revitalization and turnaround at the property," company partner Adam Winstanley said.
Eighty percent of the properties at 1127, 1129-1205 and 1131 Tolland Turnpike and 62, 80 and 82 Buckland St. are leased, Winstanley said, "but we feel it can perform at a much higher level." The company's partner in the project is Surrey Equities of New York City, he said.
Work will start with upgrading lighting and signs and improving landscaping and parking lots. The company also plans structural repairs to the buildings and improving access to the plaza, Winstanley said.
The new owner's first new tenant will be Dover Saddlery, a national equestrian apparel and supply store. Dover has signed a lease for 7,500 square feet in the plaza, and the renovation will be completed by late summer or early fall, Winstanley said.
The company is also working to bring a supermarket to the site, he said. Winstanley said he is not concerned about competition from the planned Wal-Mart Supercenter on the site of the former Kmart department store on Spencer Street.
"This property has the ability to support its own supermarket," he said.
At 1127 Tolland Turnpike, the company is working with Webster Bank to relocate an ATM and then bring in a "significant restaurant tenant," Winstanley said. An office building on the site was torn down late last year.
Winstanley has done about 40 projects in Connecticut. Its current listings include WinBrook Business Park in Rocky Hill, Elmwood Plaza in West Hartford and Great Pond in Windsor, a residential community on the Farmington River.
Massachusetts commercial landlord Winstanley Enterprises has sold seven buildings in a pair of Rocky Hill industrial parks for $35.2 million, brokers say.
Boston's Albany Road Real Estate Partners expanded its Connecticut commercial-property portfolio with its purchase of properties in the Inwood and WinBrook business parks, listing brokers Pat Mulready and John McCormick of CBRE-New England said Monday.
Winstanley bought Inwood, developed in the late '80s, in 2003 and developed WinBrook in 2008. Together, they have 330,000 square feet.
The four buildings Winstanley sold at 30, 50, 65 and 70 Inwood Road total 161,883 square feet and are fully leased to tenants, including Henkel, HESCO, NuMotion, Physician's for Women's Health and ALARM New England, brokers said.
The three WinBrook buildings at 712, 714 and 716 Brook St., across from the Alterra Apartments, have 167,200 square feet and tenants that include Paychex, Trane, Honeywell and Solar City. WinBrook is 96 percent leased, with a single 7,000-square-foot suite available, brokers said.
Based in Concord, Mass., Winstanley Enterprises owns other commercial properties in the Hartford region. It is also the co-developer of the proposed Great Pond mixed-use development of Day Hill Road in Windsor.
Neither buyer nor seller immediately returned requests Monday for comment.
According to its homepage, Albany Road's eastern U.S. property holdings now include a number in Connecticut. Among them are six self-storage facilities in Bloomfield, Columbia, Griswold, Simsbury, Waterbury; industrial-flex buildings in Branford Business Center and Rocky Hill; and office buildings at 1690 New Britain Ave. in Farmington and in the Meriden Executive Park, 530-538 Preston Ave.
Stoughton, MA - Price Rite marked its grand opening Wednesday morning with a ribbon cutting. The ceremony, held April 29 in front of the new supermarket, was attended by Stoughton town officials, members of the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce and Price Rite executives and staff. Store manager Raul Vicente and his sons had the honor of cutting the ribbon.
Price Rite is located at 666 Washington St. in Stoughton at the site of the former Shaw's. There have been extensive renovations inside and outside the building. This is the 57th Price Rite location and it will anchor the plaza which has been renamed Stoughton Town Center. This Price Rite is employing about 120 people, most from the local area, according to Bill Britton, director of HR for Price Rite. This location also has a deli, which is not a feature in all Price Rite supermarkets.
Adam Winstanley of Winstanley Enterprises (the plaza's landlord) also spoke at the ribbon cutting and shared news of some other developments coming soon to the plaza - an upscale liquor store will be opening in the near future, serving as a junior anchor, as well as Sonic taking the place of the old Friendly's.
Take a look at photos from the ribbon cutting ceremonty below.
New Haven, CT - The Connecticut/ Western Massachusetts chapter of SIOR recently held their first quarterly meeting for 2015 in The Study at Yale University. Prior to the meeting, members and guests had an opportunity to tour 100 College Street, hosted by the property's developer, Carter Winstanley.
100 College Street is a landmark development in downtown New Haven; soon to be the world headquarters of Alexion Pharmaceuticals. The fourteen story 495,000 square foot office, lab, and pharmaceutical production facility is slated to be completed by early 2016. The $220,000,000 development project is envisioned to add continued vibrancy in the heart of New Haven, also known as The New Haven Downtown Crossing. It will connect the downtown business, cultural, entertainment, and educational centers with Yale University's Medical District and Hill neighborhoods.
Following the facility tour, members and guests convened in The Study at Yale University for a Chapter Meeting, networking, and dinner at Heirloom Restaurant. David Hickey and Greg Lux, of Hickey & Associates, provided an interesting presentation highlighting their firm's strategic partnership with SIOR. Their talk focused on Hickey & Associates' services including site selection, public incentive initiatives, and workforce solutions. Hickey & Associates is a global organization with offices situated throughout the United States and beyond.
SIOR is the leading professional commercial and industrial real estate association. With more than 3,000 members in 580 cities in 26 countries, SIOR represents today's most knowledgeable, experienced, and successful commercial real estate brokerage specialists.
BRATTLEBORO - Southeastern Vermont's largest commercial solar array is producing power, and when the sun is at its strongest about 40 percent of the town's electricity will be produced by the sun.
The 2.0 megawatt solar project along Interstate 91 has been completed and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, state Rep. Mollie Burke, and developers and engineers involved in the project met out on the site Wednesday to officially mark the project's completion.
Winstanley Enterprises, the development company that owns the 12-acre parcel off of Technology Drive in North Brattleboro, broke ground on the solar project five months ago and there are now more than 8,000 ground mounted photovoltaic panels producing electricity for Brattleboro.
"It's rewarding to realize that this project represents a significant step in Vermont's bigger picture initiative to deliver clean renewable energy sources across the state," said Adam Winstanley, a principal of Winstanley Enterprises. "We are proud of our entire team's efforts on this project and applaud the state of Vermont for their unwavering commitment to the environment."
The solar project was included in Vermont's Sustainability Priced Energy Development, or SPEED, program which ensures that Green Mountain Power will purchase all of the electricity produced by the array.
Vermont wants to meet 20 percent of its energy needs through the SPEED program by 2017, 75 percent of its energy needs by 2032 and 90 percent of its energy needs by 2050 through sustainable power sources.
"Renewable energy projects like this solar installation are a boon for our environment and our economy," Scott said. "When we invest in projects that reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we grow opportunities for our skilled local workforce, and plant the seeds for Vermont to sustain itself, independent from outside influences."
Integrated Solar of Brattleboro and REC Solar, a national solar provider for commercial customers constructed the project. REC Solar was the lead contractor and Integrated Solar installed the system.
Since work started on the site in May, more than 18,000 labor hours for about 75 people were created for the installation.
Integrated Solar president Andy Cay said it was his company's priority from the start to involve as many local workers as possible in the work.
"This project has driven home the significance of solar power to Brattleboro's energy future through its visibility and local business involvement," Cay said. "We are pleased to have been part in this successful collaborative effort with many local businesses and individuals together with a leading national solar company."
BRATTLEBORO - Work is under way on Brattleboro's new 2 megawatt solar array and
the project could be generating electricity by the end of the summer.
Winstanley Enterprises LLC, the development company that owns the land off of
Technology Drive and along Interstate 91, has crews on the site. They are putting posts in
the ground and they have started to install some of the more than 8,000 solar panels,
which, when they are in place, will generate enough power on a very sunny day to
provide about 40 percent of the town's energy needs.
The Vermont Public Service Board in February issued a certificate of public good for the project, which is privately owned and will generate electricity that is fed into the grid. Winstanley Enterprises Vice President Eric Nelson said the company wanted to use the
site for a solar project and applied to Vermont's Sustainably Priced Energy Development,
or SPEED, program. The SPEED program guarantees that the developers of sustainable
energy projects of up to 2.2 megawatts will have a customer for the power produced and
the program also helps with the permitting and development of the project. Nelson said
Winstanley was put on a waiting list for the SPEED program, and after five other
developers dropped their applications for other projects in the state, Winstanley was
given the green light for the Brattleboro project.
"The SPEED program is a great program to participate in. It was so popular that there
was a waiting list at first," Nelson said. "Anytime you have a parcel of land you can let it remain fallow or you can try to do something with it. The folks who looked at this said it was a great place for a solar development. It seemed like a good fit for us for a lot of reasons."
Winstanley has owned the approximately 13 acres of land for a number of years, and
there have been a few projects eyed for the site.
In 2006 Meeting Waters YMCA wanted to build a new facility on the Winstanley land
but the deal fell through.
"A lot of projects and property transactions take twists and turns, and we are always
trying to find the best use for any property," Nelson said. "Over time we have looked at
different uses and for a variety of reasons those deals were not completed."
Annually, the solar array will provide enough energy for about 600 households
Dan Ingold, of Powersmith Farm, is the project technical director. He helped design the
massive solar array and has been on hand to watch as the first solar panels were attached
to the posts.
Ingold explained that while the electricity generated at the site is going to be fed directly into the grid, the power itself will seek the shortest distance and will be used directly by businesses along Putney Road. Taking into account times when the solar cells are not making electricity at night and on cloudy days, the array will provide Brattleboro with about 9 percent of its total energy needs over the course of a year.
"The state of Vermont has certain renewable power goals they're trying to meet and this
is one way to try to meet them," Ingold said. "When people are coming into Vermont on
the Interstate, and they see this project, they will know we have our priorities right."
Integrated Solar, a Brattleboro company, is working with REC Solar, a commercial solar
installation company from California.
Integrated Solar President and owner Andy Cay said the Brattleboro project is by far the largest project his company has ever taken on, and he said it was especially important for the company to be leading such a large installation so close to the company's
"It means a lot to be a part of a project of this size," Cay said. "It's good for our
experience, it's good for our resume. It's good for our relationships. It's challenging us
and it is a rewarding process."
BRATTLEBORO - The state has given the green light to a 2-megawatt solar project along Interstate 91 in Brattleboro, clearing the way for construction of one of Vermont's largest photovoltaic facilities.
In issuing a certificate of public good to WE 90 Technology Drive LLC, state Public Service Board officials said the project "will not have an undue adverse effect on aesthetics, historic sites, air and water purity, the natural environment, the use of natural resources and the public health and safety."
In short, officials wrote that the solar array will "promote the general good of the state."
The project was proposed last year by Winstanley Enterprises LLC, based in Concord, Mass. Company representatives could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Reportedly, the project could include as many as 8,300 solar panels, though the Public Service Board says the array's "exact wattage, number of panels and panel configuration will be determined at the time of final design and procurement ... by the contractor."
The project site at 90 Technology Drive, according to state documents, is a vacant, 15-acre parcel "wedged between Interstate 91 and an industrialized area north of Brattleboro." The Holiday Inn Express sits immediately to the north.
There will be approximately 1,050 poles, buried electric lines, associated electrical equipment and a 600-foot-long access drive.
There were no major objections to the project. From the state's perspective, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets got involved in the permitting process, as did the Department of Public Service and the Agency of Natural Resources.
Locally, Windham Regional Commission reviewed the proposed solar facility and "concluded that the project was consistent with the goals and policies of the regional plan and proposed that the project take steps to mitigate the impacts to the viewshed of travelers on Interstate 91 and the potential loss of prime agricultural soils."
And at the town level, the Public Service Board notes that Brattleboro Planning Commission sought public comment on the solar facility.
"Comments were received from the Conservation Commission, the Agricultural Advisory Committee, the Town Energy Coordinator and some members of the public," board members wrote. "The majority of the comments were positive, though there were specific concerns about the potential for negative visual impact, glare and future use of agricultural soils at the project site."
Upon hearing of the state's approval of the project on Monday, Brattleboro Selectboard Chairman David Gartenstein noted that there had been aesthetic concerns.
"The town of Brattleboro is in favor of green energy projects and production of energy through renewable sources. Concerns have been expressed about the visual impact of a large solar array placed in a very visible location directly along I-91 in Brattleboro," Gartenstein said.
"The (Public Service Board), however, concluded that public hearings on the project were not necessary," Gartenstein said. "We wish Winstanley the best of success in construction of the project."
In defense of the decision to not hold a public hearing, Public Service Board members pointed to memorandums of understanding that the solar project's developers reached with the state agencies.
"We appreciate the efforts of all concerned to address these issues and prepare appropriate mitigation requirements," board members wrote.
Because of those memorandums, the Winstanley solar petition "no longer raised substantial issues requiring a hearing, and therefore no hearing was needed," the board's certificate says.
The document addresses aesthetic and environmental concerns as well as a variety of other details:
The Public Service Board's order says the project "will not violate a clear, written community standard intended to preserve the aesthetics or scenic beauty of the area."
The solar array will be visible from both I-91 and Technology Drive. In reference to the latter road, "this area has an industrial character and views will be most possible during times that deciduous vegetation is defoliated," board members wrote.
For the highway, "views will be limited to an approximate 1,000-foot stretch of interstate closest to the project and will be possible when traveling both northbound and southbound," the board's order says.
"Views will be intermittent, broken by clumps of existing vegetation," officials added. "Visibility will be under 15 seconds when traveling this portion of the interstate."
The board also addresses glare concerns, saying that will not be an issue for I-91 drivers.
"To reduce any possibility of glare, all the solar panels will utilize an anti-reflective coating with less than 2 percent reflectivity, like those often required for use at solar fields adjacent to airports," PSB documents say.
The state Agency of Agriculture had expressed concerns about topsoil at the project site, though developers have said they had not found evidence of high-quality agricultural soil there.
An order accompanying the certificate of public good says "topsoil disturbed during construction and stockpiled on site shall be seeded and mulched and stabilized" in accordance with state standards.
"The solar arrays will be installed to conform with the natural slope of the land with minimal ground alteration," board members added.
Soil conservation also figures into the project's decommissioning.
"At the end of the useful life of the project, the project infrastructure will be removed, including the arrays, mounting poles, buildings, fence and concrete supports, and the site will be restored including the agricultural capability of the soils," the state's certificate says.
The certificate of public good calls for establishment of a decommissioning plan and fund. The costs of decommissioning the solar array were estimated at $129,900 in 2013 dollars; that cost "will be adjusted annually to account for inflation using the Consumer Price Index."
While noting short-term noise impacts, the state's order says construction can take place only within certain hours -- from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. No construction could happen on Sundays or on federal or state holidays.
An anticipated construction schedule was not available Monday. But the Public Service Board's order says "construction of the project will begin once all (certificate of public good) conditions have been fulfilled and is anticipated to take approximately 90 days."
BRATTLEBORO - A local company has been chosen to lead the construction of the 2-megawatt solar array that developers hope to install off of Technology Drive in Brattleboro.
Integrated Solar will partner with REC Solar, a national alternative energy financing and wholesale company, on the solar photovoltaic project slated for land along Interstate 91.
Winstanley Enterprises owns the land and is leading the project.
"This system will provide enough power to bring clean electricity to meet 9 percent of Brattleboro's annual energy needs and 40 percent during peak hours, while fueling local construction jobs," said Integrated Solar president and owner Andy Cay.
REC will help with the bonding and also help purchase the panels. The company has helped build more than 11,000 residential and commercial solar systems across the country.
"This project will play a critical role in helping Vermont reach its ambitious renewable energy goals," said Cary Hayes, director of business development for REC Solar. "We're honored to have been selected to develop the system, and we're looking forward to working with a strong and experienced local partner, Integrated Solar, to get it done."
Dan Ingold, the project's senior technical director, said Winstanley hopes to hold at least one public information meeting before workers begin installing the solar array in the spring. Winstanley wants to install about 8,300 solar panels on 1,040 posts on the parcel of land along the Interstate.
If the project is built it will be one of the largest solar installations in the state.
Winstanley asked the Public Service Board for a Certificate of Public Good under the state's expedited 248(j) permitting process because the company wanted to take advantage of a federal accelerated depreciation schedule that expires at the end of this year.
Winstanley's request to proceed under the accelerated permitting process, which is generally used to consider smaller projects, ended up taking more time to process. Last week the PSB agreed to consider the petition under the 248 (j) schedule, which does not require any public or technical hearings. The PSB still has to rule on the project and issue a Certificate of Public Good before construction can begin.
Ingold said the developers still want to encourage public input as contractors lay out the plans for the solar array.
"We can't have a hearing, because that's the Public Service Board's purview," Ingold said Tuesday. "But we are open to having a meeting and presenting to the public, especially the planning and town officials, anything they want to go over with us. We want this to be as transparent as possible."
Ingold is going to work with the Windham Regional Commission and the town to try to set up a public meeting probably some time in the new month or two.
He said construction could start in April and probably go into August.
With the PSB's decision to proceed under the expedited process, Ingold said developers are meeting with state agencies, including the Agency of Natural Resources, Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets and the Department of Public Service to address any concerns that the state might have with the project.
Ingold said Winstanley wants to get memorandums of understanding with the state agencies which will become a part of the final petition for the certificate of public good.
The Agency of Agriculture is concerned about the top soil on the site, though Ingold said recent tests show that the land there is not high quality agricultural soil.
The land there was a farm, according to Ingold, but when the parcel was sold in the 1980s topsoil was removed and sold.
There have also been issues raised about adverse aesthetic impacts, and Ingold said the company is still figuring out how it wants to shield and protect the solar panels. A fence will have to go up for security reasons, Ingold said, but options range from a chain link fence to an agricultural fence. There are also split opinions on if the solar panels should be hidden from view, or promoted as a welcome to the state and to Vermont's commitment to alternative energy.
Ingold said that is one of the issues that could be addressed at a public meeting.
"If we had an inordinate amount of public comment, we would probably deliver that to the Public Service Board when they put together their final conditions," Ingold said.
Two tenants have been announced at the what will be known as Chelmsford Town Center. It's scheduled to open next July.
Winstanley Enterprises, re-developers of the plaza at what once was the Stop & Shop Plaza on Boston Road, provided two major announcements on Tuesday relating to the rebirth of what once was a major shopping center in the heart of town.
A contract was signed on Tuesday morning awarding renovation of the old Stop & Shop Plaza, now known as Chelmsford Town Center, to Pinnacle Construction of Tewksbury, with work to begin immediately.
Construction was expected to begin on Nov. 15, but a small design delay related to the facade of the building pushed back finalization on the beginning of construction according to Adam Winstanley, founder of Winstanley Enterprises.
Winstanley also announced lease agreements with two tenants: Choice Fitness and Nobo Modern Japanese and Bar.
Choice Fitness will take up the 17,000 sq. ft flagship portion of the plaza closest to Summer Street, with Nobo occupying one of the two 5,000 sq. ft restaurant slots. A third tenant, SportsClips Haircuts, was announced on 12/11.
Construction is expected to be concluded on July 24, 2014.