Members of the Route 38 Corridor Study Committee admit that the type of infrastructure improvements, seen as essential to economic revitalization in Tewksbury, will take several years to manifest.
However, there are signs that economic development may be ready to take a significant upswing.
Community Development Director Steve Sadwick and Selectman David Gay, confirmed Thursday that separate developers have reached out to town officials this week regarding the former Purity Supreme property on Route 38 and the former go-cart complex across the street from the Knights of Columbus.
"There was nothing and then all of a sudden there was quite a buzz this week," said Sadwick. He declined to identify the developers.
Gay, who serves as chairman of the Economic Development Committee, said he expects an announcement soon regarding the first company to take advantage of the tax incentives (TIFF) made available when Tewksbury was declared an Economic Target Area by the state.
Gay declined to identify the company but said they are new to the community and are expected to locate in North Tewksbury.
"We can't talk about it right now, but it's getting very close," he said.
All this comes on the heels of Harrow's Chicken Pies announcing that they would be opening a new location in Tewksbury in late August. The new take-out store will be located in a small strip mall near the entrance to the Walmart plaza off Route 38.
Walmart, meanwhile, is nearing completion of its conversion to a Super Walmart, complete with a full grocery section.
The Route 38 Corridor Study Committee is a subcommittee of the EDC. Gay serves as co-chair with Planning Board Chairwoman Nancy Reed. Sadwick also sits on the committee, along with Executive Director Beverly Woods and Jay Donovan of the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments.
The committee met for the first time on Thursday, July 28 and expects to meet every six weeks as the study is compiled.
According to Gay and Reed, the study will take a comprehensive look at the Route 38 corridor. The data and anecdotal information gathered will be used to construct a set of recommendations for improvements to the 6.8-mile corridor needed to stimulate economic growth and attract new businesses and new customers for the existing businesses.
The study will also identify key parcels to target for development.
One major project brought up for discussion at Thursday's meeting is a multi-million dollar repaving of Route 38 from the Lowell town line to Wilmington. Such a project would also include re-curbing and could also include a widening of Route 38 in some sections.
Woods said that an end-to-end repaving, even if the financing can be approved, would likely not be able to be scheduled for six years.
"(Re-paving 6.8 miles) would be a challenge but it could be the foundation for sprucing up the whole corridor," said Joe Onorato, who is not a member of the committee but attended the meeting as a representative of the state Department of Transportation District 4.