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126-unit Retirement Community To Be Built In Tewksbury in 2013

Hawthorne Retirement Group has developed and manages 35 such communities in the United States.

A state-of-the-art retirement community is being planned for Tewksbury, with construction set to begin some time in 2013.

Hawthorn Retirement Group announced last week it had reached a deal with Colson & Colson Construction to build the $10 million complex.

The development, which is tentatively being called the Tewksbury Retirement Residence, will be located on a 10-acre parcel of land at Main Street and Victor Drive near the Wynn Middle School. Frontage will be on Main Street.

According to Hawthorn spokesperson Catherine Arthur, plans are for a three-story, 113,906 sq. ft. complex. It will feature 126 apartment suites, ranging from studio apartments to two-bedroom.

"We have completed our land use process and we will be wrapping up the site and building permits early in 2013," said Arthur. She added that a construction date has not yet been set.

The month-to-month rent for residents includes all utilities except for a personal phone line, said Arthur. It also includes three meals a day prepared by an onsite executive chef, activities and other amenities such as a movie theater, fitness center, beauty shop, billiards room and a library.

Hawthorn Retirement Group was started in 2000 and is based in Vancouver, Wash. The group has developed and manages 35 such retirement communities in 17 states in the USA, as well as four in Canada and three in Great Britain. Massachusetts facilities are located in Beverly and Westborough.

Rick M November 27, 2012 at 04:13 PM
I think that this is a great use of that land, though I thought that is was wetlands back there. Am I mistaken or did this have to do with the proposed changes in wetland borderzones? It abutts the school and the parks and is relatively near the other senior based public housing next to the livingston fields. Proximity to library, golf course, and senior center makes it perfect. The opportunity to add infrastructure to rt 38 is an advantage but based on the recent traffic light improvements at the Wynn, I would guess the entrance road would come off of Griffin Rd. to created less conjestion. Plus 126 more customers for local business. Hopefully the town has worked out an arrangement to help offset some of the EMS costs as part of the building process. Staffing for the back up ambulance in South Tewksbury beyond July 2013 would be a nice start as the impact on the towns primary ambulance may be significant. All in all, I would much rather have 126 people spread out over 10 acres than trying to jam another 4 bedroom house on a bungalo lot in South Tewksbury!!!
Mike November 27, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Theres only 2 ambulances for tewksbury fire department they are going to need a third now with all the new establishments in town especially this one with all the elderly people
Who Me? November 27, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Ambulances do not make money for the Town. The true and total costs for the service is not fully accounted for. Pensions and Heath Care in Retirement (fo the ambulance crews) are not added. When Chelmsford added all the true and real costs of providing ambulance service they were actually losing money. They then went to a private ambulance service.
john smith November 27, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Rick just a clarification it is not 126 people, it is 126 units. Probably on average two people per unit. I am all for developing rt 38 and obviously Tewksbury has been good to the seniors, just look around. We as a community just need to make sure impacts are always considered and planned for responsibly before the towns services are over extended.
john smith November 27, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Ask our town manager if ambulances make money for the town. They do!
Who Me? November 27, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I'll say it again and I'll be just as correct this time as I was the first. When all true, real, actual, heath care and full retirement costs are added... Public Ambulance services do not make any "real" money. http://www.emsvillage.com/articles/article.cfm?id=868
mike monahan November 27, 2012 at 05:59 PM
When saying that they are a money maker, have you considered if additional staffing and equipment is needed to handle the increased volume? Does the town also bill for the engine truck and police that may respond?
Who Me? November 27, 2012 at 06:06 PM
I would ask that all interested in a fair and factual debate please google up Privatizing Public Ambulance Services. This debate is taking place all over America as well as here in Massachusetts. It IS AND WILL CONTINUE to be a conversion to a Private Ambulance Service AND MOST CERTAINLY WILL be the norm in the future. Let the Firefighters handle fires. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/better-government-at-half-the-price-james-t-bennett/1000798234
Who Me? November 27, 2012 at 06:08 PM
There is no need for a new intersection. Traffic should exit out the Jr High Road to a set of lights already in place.
john smith November 27, 2012 at 06:44 PM
That's great, let corporate America take care of our sick and injured. Private ambulance companies care about one thing, their profit. They are companies not public servants. Everything they do revolves around money, period, except paying their employees well. Private EMS also has one of the highest employee turn over rates of any industry, that says alot. Maybe public ambulances don't make any real money as you put it, because they charge a fraction of what a private ambulance does. I bet what they charge covers all expenses and still makes money for the town instead of the money going to a private company.
Mike November 27, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I thought when they announced the clearing of the property they would only exit onto Victor Drive. Now the entrance/exit is opposite Mahoney's, a short distance from the bad curve on Main St. They should be made to use Victor Drive and the lights and hlep the traffic flow and safety. The rest of it should be good.
Who Me? November 27, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Oh for criss sakes...knock of the hyperbole. Hospitals are PRIVATE CORPORATIONS!! You use them don't you? You are already letting corporate America take care. If you are "tied" to the issue that's fine but just say so. But don't make silly corporate America campain speeches.
malcolm nichols November 27, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Do we actually know what this is being proposed as? I'm guessing it is just Independent Living or some form of age restricted housing. It certainly is not Assisted Living or Elderly Congregate Living/Care. From a Special Permit or Site Plan approval perspective we need to make sure this fits the character of our Town. It can either be a benefit or an eye soar/burden. We rely on our Planning Board. Don't screw it up.
malcolm nichols November 27, 2012 at 07:54 PM
The term is Free Market economy. If you do a good job at a fair price people hire you. If you do a poor job they don't and you go out of business (unless you are the government where the worse you do the more they "invest").
Fallon Family November 27, 2012 at 08:38 PM
It would be kind of nice to see that land be filled in, but is there any word on what they are doing to save that wetland area? We can't keep destroying and building on swamps. I thought we had a meeting to protect such areas?
Joe Bill November 27, 2012 at 09:02 PM
This sounds like a great plan for this land. Better than another strip mall or some other foolish idea like a dog park or fair grounds for medieval jousting competitions. It will most likely result in less traffic than most other developments, only the traffic will slow when the Oldsmobile's and Buick’s with blankets and tissue boxes in the back seat crawl along at 25mph down route 38. Occasionally Mahoney's or a few other local storefronts may have the inconvenience of having a Old's or Buick drive through their front windows, but other than that it will be good for the town. In all seriousness, I enthusiastically support this development and the benefit it brings to the town in the form of added revenue without the burden on our schools. Too bad Ginsburg and Martell didn't think of 55+ as they conceived their development which will undoubtedly pose a significant burden on the town.
Mike November 27, 2012 at 11:25 PM
I know we've had our fights on the patch before but for onec I agree with you well said Joe
denise November 28, 2012 at 12:34 AM
No matter what goes anywhere on 38 you get the good and bad, and people agreeing and not agreeing.. Housing for the Elderly doesnt seem as bad as some places...I am sure it will not be an eyesore like the "Funland property"... I for one think it will add jobs to the town...
mike monahan November 28, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Many years ago when I worked on developing properties in somerville and cambridge, as part of the approval process the developer had contribute to the affordable housing trust,or meet other requirements. Why doesn't the town make developers (not justsure this developer) buy an ambulance, contribute a school construction fund? Even if it is an ANR (approval not required) there are often orders of conditions or building permits that need to be obtained. Also, and I may be wrong, I believe commercial property generates more property taxes, and has far less draw on town services. Why not add a commercial component to the development? Just a thought.
BrandonS November 28, 2012 at 02:17 AM
The sounds of construction will get extremely annoying for the kids at the wynn middle school
Fallon Family November 28, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Not necessarily, when I went to the Wynn they were clearing out that area of trees and they didn't seem to make much noise, and this was with the huge tree clearing machinery. There will be noise, but not enough to bother anybody
mike t November 28, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Yes and we should also privatize Police,Fire and Public works departments. We lose money with all these services. It should be equal for all public services! By privatizing we can get rid of these ridiculous pensions and healthcare costs. Let the Police,Fire, and DPW pay their healthcare and a 401K like the rest of us. We will also see more productive works schedules such as getting rid of the country club fire department schedule of two 24 hour shifts and 4 to 5 days off, where the firefighters get PAID to sleep. If they were private they would WORK! 8 hours shifts and actually do something other than sleep. You see you can't just look at the ambulance service. You have to look at all the services because they all cost us.
Bob November 28, 2012 at 05:20 PM
John, great point! NOT! When and what hospital have you been to recently that is not privately owned and operated? "They" are already taking care of us!
john smith November 28, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Bob you are stating the obvious! Of course hospitals are privately run but they are not comparable to ambulance companies. Hospitals are staffed by highly paid employees in a controlled environment compared to private ambulances which pay their EMERGENCY workers 12 bucks an hour and management takes the lion share of a very profitable business. Mike T you are clueless and I don't say that typically. You want to privatize the police force? That is a down right ridiculous statement! Lets get a security company to handle crime in Tewksbury, smart idea. Your attacks on town employees are disgraceful and direspectful to a large group of dedicated people. Should we close down all the schools as well while your at it? Amazing
Bob November 28, 2012 at 06:37 PM
John, your comment was "let corporate America take care of our sick and injured". I simply pointed that is already happening with great success! As for you assertion that private EMT's are somehow less than town EMT's, that sounds like a union talking point entirely baseless in fact. I know as I deal with both every day. They all have the same certs etc.
Scott Wilson November 28, 2012 at 07:33 PM
New construction (business or residential) has to tie in to the sewer system.
Larry Wiseheart November 28, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Yes! And if you're young, you will see a lot more of these retirement communities all over the country, not necessary in Tewksbury.
RunningGreen November 28, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Interesting to see how some people get riled up about this now even though it has been on the meeting agenda for the Planning Board several times.
Mark Jones December 07, 2012 at 01:36 AM
more wildlife being thrown out of their homes/ we keep stealing more of their land just like we did to the Indians in this country! Its all about the almighty buck! meanwhile clear cutting more trees is contributing to global warming! why do we nd so many retirement homes? have them move in w their families instead! that is where I want to live when I get old! we nd the trees more than we nd more buildings! ignorant citizens when are U going to wake up to the fact that the earth is dying from our over population, increased development, continued oil consumption etc etc! I don't see anything happening to diffuse this crisis! its your grandchildren and great grandchildren and so on that will pay the price for our care free living! sad
Janellen27 January 16, 2013 at 06:01 AM
I wonder if the only people who can afford to retire to this "community/complex" will be those from out of town. With amenities like these, it won't be low rent! Should be thinking of what works for our own retirees first.

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