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Group Reaches Agreement to Purchase, Demolish Motel Caswell to Build $12 Million Entertainment Facility

The Wamesit Lanes facility will include a bowling alley, restaurant, bar, arcade and golf simulator.

A rendering of what Wamesit Lanes is expected to look like. (Courtesy Photo)
A rendering of what Wamesit Lanes is expected to look like. (Courtesy Photo)

A pair of Tewksbury businessmen announced they have reached a purchase and sale agreement to buy the Motel Caswell property in order to demolish it and build a 45,000-square foot entertainment facility they hope to open in 2015.

Donald MacLaren Jr. and his son, Donny MacLaren, joined Steve Bourgeois during a press conference at the Pike House to announce that they agreed to buy 4.83 acres of land where Motel Caswell sits for $2.1 million.

In total, the MacLarens plan to spend about $12 million, including the cost of the purchase, to develop the land into an entertainment facility called Wamesit Lanes. The business will include 32 lanes of ten-pin bowling with eight private VIP lanes, a state of the art arcade, and a golf simulator.

Bourgeois is not involved in the purchase or financial end, but is working in a sales, marketing and business development capacity.

There will also be an upscale restaurant and bar that will feature indoor seating and outdoor patio dining with fire pits and bocce courts.

Developers believe the project will bring 80-100 new jobs to Tewksbury, including 40 full-time positions.

“We hope it’s a win-win for everyone,” said Donald MacLaren, who owns Tewksbury Welding. “This will bring a lot of jobs to town and a good product as well. None of this would be possible without the Caswells. I know they get a lot of bad press, but the bottom line is they want what’s best for the town.”

Donald MacLaren called this the “hardest kept secret” he could imagine as he worked to meet informally with the town’s department heads in recent weeks. He added that developers wanted to keep the plans quiet to make sure he could provide an accurate proposal when the time was right.

Next up, the group will begin the official process of meeting with the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. If there are no delays, the plan is for the facility to be open by the summer or fall of 2015.

Donald and Donny MacLaren are longtime Tewksbury residents, as is Bourgeois. The trio said it was important for them to bring something of substance to their hometown.

“That’s been a real motivating factor for us as longtime residents,” said Bourgeois. “We view this as not just a good thing for the town, but also as something that’s going to be a really good thing for the area.”

Though the group looked at about 30 properties in the area, there were only two properties they had serious interest in. Motel Caswell was their first choice, with a second location under consideration further down Route 38.

Key to the Motel Caswell location was its nearby access to I-495, which is just minutes away.

Town Manager Richard Montuori said that the plans seem feasible after going through the informal process with the developers. He added that a traffic study will be performed, they are double-checking an existing sewer line in the area, and there are some issues that need to be worked out with the state regarding sidewalks and a crosswalk.

While he has not crunched the numbers yet on a potential financial impact on the town, Montuori said he believes this will be a positive addition to the business community. 

“I’m guessing the proposal would bring in more revenue based on taxes and additional meals tax to the town, along with job generation,” said Montuori. “I can’t quantify a financial impact, but providing jobs to people in the community is always a positive thing. I see nothing but positives being a part of this.”

Editor's Note: The original article was changed to clarify Steve Bourgeois' role in the planning.

Michael Bennett May 28, 2014 at 09:08 PM
Donnie, you are and will always be a role model in Tewksbury...great job, Class of 76.....Mike Bennett
Make A Difference May 28, 2014 at 10:38 PM
I wouldn't mind candlepin being up but I'd like regular 10 pin too! Being an adult and the only other thing in this town is a kid's mini golf place, it would be nice to have a grown up game :) But excited nonetheless!!!
Wamesit Lanes June 11, 2014 at 10:11 PM
We have seen a large interest and response which is important to us. We have listened and our plans will consist of ten pin as well as candle pin. We wanted to make sure it would work in our layout before we made any promises. We will update everyone when we know more details. The more feedback we can get from the community the better. When we are done, this will be something everyone can be proud of.
Ed B June 12, 2014 at 07:27 AM
Don't do it. Stick with ten pin only...... You can't buy candle pin machines anymore. The maintenance is a nightmare. Ask Westgate Lanes in Brocton. They are having a hard time getting parts and people to work on them.....
Ed B June 12, 2014 at 07:28 AM
That's Brockton.....

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