The Bedford Planning Board (l-r) Amy Lloyd, Sandra Hackman, Chair Jeff Cohen, Shawn Hanegan, Lisa Mustapich, the department’s Assistant Planner Catherine Perry and Planning Director Tony Fields – Image (c) Eliza Rosenberry, 2017 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

By Eliza Rosenberry

Developers have backed away from a plan to build a hotel at the Crosby Corporate Center after that business park’s largest tenant, AspenTech, spoke out forcefully against the project.

“[The hotel is] indefinitely off the table,” confirmed Chuck Landry of National Development. “Given the desire to maintain a positive relationship with one of the larger tenants in the park, we don’t think now is the right time to go forward.”

When the hotel plan was brought before Bedford’s Planning Board last October, AspenTech lawyers made a strong case against the project. AspenTech said they wanted to preserve the park’s wooded atmosphere, which originally attracted them to Crosby Center, and feared the hotel development would remove too many trees.

At that time, the Planning Board asked National Development to continue tenant negotiations and try to find a compromise with AspenTech.

Now, having abandoned plans for the hotel, National Development intends to expand parking and make other site improvements. Those plans were approved unanimously by the Planning Board at a February 7 public hearing.

At that hearing, Landry noted the new plan does not preclude a hotel from being constructed in the future. He maintained that a hotel would benefit the Crosby Drive business community and contribute to Bedford’s tax revenue.

Before Tuesday’s vote, AspenTech attorney Martin Healy asked the Board to condition their approval on the preservation and replacement of trees in the park.

“Our hope would be that as additional parking is added, there’s really close attention paid to preserving as many trees as possible, and making sure that trees that are taken out are really suitably replaced,” Healy said.

In response, the Board asked National Development to agree to planting new trees of at least 3.5 inches in diameter.

Giving an early indication of what her priorities on the Planning Board might be, Board candidate Cindy Barbehenn asked National Development about mitigating the need for expanded parking, including public transportation access and bicycle facilities.

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