Developer withdraws plans to build in Weymouth
A Quincy developer has dropped plans to build a medical office complex in Weymouth’s Libbey Industrial Park that would have been one of the largest commercial developments in town in years.
FoxRock Properties told the Zoning Board of Appeals in an April 19 letter that the company wanted to reevaluate the scope of the project and “revisit the application process.”
The board accepted the withdrawal “without prejudice,” which means FoxRock can apply again at any time for permission to build 226,000 square feet of office space in several buildings, and three parking garages, on land it owns on Libbey Parkway. The board already had approved the concept as a master plan and was waiting for specifics to rule on the separate aspects.
Mayor Robert Hedlund said he planned to meet with FoxRock officials to see what he could do to revive the project.
“As far as I’m concerned the welcome mat is out,” Hedlund said. “It’s an ideal project for Libbey Park and fits with the overall medical-based economy we have here. I want to see the project done.”
The Weymouth Town Council also supports the project, saying in a January letter to the mayor and FoxRock that the plan “is exactly what the Weymouth Town Council has been seeking for quite some time.”
The council letter also asked, however, that FoxRock sign a “Community Benefit Agreement” and abide by the town’s “responsible employer ordinance,” which requires that anyone working on the project receive prevailing wages and benefits.
FoxRock spokeswoman Lisa Nickerson said the Town Council’s demand that the developer essentially hire union labor was “not at all” a factor in the company’s decision to withdraw its application.
Instead, FoxRock decided to put the Weymouth development on hold while it pinned down an interested tenant and determined demand. FoxRock has “a lot of other projects going on,” she said.
Robert Luongo, Weymouth’s new planning director, said he was looking at ways to streamline the development approval process in Weymouth and give developers like FoxRock more flexibility.
“It’s somewhat disappointing that they’re not going forward yet,” Luongo said. “But having been in this field for a number of years, it’s not unusual for someone to start the process and then reevaluate it.”