The special town meeting (STM) last night went quickly, and resulted in a virtually unanimous vote to proceed with the Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) with Trinity Financial to build 334 units of rental apartments (25% affordable) in the existing buildings at the former Medfield State Hospital site. Over 800 residents were spread out between the gym, a tent in front of MHS, and a separate air conditioned area for seniors in the MHS library.
The Select Board and Trinity signed the LDA last night. Next Trinity will begin its permitting.
Message from the School Committee Special Town Meeting Tonight and School Committee Vote in Support
Dear Parents, Guardians and other members of our community,
As many of you are aware, there will be a Special Town Meeting scheduled for tonight Tuesday, June 21 at 6 p.m. in theMedfield High School Gymnasium.
The primary issue at hand is a to vote to allow the Board of Selectmen to enter into a Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) with Trinity Financial for a specific parcel of the former Medfield State Hospital land, generally known as the “Core Campus (Article 1).
On June 8, 2022, the School Committee met in open session with representatives of Trinity Financial and the Medfield State Hospital Development Committee (MSHDC). We engaged in a comprehensive conversation about the predicted impact of the proposed development on the District. Over the past week, Trinity, the MSHDC, and Town and District Administration have worked to address the Committee’s concerns both informally and within the terms of the proposed Land Disposition Agreement (LDA).
On June 16, 2022, the School Committee again met in open session and discussed Trinity Financial’s response to the Committee’s concerns. In particular, the Committee noted:
that the sale and consequent redevelopment resolves an open 20 million dollar liability in hazardous material mitigation costs should we continue to own this portion of the property, which would have a significant impact upon the town’s ability to fund a new elementary school project,
Trinity’s responsiveness to the Committee’s concerns regarding space and potential future staff needs.
The Town Moderator, Scott McDermott, has asked that we also distribute this open letter to the community, which includes important details about the anticipated order of the proceedings
The Town of Medfield’s special town meeting (STM) is Tuesday, June 21 at 6 PM at the Medfield High School to consider whether the town should proceed with the Trinity Financial proposal for the development of the former Medfield State Hospital site.
FIRST IS THE FOLLOWING FROM THE TOWN WEBSITE, FOLLOWED BY A LETTER FROM THE MODERATOR:
2022 Special Town Meeting
The Medfield Board of Selectmen called a Special Town Meeting for Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at 6:00PM in the Medfield High School Gymnasium (an outside location will also be available) for a vote on the proposed Medfield State Hospital redevelopment.
Last Day to Register to Vote at the Special Town Meeting: Friday, June 10, 2022 by 8:00 PM.
Come meet Trinity’s VP of Development Abby Goldenfarb (and her dog Milo) at the grounds of Medfield State Hospital on Saturday, June 18th from 9 am to 11 am. This is an opportunity to ask some final questions prior to the Special Town Meeting on June 21.
Important Update: The Board of Selectman have scheduled the Special Town Meeting for Tuesday, June 21st at 6:00 PM at Medfield High School.
Medfield State Hospital News – Water / Sewer Important Update:
The Land Disposition Agreement (“LDA”) between the Town and Trinity Financial is available for review on the Town’s website. The LDA sets out important terms of the transaction, including: Land to be acquired which is approximately 45 acres north of Hospital Road Purchase price of $2 million plus reimbursement of Town costs Trinity’s responsibility for environmental remediation Trinity’s obligation to fund all infrastructure associated with the project.
In addition, Trinity will offer additional mitigation of the development’s possible impact, including improvements to three key intersections along Harding Street and a $1 million mitigation payment for the Medfield Public Schools.
Thursday, June 16 at 7 pm: School Committee
Thursday, June 16 at 8 pm: Warrant Committee
Saturday, June 18 at 9 am to 11 am: Breakfast with Trinity Financial at the Medfield State Hospital
Tuesday, June 21 at 6 pm: Special Town Meeting at Medfield High School
During public information sessions over the last several months, the Town has received important questions about the proposed redevelopment and possible impacts on water and sewer, finances including education costs and capacity, and traffic. Please see FAQs below for water and sewer capacity. Stay tuned for additional updates focusing on fiscal impacts (including schools) and traffic mitigation.
Does the Town have sufficient water and sewer capacity to support the redevelopment? Yes, the Town has sufficient water and sewer capacity to support Trinity’s proposed redevelopment while still retaining capacity under its permits and to allow for future development in Medfield. Two studies have been completed this year, in addition to two studies commissioned by the Town in 2019. All four studies conclude there is sufficient capacity.
On behalf of Trinity Financial, their engineering consultant, VHB, developed conceptual water and sewer infrastructure plans, sewer flow estimates, and water demand estimates. VHB’s report is available for review here. VHB anticipates the proposed redevelopment will generate 56,295 gallons of wastewater that needs to be treated by the Town’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. VHB anticipates the proposed redevelopment will require 61,925 gallons of water per day, based on a 10 percent increase over estimated sewer flows to account for non-consumptive uses.
The Town hired its engineering consultant, Environmental Partners, to peer review Trinity’s wastewater flow and water demands. The Board of Water and Sewerage also discussed the estimates at their meeting on June 7 and board members noted that there is sufficient capacity. The video of this discussion is available here. Christian Carpenter, a member of the Board of Water and Sewerage, met with the Warrant Committee on June 13 to discuss water and sewer impacts further.
Environmental Partners is an engineering firm that performs significant utility engineering for the Town and has assisted the Town with numerous other projects. Environmental Partners conducted a peer review of VHB’s report on behalf of the Town. The firm agreed with VHB’s estimated wastewater flows and water demand as they were prepared using standard methodology. Environmental Partner’s peer review is available here.
Excerpts from Environmental Partners’ peer review are below: Environmental Partners’ initial evaluation finds that current proposed project’s estimated peak day water demands of 61,925 gpd (0.06 MGD) could be accommodated under current authorized limits provided that the Town continues to be proactive with its water conservation programs.Based upon a review of recent historical April and September WWTP flow data (2019 through 2021), the Town’s existing WWTP can accommodate the estimated sewer generation from the MSH development. The Town is currently working on reducing I/I (Inflow and Infiltration) issues in the sanitary sewer system. The MSH development is located in Sewershed Area 1. The Town should identify an equivalent level of I/I reductions in Sewershed Areas 1 and 2 (contributes to Area 1) to offset the proposed MSH development flows. Environmental Partners also reviewed the wastewater flow and water demand in relation to the Town’s existing permits. For water, the Town would have complied with its water withdrawal limits each year since 2011, except 2014 and 2015 when it would have slightly exceeded its permitted withdrawal amounts. Since 2015, the DPW Water Division and the Board of Water and Sewerage have worked diligently to identify and repair leaks. Fixing these leaks decreases the Town’s unaccounted for water (water pumped at our wells but that does not pass through a water meter to a customer) and expands the amount of water capacity under the Town’s permitted amount.
The Town’s Water Management Act permit allows the Town to pump an average of 1.51 million gallons of water per day over a calendar year. The Town’s five wells have a design capacity to pump well above the limits in our permit. This capacity will be expanded further upon the completion of the new water treatment plant project at Wells 3 and 4 (anticipated Spring 2023), an important project for the Town which is being pursued irrespective of the proposed Medfield State Hospital redevelopment.
Why do we have water bans every summer if there is sufficient water capacity? Water use restrictions are separate and distinct from whether the Town has sufficient water capacity.
Water use restrictions are determined by the Town’s Water Management Act permit. This permit uses a benchmark of water in the area by using the streamflow in the Charles River at the Dover station. When the flow in the river is lower than certain thresholds as set in the permit, this triggers the Town to adjust the water restrictions accordingly.
In addition, there may be drought declarations by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that also dictate water restrictions in areas that impact Medfield. These state-imposed restrictions can override the restrictions specified in the Town’s permit. So even though the Town has access to sufficient water and has the ability to pump water from its wells AND the flows in the Charles River may allow for the Town to pump water from its wells according to its permit to higher levels, the state may still require the Town to put restrictions in place during drought conditions.
Why have we had a water restriction in place since May? The Town is currently under a Tier 4 water restriction which prohibits nonessential water use, except by a handheld hose. This restriction is in place due to equipment failure at Well 6 which is anticipated to be repaired by mid-June. If Well 6 were not shut down and the Town did not need to impose this temporary restriction, Medfield would still be under a Tier 3 restriction (nonessential water use only allowed one day per week) due to the current drought declaration by the state for our region.
As of Wednesday, June 15, repairs to Well 6 are underway. We will update the community as soon as Well 6 is operational.
Posted onJune 11, 2022|Comments Off on Mailing for STM re Trinity proposal for MSH
Look for your mailed copy of the postcard that the town sent out as a reminder of the special town meeting (STM) at 6 PM on June 21, 2022 to decide whether to proceed with Trinity Financial on its proposed development for the former Medfield State Hospital site. All the Trinity materials and the town peer review materials and information are on-line, except the Land Disposition Agreement (LDA), which should be finalized and released in days.
Comments Off on Mailing for STM re Trinity proposal for MSH
MEDFIELD, MA – “Disposition” is the technical term for selling public property in accordance with requirements under Massachusetts procurement laws (MGL CH 30B). The Town of Medfield formally initiated a potential disposition of portions of the former Medfield State Hospital in 2021, building on earlier activities including the 2014 purchase from the state, the 2015-2018 strategic reuse plan effort, and the 2019 Special Town Meeting to adopt new zoning for the property.
In April 2021, the Town released a Request for Proposals which was released widely in accordance with the requirement found in the Land Disposition Agreement from the State. Two proposals (one with three variations) were submitted ahead of the deadline in August 2021. The Medfield State Hospital Development Committee (MSHDC) solicited public comment, interviewed both developers , and evaluated the proposals under the requirements of CH 30B to make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen. The MSHDC recommended and the Board of Selectmen approved naming Trinity Financial’s proposal as most advantageous for the Town. The Town then entered into an exclusive due diligence period with Trinity Financial.
In June 2022, the Town will hold a Special Town Meeting to seek authority to “dispose” of portions of the property to Trinity Financial, in accordance with their proposal as may be modified following completion of due diligence and the terms of a negotiated Land Disposition Agreement with the Town. This vote will require 2/3 approval at the Special Town Meeting, just as it did in 2014 when the Town held a Special Town Meeting to buy the property from the Commonwealth and in 2019 when the Town created a new zoning district for the hospital property.
On April 6, 2022, the MSHDC held a listening session (watch it here on YouTube) where the MSHDC provided an overview of the Town’s history with the Medfield State Hospital, the land disposition process, Trinity’s proposal, and additional steps leading up to the proposed June Special Town Meeting .
More public information meetings will be announced soon, but please mark your calendars for the upcoming events:
.Jun 9, 2022 at 7 pm: Trinity Financial presentation; [see earlier posts for location information]
MEDFIELD, MA – Under the terms of an agreement being negotiated with Trinity Financial and subject to a Yes vote at Special Town Meeting, the Town of Medfield would eventually transfer approximately 45 acres of land north of Hospital Road to Trinity Financial. The land is almost entirely within the Core Campus and West Slope subzones of the Medfield State Hospital District and is characterized by brick buildings listed on the national and state registers of historic places and within Hospital Farm Historic District. Trinity would obtain federal and state historic tax credits for purposes of redeveloping the majority of the existing buildings into rental housing, and is not proposing to construct any new buildings on site.
Even after an affirmative vote at Special Town Meeting, the land will not transfer until all permits and approvals have been obtained and Trinity has assembled all of the financial resources necessary to start construction on the project, currently estimated at June, 2023. Following construction completion (currently estimated at December, 2025), roads within the new development will be public and the campus will retain the open and welcoming environment established following the Town’s purchase of certain parcels of hospital land from the state in 2014.
The Town will not be selling certain areas of the site which were included for possible sale within the developer Request for Proposals (RFP) issued in April, 2021. These are primarily areas zoned for open space, recreational, and agricultural uses:
The Green: the vast green space that runs along Hospital Road and goes up the hill towards the Core Campus (16 acres)The North Field: the “non-buildable” portion of the large open field north of the Core Campus (15.06 acres)The Arboretum: the area that includes the cottages and other buildings near the stone gate to the east of the site (10.89 acres)
The Town will also retain lands that were never included in the developer Request for Proposals: The Water Tower Parcel – the site of one of the Town’s two water standpipes, key parts of the Town’s water infrastructure.
The Laundry Parcel – this parcel, near the Charles River Overlook, is still owned by the state and must complete environmental remediation before the Town will take ownership. The Cultural Alliance of Medfield’s leased premises – in 2018, the Town voted to lease the Chapel and Infirmary buildings and some abutting land within the Core Campus to CAM for purposes of developing a proposed Cultural Arts Center.All lands south of Hospital Road, including the sledding hill, totaling 38 acres.
In summary, the 45 acres proposed for eventual transfer to Trinity Financial is approximately 35% of the 127 acres acquired by the Town from the State for $3.1 million. The Town will retain approximately 80 acres, or 65% of the hospital lands acquired in 2014, while ensuring that all areas of the former Medfield State Hospital campus remain open and accessible for residents to enjoy for years to come.
More public information meetings will be announced soon, but please mark your calendars for the upcoming events:
MEDFIELD, MA – Through various actions, Medfield has long prioritized preservation of the Medfield State Hospital buildings and campus layout. The Medfield State Hospital (MSH) was first listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. At the time of listing the district encompassed 78 contributing resources and 8 noncontributing resources. The Hospital Farm Historic District was created by Town Meeting in 1994 and includes the buildings and the historic landscape surrounding the buildings north of Hospital Road, and established local review of the eventual reuse of the property long before the Hospital’s official closure in 2003.
According to the National Register Registration Form (page 6), the original or first-phase buildings (1896-1897) were designed in the Queen Anne style by Boston architect William Pitt Wentworth. They are unified by the repetition of materials and decorative motifs and are distinguished by individualized plans and massing. All are characterized by red-brick construction, granite foundations, slate roofs, heavily corbelled cornices, segmentally arched windows which typically contained 6/6 sash and transoms, red sandstone watertables and lintels, and decorative angled soldier courses connecting first-story window heads. Those facing the green are arranged in a complex mirror-image pattern.
Later buildings from the early 20th century (1898-1914 and later) are generally somewhat larger in scale and designed in a variety of Classical Revival styles. Nevertheless, they generally continue the original red-brick construction, but often substitute cast stone for natural stone trim. Several smaller-scale Craftsman-style cottages and a number of the support/agricultural buildings were added at this time as well. In some cases, the siting of these buildings maintains the complex mirror-image plan. Architects identified for these buildings include such noted Boston firms as Park & Kendall, Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, and Winslow, Wetherell & Bigelow.
The Medfield State Hospital meets criteria A and C of the National Register of Historic Places and is significant on the local and state levels. As a whole, the buildings and landscapes of Medfield State Hospital retain a high degree of integrity and clearly reflect the period of significance from 1892 to 1940.
Trinity Financial’s proposal recognizes and seeks to preserve the historic buildings and layout. Trinity’s plan, as described in the proposal, seeks to substantially rehabilitate and preserve virtually all of the buildings to be sold by the Town, consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Properties. Trinity’s plans include utilization of federal and state historic tax credit resources in the financing structure, as well as a permitting process and schedule that includes participation with the Town of Medfield, Medfield Historic District Commission, the Medfield Historical Commission and the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
More public information meetings will be announced soon, but please mark your calendars for the upcoming events:
June 9 at 7 pm: Trinity Financial presentation; location TBD
June 18 at 9 am: Trinity Financial open office hours at the Medfield Town House – all are welcome
The following is excerpted from Trinity Financial’s proposal submitted in August 2021, in response to the Town’s Request for Proposals for the redevelopment of the Medfield State Hospital. Trinity provided updates from their ongoing due diligence process for this correspondence.
Perched high at the northwest corner of Medfield, overlooking the Charles River and nestled amidst a bucolic landscape of trees and walking trails, sit the majestic buildings of the former Medfield State Hospital Campus. The redevelopment of the Campus is a significant and important undertaking, breathing new life into buildings that have sat dormant for many years, and reimagining the site as a destination for health, wellness and creativity.
At the end of the 19th century, the Medfield State Hospital’s historic layout represented an innovative approach to mental and physical health. With an emphasis on rehabilitation and recovery, the design enabled patients to live in a light and airy home-like setting as opposed to a single central building. Today, in a post-pandemic environment, the attractiveness of the cottage plan, with its village green and wide-open spaces, provided the inspiration for our reimagining of the site as a haven for future residents who seek respite in the outdoors and the arts.
The development team’s proposal draws inspiration from the site’s history to design a series of places, for residents and the public alike, that transform the perception of the property from one of “institutionalization” and “confinement” to one of open air, interaction, and healthy living. Much in the way that the original campus was a leader in its time in terms of progressive and humane thinking about the treatment of mental illnesses, our goal is to elevate this development into high quality multi-family housing, that welcomes the public into parts of the campus and taps into the synergies created by the interaction of residents, visitors, and the arts.
Trinity’s proposed redevelopment of the MSH Campus will be tailored to meet the contemporary housing and recreational needs of the Medfield community, by preserving spectacular open space for public enjoyment, and reimagining the existing historic buildings as new homes for a wide range of residents. This hillside location, with its stately buildings, old growth tree canopy, and spectacular open space, will be embraced as an enriching environment for residents and neighbors alike, reconnecting them to a greater outdoors and creative community.
Trinity’s redevelopment approach utilizes the Commonwealth’s sustainable development principles, environmental impact, and conservation of resources. The plan incorporates a strategy to address energy efficiency, carbon emissions reduction, and water use as well as high energy performance building standards and landscape preservation.
Trinity’s campus renewal plan respects and enhances the historic character of the site, while reshaping the identity of this place as a revitalized neighborhood environment. Built in a Queen Anne style typical of this generation of hospital institutions, these buildings will be renovated to offer a decidedly residential feel. Residential apartments will be combined with creative amenities to complement the new Cultural Arts Center. Open spaces will be reinvigorated to create more accessible, inviting, and usable areas. The plan connects open space elements across the site, encouraging walking and casual, chance meetings for residents.
Key features of this renewal plan include:
A True Mix of Uses –The plan proposes the adaptive reuse of the existing buildings into multifamily housing and ancillary amenity space, comprising approximately 351,259 SF, excluding attics and basements. Trinity’s plan marries complementary residential uses with the proposed Cultural Alliance of Medfield’s plan for cultural and arts uses on Buildings 24 and 25. Additionally, it invites community use of open space, to anchor and sustain residents of all ages and interests. The proposed building program provides a diverse array of unit types, service space, and amenity areas.
The certified Historic Rehabilitation of the Buildings
The Proposed demolition of Non-Contributing buildings Number 10 (Mechanic/Machine Shop) and Number 27b (Bakery/Food Service)Support for the Cultural Alliance of Medfield’s plan for the Cultural Arts Center in the Lee Chapel and the Infirmary (Buildings 24 and 25).Responsive to MSH Design Guidelines – The proposed plan is responsive to the priorities called out in the 2018 Medfield State Hospital Strategic Re-Use Master Plan Medfield’s priorities for reuses of the MSH property in the following manner:
Maintains and enhances the character and values of the town of Medfield and its residents. Our plan is the adaptive reuse of all campus buildings (other than those proposed for demolition) without new construction. No new buildings are proposed. This plan assures preservation of the hilltop quadrangle and long views from it. Reuse of existing buildings will preserve viewsheds between buildings and the historic rhythm/spacing of the campus buildings.
Addresses Town housing needs. By staying within the historic footprint of the building we are providing opportunities for those individuals who are downsizing and would like to remain in the area. Our inclusion of 25% affordable housing for the site is aligned with the Town’s Housing Production Plan.
Achieves reasonable economic and financial impacts on Medfield residents and Town services. Our plan is in the best financial interest of the Town, who will benefit from the new property and excise taxes that are derived from new residents. Many of the expenses the town currently incurs on maintenance of the property will be assumed by the ownership of the site.
A Celebration of History. We will work within the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, respecting the historic integrity of the grand buildings. Adaptive use will preserve all “character defining features” of the exterior and interior, including entries, corridors, and stairways. While we are not expecting major new additions, we may need to add some entry stoops/ramps for accessible building entry that will complement, rather than replicate, the historic character of the site and buildings. There may be some connectors and service additions that were added on over the years that we propose to remove; we will work with the preservation consultant to determine which elements can be modified. We will reuse all the existing entry lobbies and incorporate additional exterior doors into unit entries if they meet accessibility guidelines. Broad porches will again provide a place to sit and enjoy the outdoors. Where existing buildings offer windowed gabled ends, we may take the opportunity to create some duplex units up into building attics, if feasible.
Community & Art – Central Gathering Space – Buildings at the center of the open green will be developed with Arts and Community Uses. At the heart of the community, Buildings 24 & 25 – the former Chapel and Rectory, will be the Cultural Arts Center, inviting the broader community onto the site. Supporting that use, we propose to endeavor to create an artist preference for 10% of our affordable rental units. Located between these buildings, Building 26 will become a Community Clubhouse, an amenity destination for residents and neighbors alike. Interior streets will be decoratively paved and raised to slow traffic but allow drop off and access to parking courts. The open space created by the demolition of the Kitchen building will provide space for an open landscape, allowing an opportunity for residents to spontaneously play frisbee or lounge on picnic blankets and read a book. Widened sidewalks will be landscaped to provide places to sit and engage. Accessibility will be enhanced.
Please mark your calendars for the upcoming public event:
June 9 at 7 pm: Pre-Town Meeting MSH Info Session (Location TBD)
June 18 at 9 am: Trinity Financial open office hours at the Medfield Town Hall – all are welcome
What is the status of the Medfield State Hospital redevelopment effort?
In November of 2021, the Board of Selectmen designated Trinity Financial’s proposal as the most advantageous response to the Request for Proposals issued in April, 2021. In March of this year, the Selectmen executed a Provisional Designation Agreement with Trinity Financial which outlines a potential sale of a portion of the property for purposes of redevelopment and initiated a formal “due diligence” period for Trinity to commission various technical studies and to further engage with Town representatives to refine their proposal for the property.
How can I find out more about the Medfield State Hospital and the proposed redevelopment?
Medfield residents take a vote on whether to approve the sale?
Yes, any sale of Town-owned land at Medfield State Hospital is subject to state requirements governing disposition of municipal property. These requirements include a Town Meeting vote to approve any proposed sale of any portion of the property.
When is the Special Town Meeting?
The date for the Special Town Meeting has not been finalized but is anticipated to be scheduled for the week of June 20 at the Medfield High School.
What will we be voting on at Town Meeting?
The Town Meeting will be asked to authorize the Board of Selectmen to sell portions of the Medfield State Hospital property in accordance with the Land Disposition Agreement negotiated by the Board of Selectmen with Trinity Financial. The proposed sale area of 45 acres is about 35% of the Medfield State Hospital land acquired by the Town in 2014. The Town would retain 65% of the property it acquired in 2014, including extensive open space and recreation areas north of Hospital Road and all of the 40 acres the Town bought south of Hospital Road.
What is the threshold needed to approve the proposed sale at the Town Meeting?
2/3 of Medfield voters in attendance at the Special Town Meeting need to vote to approve the sale of the property subject to the terms of the Land Disposition Agreement.
Will the proposed Land Disposition Agreement that the Town will sign with Trinity be available for review before the Special Town Meeting?
Yes, the Board of Selectmen will release the Land Disposition Agreement prior to the Special Town Meeting.
What is the Trinity Financial’s proposal? What type of housing is proposed?
Trinity Financial proposes to use federal and state historic tax credits and other resources to historically rehabilitate virtually all of the brick buildings on the site to create new rental apartments. The Land Disposition Agreement will cap the number of potential housing units at 334 units. For at least five years following construction, the property must remain rental apartments in accordance with requirements of the historic tax credit program. It is possible after that point that some or all of the units could be converted to homeownership, at the developer’s option.
The proposal includes a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartments. During the formal due diligence period, Trinity is securing architectural and other reports regarding building conditions and capacity, and also meeting with Town boards and committees to refine the proposed unit mix. The final proposed unit mix will be established prior to Special Town Meeting.
What happened to the concept of including commercial space, stores and restaurants?
After the Town bought Medfield State Hospital lands from the Commonwealth in 2014, it initiated a strategic planning effort that culminated in the publication of the Medfield State Hospital Strategic Reuse Master Plan. Various scenarios were described in the Master Plan, and the Plan’s “preferred scenario” envisioned housing along with other uses such as limited commercial space and an assisted living facility. In 2019, the new zoning approved for the Medfield State Hospital (the “Medfield State Hospital District),” allowed for these uses by right.
The Master Plan was a conceptual document to identify potential uses of the site. When the Town released the Request for Proposals, it referenced the Strategic Reuse Master Plan but did not require respondents to adhere to the Master Plan or its “preferred scenario”. This was intended to ensure that any proposals received by the Town would reflect projects that developers saw as economically viable to construct and operate over the long term. Ultimately, none of the proposals submitted to the Town included any uses other than residential.
Are there any affordable housing units in the project?
25% of the units will be affordable and restricted to those earning less than 80% of the Area Median income in order to comply with the Town of Medfield’s Inclusionary Zoning bylaw. In addition, these units will count towards the Town’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) for compliance with the state law known as “Chapter 40B.”
40B requires that all communities have 10% of their housing be affordable and recorded on the SHI. If not, then developers are able to construct housing projects without needing to adhere to local zoning bylaws. With the approval of this project at 334 units, it is estimated that Medfield will move well over 10% on the SHI, thereby ensuring compliance with 40B for the foreseeable future and protecting the Town from hostile development proposals.
What costs has the Town incurred since purchasing the Medfield State Hospital from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? Has the Town generated revenue from leasing out the property?
Since the Town purchased 127 acres at Medfield State Hospital for $3.1 million in 2014, the Town has spent over one million dollars on costs associated with maintaining the structures, security, and performing landscaping activities. In addition, the Town has spent another million dollars on legal services, environmental consultants, planning, and other expenses related to the environmental remediation of the hospital and planning for the hospital’s future.
Beginning in Fiscal Year 2018, the Town began putting revenue from renting out the hospital in a revolving fund so they could be used for Medfield State Hospital maintenance expenses. Since FY2018, the Town has generated revenue from various activities at the hospital, including renting it out to production companies and to the Coolidge Corner Theater for drive-ins, which offsets certain maintenance expenses.
What are the projected revenues and expenses (fiscal impact) to the Town if the property is developed in accordance with Trinity’s proposal?
Trinity included an initial fiscal impact analysis in their proposal which is available on the Town website. The fiscal impact analysis estimated net revenues to the Town of $716,000 based on anticipated tax revenue and project related expenses, including the incremental cost of additional students generated by the development.
During due diligence, the Town and Trinity are further reviewing the fiscal impact to the Town in light of additional studies and refinement of Trinity’s proposal. Updated information and more in depth analysis could result in revised fiscal impact projections which will be reviewed by the Board of Selectmen, the Medfield State Hospital Development Committee, and several Town boards and committees, including the Warrant Committee, the School Committee, the Department of Public Works, and others.
What is the Trinity Financial’s proposed purchase price?
The proposed purchase price to the Town is $2 million. When the Town purchased the hospital from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2014, it agreed to share proceeds of a sale in accordance with a formula in the Land Disposition Agreement. The Town anticipates that it will receive approximately $1.6 million from the sale, excluding future benefits such as net real estate tax revenues received each year after the project is completed.
In addition to the $2 million purchase price, Trinity has made a $25,000 payment to the Town for costs incurred during the RFP development and evaluation process. Trinity is reimbursing the Town for its expenses (up to $525,000) associated with the development and construction of the project, for services such as legal counsel, construction oversight, and consulting costs.
Separate from the purchase price to the Town, Trinity is donating $1 million toward construction of the proposed Cultural Arts Center and additional $250,000 in programming funds for the Center.
What kind of public access will there be if the sale is approved?
Presently, the entire campus is open to the public as Town property. While Trinity will take ownership of approximately 45 acres to develop the brick buildings into apartment units (if Special Town Meeting approves), the Town will retain key parts of the campus which will ensure public access in and through the property and continued public enjoyment of open space and recreational areas.
The Town will still own the following areas totalling approximately 82 acres:The Green (the open green space leading up to the core campus)The Arboretum (the cottage area, near the Stonegate entrance)The North Field “unbuildable” area (the open space to the north of the core campusThe Water Tower ParcelAll of the former hospital land south of Hospital Road The map below shows the parts of the Medfield State Hospital that Trinity would purchase with the yellow overlay.
Trinity is not constructing a gated community. The roads will remain public roads, like any other public way in Medfield. During due diligence and as part of the Land Disposition Agreement, the Town and Trinity will develop an easement plan to formalize how the public will be able to access amenities and parking on areas of the campus acquired by Trinity.
Will the North Field and trails remain open and be accessible to the public for both humans and canines?
The “unbuildable” section of the North Field (the 15 acres of land behind existing Building 13) will continue to be owned by the Town of Medfield and open to the public.
Most of the walking trails are on Commonwealth of Massachusetts property and are unaffected by the sale of the hospital campus; they will remain open to the public.
How will people park and access the Overlook and trails?
The Overlook and trails are on Commonwealth of Massachusetts property and have their own designated parking spots which are not included in the sale of the campus; they will remain open to the public.
How will this development affect the Town’ water and sewer systems? Do we have enough capacity to support this development?
When the Town was developing the State Hospital Master Reuse Plan and drafting new zoning for the hospital area, the Town retained Pare Corporation to develop a conceptual water and sewer infrastructure plan and to estimate water and sewer demand for a proposal envisioned by the master plan. Pare Corporation’s report and materials are available on the Town website.
After Pare Corporation completed their conceptual study, the Town’s consulting engineer Environmental Partners provided a peer review of the water and sewer infrastructure. Environmental Partners also analyzed the water and sewer usage information generated by Pare to determine whether the Town had sufficient capacity to absorb the potential new water and sewer demand. Environmental Partners’ report is available on the Town website.
Environmental Partners’ findings were that:MSH development’s estimated peak day water demands of 0.114 MGD could be accommodated under current authorized limits provided that the Town continues to be proactive with its water conservation programs.MSH development’s daily sewer flow of 96,910 GPD could be accommodated by the existing 8‐inch PVC sewer system from Hospital Road to West Mill Street based on the assumptions stated in the report. Trinity Financial is not relying on these reports but rather commissioned its own studies as part of its due diligence. These studies will be shared with the Town and peer-reviewed by independent consultants retained by the Town. The findings will be discussed in meetings with the Board of Water and Sewerage that are open to the public.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Nicholas Milano, Assistant Town Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org 781-856-5287
I started this blog to share the interesting and useful information that I saw while doing my job as a Medfield select board member. I thought that my fellow Medfield residents would also find that information interesting and useful as well. This blog is my effort to assist in creating a system to push the information out from the Town House to residents. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how it can be done better.
For information on my other job as an attorney (personal injury, civil litigation, estate planning and administration, and real estate), please feel free to contact me at 617-969-1500 or Osler.Peterson@OslerPeterson.com.