By Hiroko Sato
LITTLETON -- Boston developer Sam Park's vision to turn 90 acres at the junction of Route 119 and Interstate 495 into a bustling commercial complex is slowly becoming a reality with the decisions of a regional supermarket and a hotel chain to locate there.
At the Planning Board meeting on Thursday night, Park announced that Market Basket has signed a contract to open a store at the mixed-used development called The Point. Hilton Homewood Suites will also build a new 100-room hotel on site, Park told the board, according to town officials.
Planning Board Chairman Mark Montanari said Park told the board that he had signed leases with Market Basket and Hilton Homewood Suites and continues to talk with other potential tenants.
Park also provided a site-plan map showing the locations of the two businesses, Planning Administrator/Permit Coordinator Maren Toohill said. The map shows the hotel to be built near the complex's entrance from Route 119 (Great Road) on the south side of the driveway and the supermarket behind some parking lots in a farther north section of the lot.
Park is planning to work on the $100 million development in phases. He bought the land for $6 million in August 2011 from Cisco Systems, which had intended to create a new corporate campus before moving the project to Boxboro years ago. Park began leveling off the rugged land for building construction last year and started laying down foundations for some buildings earlier this year while the widening of Great Road -- for which town officials state secured a $1.
Phase I of The Point project was originally going to involve just two buildings. But after receiving inquiries from prospective tenants, including restaurants, clothing stores and two movie theaters, Park decided to increase the number of buildings to five. Park has said he believed the lot, located right off I-495 and not far from Route 2, would attract enough traffic and business interest to make the development successful.
In July, Park said Market Basket, which recently opened a second store in Westford, had expressed "strong interest" in relocating one of them to The Point. That's because the company wants to preserve existing jobs and employees in Littleton, Park said.
Montanari welcomed the news about the supermarket and the hotel, saying the occupancy indicates that The Point has a "very good chance of being a very successful and viable project."
Town Administrator Keith Bergman said a 100-room hotel would bring in $120,000 to $162,000 per year in room taxes, based on the 6 percent local room-occupancy excise tax, which Town Meeting increased from the previous 4 percent in November 2011.
Town Meeting also adopted a 0.75 percent local meals tax in November 2012, which is expected to generate $60,000 per year in tax revenue for the town from 11 existing local establishments. Under the scenario of The Point having about five restaurants, the town would see an additional $30,000 come in per year in tax revenue, depending on sales at those businesses, Bergman said.
The Sun could not confirm the contracts with Market Basket or Hilton Homewood Suites on Friday as representatives were not available. Park could not reached for comment on Friday.
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