Town of Hudson
Economic Development Commission
Our Mission: to expand and strengthen Hudson's
economy by fostering business opportunity
within the community.
Dates to Remember
- Hudson Fest - June 6, 2015
- EDC Meeting - Sept. 15, 2015
- EDC Meeting - Nov. 17, 2015
What We Do
The Economic Development Commission strives to foster a strong economic environment that supports businesses while nurturing commercial growth and new investment in the Town of Hudson. By working closely with businesses, developers and town government, the EDC works to retain, grow and attract new businesses and promote job creation in the community.
In addition to working with local businesses, the EDC acts as a liaison between town government and both existing and prospective businesses. One example of this relationship is the EDC's endorsement of Wal*Mart's expansion. This expansion added an additional 22,000 SF to the already existing 116,000 SF store, and subsequently created 100 new jobs. Another example is our support of the construction of a parking lot on Houghton Court that now allows the Hudson Mill Business Center located at 43 Broad Street to accommodate a tenant with 80 to 100 employees.
Parking lot for the Hudson Mill Business Center, located behind the mill, on Houghton Court.
Economic Development Highlights - 2014-2015
The EDC lends its assistance to many town projects fostering economic growth and job creation. In January 2014, the Town began the process of petitioning the State for additional liquor licenses. As Hudson was at is licensing cap, there were no licenses left for the newly-opened Highland Commons plaza. Since Highland Commons is fully permitted for several restaurants, this large retail site could not reach its full economic development potential without these licenses available. The EDC sponsored two public forums to gauge community input. Ultimately, the Governor signed our home-rule petition in November 2014, granting the Town five licenses for Highland Commons and five additional licenses to be made available town-wide. The EDC also lobbied for marketing funds to assist other Hudson dining
Development continued up at Highland Commons throughout 2014, with the many new stores opening including Michael’s craft store, Ulta Beauty, Famous Footwear, Dress Barn and PetSmart. TJ Maxx moved to Highland Commons from its original location on Washington Street, and Lane Bryant moved from its former location in the Solomon Pond Mall. Opening in spring 2015, Cabela’s outdoor store is expected to be a big regional draw.
After Intel announced plans to close its manufacturing plant by the end of 2014, the Economic Development Commission has been poised to assist Intel as it markets its site or with any other needs. The Commission Chair, along with other Town Officials and Department Heads, attended a status update meeting at the Intel site in July 2014. Intel does plan to keep its R&D plant open. The EDC also supported Hudson Lock’s application to the Town for a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Agreement, after it acquired two additional companies and chose to bring those jobs to Hudson rather than close the Hudson facility and move elsewhere. This TIF agreement was approved at the November 2014 Town Meeting, and ratified by the Mass. Economic Assistance Coordinating Council in December.
Other notable happenings
In February, Hudson’s resurgence was a focus in the article “I-495 Transformed” in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Congratulations to Harvard Sweet Boutique for its feature in Worcester Living magazine, to the Old Schoolhouse Pub for its feature in the Boston Globe, and to the Horseshoe Pub on its renovation. In September, Governor Deval Patrick paid a visit to Rail Trail Flatbread and checked out their new venture across the street, New City Microcreamery.
New businesses also continue to open in our Downtown and Washington Street areas, and our vacancy rates continue to decrease. While we were sad to see Larkin Lumber, Dragonflies Boutique and Brazil Unlimited close their doors in 2014, we are pleased to welcome MetroPCS, New England Airgun, Villa Pizza, the Sudzy Mutt and Cross-Fit Rail Trail, to name a few. Boost Fitness moved from Main Street to the former TJ Maxx location on Washington Street, and 428 Main Street is the new home to a Lindt Chocolate packaging plant. In January 2014, the Board of Selectmen approved the expansion of Rail Trail Flatbread into the vacant storefront next door.
2015 is shaping up to be a very exciting year as Cabela's Outdoor Store, Amaia Martini Bar, Medusa Brewing Company, Crossroads Tap & Table, New City Microcreamery, B. Barton & Co. Antiques, and the Creative Underground, are all expected to open in 2015.
The former Aubuchon's building is the new location for Hudson Trading & Loan & Medusa Brewery.
Economic Development and Transportation
Throughout 2014, the Commission continued its support of the Route 85/Washington Street road widening and reconstruction project, a project which was completed in July 2014. While no construction project is problem-free, the EDC believes this project went very well and will be a big benefit to the Town. Mr. Garcia facilitated a number of discussions between the Town, MassDOT, and commercial abutters to the Route 85 project, helping to problem-solve and maintain open communications.
Washington Street Bridge
Another important project affecting Hudson’s business community is the future reconstruction of the Washington Street Bridge. This structurally deficient state-owned bridge is on the state’s Accelerated Bridge Program. Since 2013, MassDOT met several times with the Town’s Internal Traffic Committee. These meetings are public & they were attended by many residents, business owners and members of the EDC. In January 2015, MassDOT held its 25% Design Hearing. The EDC continues to advocate for minimizing disruption to the Downtown, adequate pedestrian access, and the consideration of all construction/build scenarios and detour routes, from both a public safety and economic development perspective.
The Houghton Street Bridge opened in October 2014. The opening of this bridge will allow a detour route through the Downtown while the bridge is closed. Construction on the Washington Street Bridge is expected to begin in 2016.
The Washington Street Bridge
Downtown parking is another area of concern to the EDC as it is to the merchants, employees and customers who visit Downtown. Due to the historic nature of our narrow downtown originally built for horse and buggies, as well as a downtown built within a river flood plain, this registered-historic area faces many challenges. A comprehensive Downtown Parking Study was conducted throughout the summer and fall, with the final report released in December 2014. Funding for initial recommendations from this study was sought at the May 2015 Town Meeting, with $15,000 appropriated for striping reconfigurations, line painting & additional signage.
Hudson's Downtown Parking Map (courtesy of HBA)
Housing & Economic Development
Chairman Garcia also continued as a member of the Master Plan Steering Committee, representing the economic development interests of the Town during the current planning process. The Master Plan was adopted by the Planning Board in November 2014. The EDC looks forward to working with Town Departments to implement many of the economic development recommendations in the Plan.
Economic Development & the Commercial Tax Rate
The Town's Fiscal Year runs from July 1 to June 30. It is dfferent from a calendar year which runs from January 1 to December 31. The tax rate for the Town is set at a special tax classification hearing that takes place the first Monday in December. Our Assessors put on a full presentation for the Board of Selectmen, after which the Selectment set the new tax rate. These new tax rates are retroactive back to July 1.
The commercial/industrial tax rate is always a sensitive topic for any town. Many EDC members and business owners spoke in favor of lower rates at the Town’s tax rate hearing held on December 1, 2014. The total value of commercial and industrial property decreased by 2.2% from last year, while total value of residential property saw an increase of 4.3%. Although Town officials were reluctant to raise commercial tax rates substantially, in order to offset the lost tax valuation in the total commercial tax sector, the new commercial rate ultimately rose to $35.92 per $1,000 of assessed property value, up from $34.45 in FY14. The residential tax rate decreased from $17.42 to $17.27. The total tax impact to individual properties varies. However, it is worth noting that the
reductions in assessed valuation help to ease the burden of this rate increase.
Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce
The EDC proudly supports the Hudson Business Association and the Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce. In conjunction with the Chamber, the EDC periodically co-sponsors educational programs that assist local businesses and further facilitate economic development.
By co-sponsoring programs such as the yearly Legislative Breakfast or business resource programs like the ABC’s of Business Development or the Worksite Wellness Tax Credit, the Commission serves as both an information source and advocate for businesses operating in or seeking to operate in town. (Click on the logos below.)
How We Can Help
A wide variety of programs and legislation are available in both the public & private sectors to help your business succeed in our community, whether yours is an established business or a start-up venture.
And if you're new to the area, we'll be glad to help you navigate the options available!
Please see "Additional Links" above for more information on the following topics:
- Economic Development Resources
- Overviews of State programs, incentives & tax credits
- New legislation, reforms & developments
We are excited to see the strong upswing after the long period of financial uncertainty we have endured over the past several years.
We are proud of the renaissance Hudson is undergoing,
and the EDC maintains its commitment to encourage
and assist our business community whenever possible.