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
DOWNTOWN PARKING STUDY
Online Survey Deadline
Friday, September 5, 2014
The Town of Hudson is undertaking a comprehensive Downtown Parking Study. We want to hear from residents, visitors/customers, property owners, and businesses alike. This extensive community-wide input will help Hudson continue to have a thriving and vibrant Downtown!
Small Business Worksite Wellness Tax Credit Program
Together with Metrowest Moves, the Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Metrowest Chamber of Commerce, the Hudson EDC co-sponsored a program on the state's Worksite Wellness Tax Credit Program. This Tax Credit is open to any Massachusetts business with 2 - 200 employees & allows a tax credit up to $10,000 annually for businesses that participate.
Visit the Metrowest Moves website for more information & to view:
- Full presentation
- Eligibility criteria
- Program guidelines
- How to apply
- Model programs
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 and Transportation
The EDC lends its assistance to many town projects fostering economic growth and job creation. Throughout 2013, the Commission continued its support of the Route 85/Washington Street road widening and reconstruction project. While no construction project is problem-free, the EDC believes this project is going extremely well and will be a big benefit to the Town, once completed. 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. We were glad to see MassDOT renting local office space from Hudson property owners at 45 Main Street. MassDOT also rented office space at the Hudson Mill Business Center on Broad Street to oversee the construction of the Houghton Street
Route 85 construction
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. Throughout the summer, 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. MassDOT presented two possible construction scenarios. Both had different bridge designs, construction staging & duration lengths. It was determined that a rapid-construction, full-closure option was not feasible. The construction scenario chosen to be the most beneficial to the Town while being the least detrimental to the business community will result in a wider
bridge & will keep a single lane southbound open throughout construction.
The Houghton Street Bridge will be open long before work on this bridge begins. The Washington Street bridge is not even at it's 25% design stage, yet, and is not expected to begin construction for several years.
The Washington Street Bridge
Housing & Economic Development
In early 2012, a large 176-unit 40B apartment complex was proposed on two state-designated Priority Economic Development Sites located at the end of an office park on Cabot Road. This open land is among the last substantially-sized parcels of Hudson’s commercially/industrially zoned land. For this reason, the EDC wrote a letter to MassHousing in February, urging it to reject the site’s eligibility for housing, attempting to make the case that the land was better suited for commercial development. While the site was eventually approved by the state, the EDC wrote a subsequent letter to Hudson’s Zoning Board of Appeals, asking them to consider the economic development ramifications the new residential use implied, such as making sure there are adequate pedestrian accommodations connecting the new residents
to surrounding businesses.
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’s draft chapter on Economic Development was released for public comment in December 2013. The entire draft document is expected to be released to the public in late May or early June of 2014.
Notable Economic Developments 2013-2014
Development continued up at Highland Commons, with the new Market Basket opening in June 2013. New businesses also continue to open in our Downtown and Washington Street areas, and our vacancy rates continue to decrease. College Funding Solutions moved from the Yates Law Office building into its own Main Street storefront. The Hair Cuttery moved from Washington Street to Technology Drive, and Great Clips moved into their old location. We were sad to see Your’s & Mine II close its doors after so many years in business, but are pleased to welcome Amaia Martini Bar opening in its place in summer 2014. The Good Good Sheep closed on Washington Street, while Paint Misbehavin’ opened on the corner of Main & Tower Streets. Congratulations to both Harvard Suite Boutique & Rail Trail Flatbread for
celebrating their one year anniversaries. Arrow Moccasin was featured in Worcester Living magazine. Hudson Trading & Loan completed the exterior renovation of the former Aubuchon’s building located at 109 Main Street. It is now renovating several storefronts which will be the new home of Medusa Brewery, opening in 2014. Rail Trail Flatbread will also be undertaking an expansion, increasing their establishment into the vacant storefront next door.
The former Aubuchon's building is the new location for Hudson Trading & Loan & Medusa Brewery.
In November 2013, Bonefish Grill (to be loacted up at Highland Commons) & Brothers in Cream both vied for the Town’s last available liquor license. Brothers in Cream, a dessert bar opening across the street from & owned by the proprietors of Rail Trail Flat Bread, was chosen to advance in the application process.
Hudson’s total number of licenses are governed by the State. It is determined by our population, with some additional licenses for other categories such as private clubs like the Elks or AmVets. The Board of Selectmen is our Governing body. They are in charge of our liquor licensing regulations at the local level. If the Town deems itself in need of additional liquor licenses, it requires both Town Meeting action & a Special Act of State Legislature. This Legislative Act would need to be sponsored at the state level by either Senator Eldridge or Representative Hogan.
Click IMAGE above to read the forum flyer.
As Highland Commons is fully permitted for several restaurants, the Town went through a thorough public process to see if we should petition the state for additional licenses. The EDC sponsored two public forums in early 2014, one in the evening, and another in the morning. This early meeting timeframe was chosen specifically to enable restaurateurs to attend, who could not attend during the prime dinnertime hour of the first forum. Hudson has the option of requesting additional licenses, on top of those requested by Highland Commons. These can be site specific licenses or available town-wide. If Hudson is going to consider requesting additional licenses from the State, it is important to think of the Town as a whole, not just this one site, Highland Commons. Should residents want additional licenses for the
Town, there would be two separate warrant articles at Town Meeting – one for Highland Commons licenses & one for additional licenses for the Town at-large.
The determination on how these additional Town licenses would be regulated would be handled by the Board of Selectmen, under the liquor license regulations. The Town will need to update its liquor license regulations, to allow us to refine our selection process.
Highland Commons continues to attract new retail stores. In addition to Market Basket, 2014 will see the opening of a Cabela's Outfitters, Michael's craft store, PetSmart, Ulta Beauty, Famous Footwear, & a Dress Barn. TJ Maxx has moved to Highland Commons from its Washington Street location, and Lane Bryant has moved from it location in the Solomon Pond Mall.
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
Although financial uncertainty continues, the EDC maintains its commitment to encourage and assist our business community whenever possible.