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Mall going up on Rt. 62; Lowe's set to open early next year.

Byline: Elaine Thompson

HUDSON - An 820,000-square-foot retail mall is under construction along Route 62 in Hudson and Berlin, just off Interstate 495.

Highland Commons, which consists of 87 acres in Berlin and 76 acres in Hudson, will have 20 stores, a bank, a gas station and a 29,400-square-foot office facility.

Jennifer L. Burke, Hudson's planning director, said the mall will open gradually. The first store that will be completed is a 117,000-square-foot Lowe's Home Improvement, scheduled to open in the first quarter of next year. A 31,000-square-foot garden center will be attached to the store.

A BJ's Wholesale Club has replaced a 220-room hotel that was in the original proposal. No other stores have been publicly identified.

Florida-based Benderson Development and SullivanHayes Companies Northeast of Connecticut are the developers.

The project has been in the works since 2005. In 2007, Hudson sold 27 acres off Coolidge Street to the developers for $2.75 million. In exchange, the developers spent $1.5 million to rebuild the Hudson town water tower on the property, which is now leased back to the town. Entrance to the mall will be off Coolidge Street.

Ms. Burke said the additional tax revenue and jobs the mall will create are good things, especially in today's economy.

"For us, it's on the outskirts of the town. There will be some traffic on Route 62, but the most of the traffic will come off (I-)495 and go to the development and then back up (I-)495," she said. "It is a good thing for the community that there won't be much traffic on the side roads, but hopefully we will get the benefit from the mall."

Once the shopping center is fully occupied, it is expected to generate about $750,000 a year in revenue for each town.

ART: MAP

CUTLINE: Highland Commons

PHOTOG: T&G Staff/STACEY ARSENAULT
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Title Annotation:MONEY
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Aug 13, 2009
Words:315
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