November 16, 2018

UPS purchases 200 acres in Grafton and Shrewsbury for $18.3M

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UPS currently operates this facility in Shrewsbury.

United Parcel Service has purchased more than 200 acres in Grafton and Shrewsbury as it prepares to build an 800,000-square-foot distribution facility.

According to land records with the Worcester County Registry of Deeds, the shipping giant purchased several different parcels from two different owners Thursday for a combined $18.3 million.

The land straddling the Grafton-Shrewsbury line was purchased from Aruss Investments Inc., Tonuse Inc. and the Worcester Business Development Corp.

UPS did not return a request for comment.

Mark Donahue, an attorney with Worcester-based Fletcher Tilton representing UPS, told the Grafton Board of Selectmen last month the company would be investing north of $280 million to bring up to 1,500 jobs to the facility.

He said the project was working on a shortened timeline, so property acquisition would likely happen before the end of 2018 and before any other town approvals were obtained.

That apparently happened Thursday, months after a purchase and sale agreement was reached in the spring, Donahue said.

The company also hopes to negotiate a tax-increment-financing agreement with Grafton after Town Meeting voted to allow the town to enter into negotiations with the company.

A proposed 15-year TIF has the company maintaining the current tax payments on the $752,700 valuation of the land, but the company will receive exemptions on the $100 million assessed value of the property after full buildout.

Taxes on that valuation would be about $1.7 million, but the company would be in line for a 100-percent exemption in year one of the agreement, 50-percent in years two through six, 40-percent in years seven and eight, 25 percent in years nine through 12 and 20 percent for the final three years.

According to Town Administrator Timothy McInerney, the town has been looking to see that land near the town's Commuter Rail station developed for some time.

"It was always targeted for something big," he told WBJ. "It's finally coming to fruition."

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