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April 1, 2024

Former Grafton State Hospital site planned for life sciences complex after $2.65M sale

A rendering of an industrial development Rendering | Courtesy of MassDevelopment Land that used to be part of the grounds of Grafton State Hospital will soon be converted into a two-building, 200,000-square-foot industrial complex.

The state agency MassDevelopment has sold a parcel once part of Grafton State Hospital to GFI Partners for $2.65 million, as the Boston-based developer intends to turn the site into an industrial complex.

The property, located at 124 Westboro Road, was sold in a deal finalized on Friday, according to Worcester District Registry of Deeds records. GFI intends to construct two buildings with a total area of 200,000 square feet, with construction set to begin during the summer and be completed by the first quarter of 2026, according to a press release issued by MassDevelopment on Friday.

GFI is constructing the space with the intent of leasing the industrial flex space to businesses operating in the life science space or other uses complying with local zoning.

“This site offers an excellent opportunity for any tenant due to its vicinity to the Grafton Science Park, Massachusetts Biotech Research Park, The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, UMass Medical School, and a variety of other well-renowned colleges and universities in the area,” Steve Goodman, founder of GFI Partners, said in the MassDevelopment press release. 

Grafton State Hospital operated as a mental health facility from 1901 to 1973, when it was shuttered as part of the state’s deinstitutionalization efforts, according to reporting from Grafton Common, a local news website. 

Other parcels once part of Grafton State Hospital formerly owned by the state have either been redeveloped or have been approved for redevelopment. Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, operated by Tufts University, was built in 1978 on the former hospital campus. A 317-unit residential complex located at 8 Pine Street on the former campus has received local approvals, although that site is now listed for sale by Chicago-based real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, according to a listing on the firm’s website. 

The property at 124 Westboro Road was transferred to MassDevelopment in 2017 as part of the state’s Open for Business initiative, which sought to spur economic development through the sale of disused state properties.

GFI has purchased several Central Massachusetts properties since 2022, including 221 acres of land in Charlton and 141 acres of land in Hopedale

“Our administration is thrilled to announce the transformation of this former state-owned site under GFI Partners. Their commitment to developing a robust commercial hub will foster job creation and significantly boost economic growth in the region,” Yvonne Hao, the state’s secretary of economic development and chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors, said in the press release.

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