Westborough Officials: 'Hollywood East' To Help Business

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Westborough officials, including Town Planner Jim Robbins,  spoke in favor of a proposal to develop the former hospital area.
Westborough officials, including Town Planner Jim Robbins, spoke in favor of a proposal to develop the former hospital area. Photo Credit: File photo

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — An ambitious proposal by developer Anton Nel would bring "Hollywood East" to Westborough's Lake Chauncy area, with town officials touting the plan as a potential boon for business. 

"I don't think I'm stepping on anyone's toes," Nel said, commenting to the Economic Development Committee Tuesday morning on the effect his development might have on local businesses.

"It might even lighten up [car] traffic." 

Town Planner Jim Robbins said he believes competition is good for business, while also noting that the development would be much different from the Downtown district, so there shouldn't be any negative effect. 

The development would house mostly boutique shops, along with space for start-up businesses, a hotel and outdoor theater. It would also be centered around media and production while becoming a "destination." 

"If I want to hear birds, I don't walk in the rotary," Robbins said. "I think they would be good for each other." 

Planning Board chairman Lester Hensley also spoke in favor of the proposal, noting that town forums held in the past year have helped Westborough learn what is desired for the area. 

"The process that has taken place has clearly been valuable," he said, noting that the property is still under state control and there is "still a lot in process" at this time. 

Nel said he has not solidified any financing for the project at present. 

The plan, likely years down the road at any rate, will be further discussed at the Dec. 13 Planning Board meeting.

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