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FITCHBURG, MA-Robert Anson is planning to renovate his father’s shoe facility here and create a new one for e-business. In addition to the $5 million that was put into restoring the buildings, an additional $30 million has been secured from private investors to complete renovations. Architects on the project are Steffian Bradley Associates and the general contractor is Mullaney Corp. of Leominster. The facility consists of 6 buildings, three of which will be knocked down this November to create an atrium, leaving approximately 300,000 square feet of space. The building will be wired with OC48 fiber optic bandwidth, the latest generation in bandwidth, which is equivalent to about 1,344 T1lines.

“We are one of the very few facilities in the state that has this type of bandwidth,” says Dan Krysiak, vice president at McFarland & Finch, which is promoting the site. “To have this type of technology in place is a tremendous asset.”

Krysiak notes that after construction, these buildings will provide the kind of creative environment that high-tech companies want with high ceilings, large windows and exposed beams. Companies will also be able to easily expand within the facility as they grow. Krysiak emphasizes that companies’ decision to move here will also be economically driven. “We will be charging about $13 per square foot while on route 128 they are charging about $40 per square foot.”

A commuter rail service to Fitchburg and the prospect of a reverse commute could make this area appealing to some start-ups. The Clock Tower Place, a similar venture in nearby Natick, is now almost fully leased. “Things are moving out this way,” says Fitchburg. “Route 495 is growing and we’re taking it one step further.”

Curtis Cole, vice president/partner at CB/Richard Ellis/Whittier Partners, agrees. “I think with the market getting tighter and tighter in terms of available space, 495 and beyond is getting more realistic.”

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