Commercial Development Coming to Former Grafton State Hospital

MassDevelopment, the State’s Land Bank, Sells 33-Acre Parcel to Boston-Based GFI Partners for Creation of New 200,000-Square-Foot Development to be Leased for Life Science or Other Industrial, Flex Uses

March 29, 2024

Kelsey Schiller, 857-325-3477 

Rendering of new development at 124 Westboro Road in Grafton, courtesy of GFI Partners 

GRAFTON, Mass. – MassDevelopment has sold a 33.2-acre parcel at 124 Westboro Road in Grafton, formerly part of the state-owned Grafton State Hospital, to GFI Partners. The Boston-based real estate company plans to build two buildings, totaling 200,000 square feet, on the now-vacant site that it will lease for life science or other industrial, flex uses allowed under the local zoning. Construction of the development is expected to begin summer 2024 and be complete Q1 2026.

124 Westboro Road is a high-visibility site located near the North Grafton MBTA Commuter Rail station, Tufts University’s Grafton Science Park, and Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. The site is zoned for office, research and development (R&D), and light manufacturing uses. Additionally, the site, which was Certified Platinum BioReady by MassBio, has received a campus overlay permit that promotes biotech, medical, and pharma development via expedited project permitting.  

The parcel was transferred to MassDevelopment, the state’s land bank, from the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) in 2017 as part of the state’s Open for Business initiative, with the intention of fostering economic development along the Westboro Road (Route 30) corridor. MassDevelopment completed surveys, environmental due diligence, and a concept plan and marketed the site for private development. In September 2022, MassDevelopment entered into a Land Disposition Agreement with GFI Partners for the development of 200,000 square feet of new development buildings to attract life science/commercial users.

“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,” said Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao, who serves as chair of MassDevelopment’s Board of Directors. “We’re excited for the revitalization of this property. With the help of MassDevelopment, this property will become a great economic asset for our Route 30 corridor and all of Massachusetts.”

“GFI Partners’ proposed development at 124 Westboro Road marks a major ‘win’ for Grafton and for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as it looks to reposition formerly state-owned property for new uses that can meet the needs of our communities today,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Dan Rivera. “Our team at MassDevelopment was proud to step in to ready and market this site for private development that will create new jobs and economic opportunities.”

As the state’s land bank, MassDevelopment is empowered to acquire, redevelop, and sell federal, state, and blighted properties in an effort to maximize job creation, expand the local tax base, and increase the availability of housing in coordination with local economic priorities. Other land bank projects by the agency include Devens, Carriage Grove in Belchertown, Village Hill in Northampton, Myles Standish Industrial Park in Taunton, and the former Wilson’s Department Store in Greenfield. 

“Thanks to our longstanding relationship with MassDevelopment and collaboration with the Town of Grafton, we are excited to transform this parcel into a 200,000 square foot development which can suit a variety of different tenants,” said Steve Goodman, Founder of GFI Partners. “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.”

GFI Partners is a real estate developer, operator, and investment manager. Founded in 1997 by Steven Goodman, GFI has evolved into one of the largest and most experienced real estate developers in the Northeast with a proven track record of successful investments. With more than 20 million square feet of real estate development, GFI has been reinventing communities and bringing together companies for more than 25 years.  

“DCAMM applauds today’s sale, and we are proud to be among the state and local partners who share a commitment to redeveloping the former Grafton State Hospital for the benefit of the community and the Commonwealth at large,” said Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance (DCAMM) Commissioner Adam Baacke. “DCAMM commends MassDevelopment on their stewardship of this property, and we are look forward to the next stages of this important redevelopment process.”  

“The Town is excited to see continued growth in North Grafton. The development at 124 Westboro Road will help to broaden Grafton’s industrial industry, and bring a new layer of economic development to our community,” said Grafton Town Administrator Evan Brassard. “We look forward to seeing the project completed!”

MassDevelopment, the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2023, MassDevelopment financed or managed 545 projects generating investment of more than $2 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,522 jobs and build or preserve 1,583 housing units.