The New England Chapter of SIOR held a landlord evening on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at Tuscan Kitchen in the Seaport District, Boston. The event was hosted by Joe Faro, developer of Tuscan Village, known as “The Rock” Office District, Salem, NH and founder of the Tuscan Kitchen. Tuscan Village is a 2.8 million square foot redevelopment of the former Rockingham Park Horse Track. Approximately 33 SIOR and guests were in attendance and the event started at 5:30 pm with a Welcome announcement from the Chapter President, Mike Giuttari.
Then Tom Farrelly gave an overview of this project (as the leasing broker) and announced that Tuscan Village was the largest project north of Boston with over 2.8 million square feet of fully approved space. Cushman & Wakefield has been selected by Tuscan Brands as its exclusive leasing agent for the Offices at Tuscan Village. Tom then introduced Joe Faro.
Joe gave an overview of the project. The Offices at Tuscan Village are part of the fully approved, 170-acre mixed-use Tuscan Village development under construction on the site of the former Rockingham Park Race Track. Upon completion Tuscan Village will boast 2.8 million square feet to include retail shops, two major hotels with conference facilities, 800 residential units, an entertainment district, a diversified mix of restaurants and up to 1.3 million square feet of Class A office space.
Development sites for Phase I, situated on 50-acres, are sold out! Phase I offers luxury townhouses, apartments, an automotive dealership, retail shops and a Market Basket supermarket.
Leasing for Phase II, situated on 120-acres, is currently underway, with $45 million in road and infrastructure work in process. The road and utility work are slated for completion in May 2019. Build-to-suit office space can be delivered as early as the fall of 2020.
Tuscan Village is a landmark project that is redefining the gateway to New Hampshire. The Offices at Tuscan Village and will provide an amenity rich working environment that will enable companies to successfully compete and retain talent in today’s highly competitive workforce environment.
Joe then gave an overview of how he became a developer. He grew up in Lawrence to first generation Italian parents. His father opened a bakery in Lawrence. Joe attended UNH and in his course on Entrepreneurship Leadership, he entered a contest for business plans that would give the winner a grant to start his/her business. He did not win the contest but his professor liked Joe’s plan. He helped Joe find financing. Eventually Joe found SBA was willing to fund his request for $1 million loan for a pasta factory. He grew the pasta factory over the years to include hundreds of employees and serve large supermarkets. His company was eventually acquired by Nestles in 2006-07. Joe then turned to real estate as a profession and found the land site at Exit 2 on Rt. 93 in NH. The area was pretty run-down and he had a vision to create a higher and better use. He decided to create an Italian artisan retail community and have goods and services imported from Italy to the U.S. consumer. He was importing everything directly from Italy and this concept became successful. He then opened Tuscan Restaurant and started to give back to the community serving war veterans. He has served food to over 17,000 veterans over the last 10 years.
The abutting Rockingham Park became available and there were many developers vying to buy this site. A $ 1billion casino was trying to secure the site and obtain its permits. To create some cash flow, the casino sold off 50 acres to Joe. Joe then placed all his bets on this site to create an office and retail development. He knew that he could be competing with the casino. He didn’t know if the market could really support both the casino’s development and his development. He decided to take a risk. He now had 50 acres. He decided to create a vision for downtown Salem which would bring events and benefit the Salem community. He has held Italian car shows, wine festivals, benefits for veterans and the homeless.
In the meantime the casino was spending over $1 billion on infrastructure, widening Rt. 93 and surrounding roads that would benefit Joe’s development. Joe envisions the casino’s investment as a gift. To obtain approvals, the town then decided to abolish zoning for Joe’s site. He was able to gain almost 3 million square feet in approvals with 6-7 story buildings and other non-compliant uses. Joe found that the Town of Salem was very creative and he had the support of the NH Governor.
Joe has completed North Village comprised of 260 apartments, Market Basket, 96 townhouses and a medical facility near completion. He has a Hilton Hotel, a famous seafood restaurant and a well-known outdoor sports tenant. By July, 2019, he will start to break ground on a famous burger restaurant. He is focused on creating a very pedestrian friendly project similar to Legacy Place or Santana Row in San Jose. Tuscan Village will include community programs and symbiotic projects with 55+ year housing, retail, entertainment, restaurants, Bar Louis, tequila restaurants, country western, live entertainment, etc. There are over 1,000 residential units and an independent living and wellness facility. In short the project will include:
· 1 million square feet of office and medical
· 950 residential units
· 2 regional medical facilities
· 2 hotels
· 800,000 square feet of retail
· 6,000 new jobs and $12 million of annual tax revenue
· Over $35 million of off-site improvements.
There is also a buried stream that Rockingham Park covered in the 1950s. He will be unearthing the stream and letting it flow around the perimeter. The brook is about 1 mile long and the site has over 1 million trees and bushes. The details are the following:
The Offices at Tuscan Village -
· 1.3 million SF of office and medical service office
· Fully approved project under construction
· Market’s fastest delivery for high-quality build-to-suit office space
· Landmark location at Exit 1 off I-93 at the convergence of Routes 38 and 28 – 30 miles to Boston,
· No State Income, Sales or Estate Taxes!
· Ready work force - 116,000 New Hampshire residents commute to jobs in Massachusetts daily
· Easy reverse commute for Massachusetts residents
· New Hampshire is known for its affordable residential housing - well below greater Boston and the Seacoast
· Landmark project redefining the gateway to New Hampshire
· Full support of the Town of Salem officials and residents! A custom zoning overlay was created specifically for the redevelopment of this site
· Economic Revitalization Zone (ERZ) Tax Credits Offered
· Potential to partner with State of New Hampshire education system for specific workforce training
· Amenity rich urban development design, desirable to today’s mainstream workforce enabling Timberland to attract and retain a highly talented employee base
· Convenient access to downtown Boston, Portsmouth, Manchester and all points in between.
The Chapter would like to thank Tom Farrelly for arranging this event.