FXM In The News
FXM Associates is currently working with a varied client list on numerous high-profile projects, including the following:
- As part of a consultant team headed by TetraTech, FXM is the economic consultant for MassDOT on the proposed $500 million MassPike I-90 Interchange Reconstruction and West Station transit project in Allston (Boston) MA. The immediate project area features an ambitious long-term development strategy by Harvard. The project will also affect major development initiatives at Boston Landing, BU, and elsewhere in the Brighton/Allston communities and will have regional impacts on the area served by the MassPike. The planning process includes a broad based public participation program including local community and city/region-wide pedestrian/bicycle, transit, urban design, and parks preservation constituencies. FXM is responsible for assessing the project’s potential effects on land use, jobs, household income, business sales, and taxes, and environmental justice effects.
- Also for MassDOT, on a consultant team headed by Fay, Spofford & Thorndike, FXM is conducting the land use, social, and economic impact assessments of alternatives for a possible third bridge crossing of the Cape Cod Canal. The project features a P3 approach to funding and includes analyses of potential toll revenue financing.
- FXM is providing economic and fiscal impact assessments to assist Boston Properties advancing its proposed $1 billion North Station development project.
- For the City of New Bedford, as part of a team headed by Sasaki Associates, FXM is providing market and economic impact advisory services for a development program and urban renewal plan for the City’s working waterfront. FXM has previously been involved in a number of projects on the New Bedford waterfront, ranging from the initial municipal harbor development master plan in 1999 to the market, economic impact, financial feasibility, and business plan for the Marine Commerce Terminal. That $100 million multi-purpose port facility project is slated to be completed in the spring of 2015.
- FXM is assessing potential residential and commercial market support as well as possible non-traditional economic and institutional uses for reuse of the former International Paper Mill in Erving, MA, as part of a team headed by Tighe & Bond, Engineers. This study follows similar work undertaken for four former paper mills in Lee, MA as part of a team headed by the Cecil Group. FXM’s analyses identified food and other agricultural production and warehousing, specialty brewing and restaurants and specialty recreation as among the potential reuses for these mills.
- Working with the Cecil Group, FXM is preparing an assessment of residential and commercial market opportunities for development in Burlington, MA, as part of that town’s comprehensive plan update; an assessment of market demand for additional retail and mixed-use residential development in the Nobscot and Saxonville village areas of Framingham, MA; and residential and commercial demand assessments and redevelopment pro forma for revitalization of the South Windsor, CT town center.
OTHER RECENT PROJECTS
- For the City of Somerville, MA, FXM critically reviewed the market and economic impact assessments prepared by Wynn Resorts for their proposed casino in Everett and prepared an independent analysis of potential economic and fiscal impacts of the project within the City of Somerville. FXM’s analysis concluded that Wynn had overstated possible benefits to restaurant uses and property values in Somerville and that, in fact, the City would lose property and meals tax revenues as a consequence of the casino operations. While Somerville failed to prevail in arbitration, Wynn agreed to compensate the City for the annual tax losses estimated in FXM’s analysis.
- For MassDOT’s Strategic Ports Development Initiative FXM assessed the economic contributions and growth opportunities of water-dependent commercial recreational uses (charter and excursion vessels, water taxis, cruise ships) and private recreational marinas in the five major seaports in Massachusetts (Gloucester, Salem, Boston, New Bedford, Fall River). FXM assisted the project team, headed by AECOM, in assessing the economic impacts of cargo, fisheries, marine services and repairs industries as well as commercial and private recreational uses in each port and in developing recommendations for improved coordination between ports as well as priority development initiatives in each port.
- For the private business group Local Businesses for A Strong Cape Economy FXM Associates prepared an independent assessment of potential economic and tax effects of a proposed Lowe’s Home Center in South Dennis. The FXM examination focused on the project proponent’s submission to the Cape Code Commission for approval as a Development of Regional Impact, identifying major differences in rationale and findings. As part of FXM’s research, a confidential survey was conducted of established Cape Cod businesses that offer products directly competitive with the 4,000 in-store items that would be sold by the proposed Lowe’s. The FXM analysis determined that the proposed Lowe’s would result in negative net job creation, negative net municipal fiscal impact (taxes), negative net employee earnings, insurance and pension benefits; and no new services and products not already provided by existing Cape Cod retailers. As a consequence of FXM’s report as well as its own independent assessment, the Cape Cod Commission rejected Lowe’s application, and Lowe’s terminated the project.
- For The Pawtucket Foundation FXM prepared an assessment of market-driven opportunities for residential and commercial development within the Downtown/Riverfront Area of Pawtucket and Central Falls, RI. Using the market assessment and development pro forma prepared by FXM, the City of Pawtucket issued an RFP for development of a key riverfront site. A developer has been selected and, according to local officials, the development program mirrors that recommended by FXM.
- For MassDevelopment and the New Bedford Economic Development Council FXM Associates recently completed an assessment of market-driven opportunities for further development of residential and commercial uses in Downtown New Bedford. This is the fourth such assignment FXM has undertaken in Downtown New Bedford since 2000. Over this period, the city has seen significant rehabilitation of existing properties for both residential and commercial uses (more than 35% of downtown commercial space has been renovated), over 40 new downtown businesses, and a reduction of ground floor retail vacancies from 39% in 2006 to 5% today. FXM’s analyses identified significant additional potential for market rate residential development in the downtown as well as restaurant, retail, and office uses. Among its recommendations, FXM strongly urged local brokers and property owners to abandon their attempts to attract traditional office users (such as banks, lawyers, accountants, insurance companies) that have long been leaving the downtown and to focus efforts on offering inexpensive, unfinished or build-to-suit space for emerging creative economy and other small entrepreneurial businesses that have little interest in conventional office space, want to be part of a vibrant walkable downtown, and are unable to afford space closer to Boston.
- For the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) FXM prepared an analysis of the potential local and statewide economic and fiscal effects of a unique collaboration of academic institutions in Brockton, MA. Their program is to rehabilitate an historic abandoned department store in the heart of Downtown into classroom and administrative space serving 4,000 students who will have options to take degree-credit courses offered by the University of Massachusetts Boston, Massasoit Community College, and Bridgewater State University. Work is proceeding on academic programming and detailed architectural and engineering plans.
- For the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) FXM prepared an update of its earlier (2008) assessment of the economic and fiscal effects of the Port of Davisville on the Rhode Island Economy. The Port’s major tenant is NORAD, one of the largest importers of foreign autos to the US and a significant direct and indirect contributor to the state economy, as documented in FXM’s analysis using primary source data and the R/ECON Input Output Model. FXM’s earlier assessment was used by QDC to justify a significant investment in dredging intended to expand business opportunities and economic impacts attributable to NORAD and other port users. The current study confirmed the efficacy of that investment in terms of increased employment, output, household income, and taxes within Rhode Island.