The TJX Corporation announced Wednesday that it is in the process of buying the soon-to-be-vacant Fidelity facilities in Marlborough.
The owner of discount retail chains TJ Maxx and Marshalls, as well as HomeGoods, said they will transition a significant portion of their workforce to the two Puritan Drive locations sometime during the fall of 2013, according to a recent Boston Globe article.
This news created significant buzz in the Metrowest area over the past day, with many excited about the prospect of one of the state's largest employers moving to Marlborough.
“I am pleased to announce that the City of Marlborough and The TJX Companies, Inc. have agreed in principle to a Tax Increment Financing ("TIF") plan that would allow TJX to expand its operations into Marlborough," said Mayor Arthur Vigeant on Thursday. "Working with City Council President Trish Pope and the members of the City Council, I look forward to working with the leaders from TJX and the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation to finalize a competitive package that will allow new investments to be made in Marlborough while bringing needed revenue to the City, and most importantly, jobs for our residents."
Marlborough's Chamber of Commerce was also pleased with the news.
“The Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce is thrilled that TJX chose to re-locate in Marlborough," said President & CEO Susanne Morreale Leeber. "They are a great company who is very community minded. We look forward to welcoming them into our community and working with them so they can prosper here in our city.”
This is welcome news for Marlborough and the Metrowest area that has dealt with a high commercial vacancy rate over the past few years.
The company would not disclose the number of employees moving to Marlborough, or comment on whether or not they would be adding new hires, said the Globe. Neither did the company disclose the amount paid for the facilities, but the Globe spoke with a source that said TJX had agreed to pay $72 million.
“This space is expected to house certain home office operations and will help TJX accommodate its future growth plans,’’ Sherry Lang, the company’s head of communications, told the newspaper on Wednesday. "We are concurrently working hard to maintain our home office location at 770 Cochituate Road in Framingham, which, together with Marlborough, would provide TJX with two major campuses operating in close proximity to one another."
As for Fidelity, they had employed about 7,600 employees in Massachusetts including the 1,100 based in Marlborough as of the end of 2011. This number was down from the 8,400 the company employed in the state in March of last year.
Local elected and business leaders expressed disappointment at the time.
“This is going to have a ripple effect on Marlborough—in the restaurants, gyms, grocery stores and other services Fidelity employees use," said then mayor Nancy Stevens. "You can’t have 1,100 people leave town without that affecting the community."
When the offices close, many of the Marlborough employees will be provided the opportunity to relocate to offices in Merrimack, N.H. and Smithfield, R.I.
"I can confirm that Fidelity has entered into a contract for the sale of 300 and 400 Puritan Way," said Jennifer Engle, a spokesperson for Fidelity. "...We have had plans to phase out our operations in Marlborough and are pleased that the buildings will be put into productive use by another company. We have developed transition plans for our associates and our priority is to ensure that the sale causes minimal disruption to them and to our clients."
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