HomeAnimalsWestford's Gateway Property Remains Vacant

Westford’s Gateway Property Remains Vacant

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It was April 2018 when developer Ebrahim Masalehdan and resident Juliette Mount argued in front of select board members over a 9-acre parcel owned by Masalehdan at 66 Boston Road.

The vacant farm stand at Drew Gardens, 66 Boston Road. PHOTO BY PATTY STOCKER

Today the land is fallow with grasses and other plants taking over.

Masalehdan said he’s looking ahead.

“I’m talking to a few people,” he said, ” let’s see what happens by the end of the year.”

A Short History

In 1997 and 1999, the town paid owners Keith and Nanci Bohne $525,000 for the development rights, the right of first refusal, and the guarantee of perpetual preservation as agricultural land. Bohne sold the land to Tom Goddard of North Reading, who used it as a dumping ground for piles of bark mulch.

Bumping up against Masalehdan who purchased the property in February 2016 for $650,000, was a group of Westford conservationists who were deeply opposed to Masalehdan’s development proposal of building a restaurant and banquet hall for special events. Then and now a wooden structure once used as a garden center sits on the land.

Bill Harman and Juliette Mount discuss their opposition to developing a parcel at 66 Boston Road. WESTFORDCAT PHOTO

Mount called for the building to be restored or “cleaned up.” On April 10, 2018, she unsuccessfully asked select board members to impose fines on Masalehdan if he didn’t immediately improve the property.

But with single family housing prices now soaring, will Masalehdan somehow benefit?

Principal Assessor William Naser said land can be valued in two methods:

  • Straight up vacant land sales (a buildable land parcel which sells for $325,000 tells me the range of the land value).
  • Extraction: review arms length commercial/residential sales. Extract improvement value from total value. This gives a land residual value- review a bunch and it gets to a range of where the value should be.”

“A buildable parcel in Westford ranges from $240,000 to $420,000, depending on where it is,” Naser stated. “I have not completed my land analysis, so I don’t know where the numbers will end up.”

UPDATES

August 10, 2021– At Masalehdan’s request a line that said “When reached by phone, Masalehdan said he was engaged in projects…” was removed because, he argued, it was not an accurate portrayal.