A Mixed–Use Village
Riverbridge is a mixed-use village being constructed in Berlin, Massachusetts. The development site is located at the South Berlin rotary, where River Road West, Whitney Road and South Street converge. This 114-acre property is being constructed on 26 acres close to the roads and rotary, leaving 88 acres of undeveloped land surrounding the new village.
The site is just outside Route 495 in Metro West Boston. The “495 Corridor” has seen tremendous growth and development over recent decades. Route 290, which runs from the Massachusetts Turnpike (Route 90) south of the City of Worcester eastward to its termination at Route 495, passes by the Riverbridge site just before the 290/495 interchange. About 78,000 vehicle trips a day travel on Route 290 by the exit leading to Riverbridge.
Solomon Pond Mall
Riverbridge is adjacent to The Solomon Pond Mall, a successful million square foot regional mall owned by Simon Properties, as well as 1.6 million square feet of R&D space on Donald Lynch Boulevard.
The Riverbridge Trade Area
Beginning with the 350+ “built in customers” the trade area of the Riverbridge commercial establishments is considered to be the central and northern parts of the Town of Northborough, all of Berlin, the western part of Hudson, and the more proximate sections of Clinton, Boylston and Marlborough. Depending on the ultimate type of grocery, restaurants gas station and liquor store, the trade area will also draw a measure of shoppers from the Donald Lynch Boulevard commercial area, and customers coming off of Route 290.
Glickman, Kovago & Company of Worcester, the project’s former real estate leasing/sales broker for the stand alone commercial uses, describes the trade area as: “a mix of affluent suburbs, urban density and strong daytime population”.
The 10-mile radius numbers indicate a total population of 249,552, in 95,314 households, with a $79,462 average household income.
On Donald Lynch Boulevard alone there are over 1.1 million square feet of retail, 1.6 million square feet of Class A office and R&D, two hotels, and a luxury apartment complex (Jefferson at Wheeler Hill).
Tenants at the Solomon Pond Mall include: Macy’s, JC Penny, Sears, Regal Cinema, Bertucci’s, TGIF and over 100 specialty shops such as American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Coldwater Creek, Forever 21 and other well recognized retailers.
Two Brooks and a River
The Riverbridge property contains two brooks and a river: North Brook, Barefoot Brook and the Assabet River, which flows through 32 towns from Westborough to Concord. The open hayfields and pine grove that separate Riverbridge from the Solomon Pond Mall and the other stores along Donald Lynch Boulevard give the site a unique tranquility and natural beauty. A 1998 master plan study done by the Town of Berlin concluded the following about the potential re-development of the Risi family land: “The southern gateway along the flats would be preserved, and the new commercial center would have a density consistent with a village center.”
From One Family to Another
Like the Risi family, the Developer of Riverbridge is a family with a long history of working together. Susan and Alan Senie of Westport, Connecticut developed and managed housing projects and commercial property for over 40 years. Alan, a zoning attorney, and Susan, a commercial real estate broker, partnered with builders and investors as they developed condominium projects in Connecticut and Vermont, and as they purchased, renovated, held and resold office and retail properties in Fairfield County Connecticut. The Senie family real estate business has shifted to central Massachusetts where the two sons of Alan and Susan live and manage the family’s ventures. Christopher Senie, a land use attorney like his father, serves as the President of Riverbridge. Matthew Senie, with a business and real estate brokerage background, is the General Manager of the Riverbridge redevelopment project in Berlin. Two other Senie children are partners in Riverbridge: K.C., who lives in Redding, CT, and Allyson, who lives in Alexandria, VA.