NYNEX/Verizon Building to Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse
350 Cochituate Road, Framingham, MA, 01701
Facility built: 1964
Stage: July 2005 to October 2006
Facility opening: December 11, 2006
stores in former: (all office complexes) New England Telephone &
Telegraph Regional Headquarters, NYNEX Regional Headquarters, Bell
Atlantic Regional Headquarters, Verizon Regional Headquarters, Verizon
stores: Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse
(Store) website: http://www.lowes.com
stories: Lowe's Store
Slated for Framingham
building was built in
1964 for New England Telephone & Telegraph, the local telephone
provider in New England (similar to
BellSouth, etc.). In 1984, New England Telephone & Telegraph merged
New York Telephone as part of the breakup of the Bell System, forming
1996, NYNEX merged with Bell Atlantic, the local telephone provider in
the Mid-Atlantic states. Finally, in
1998, Bell Atlantic
announced a merger with GTE, which in 2000 began branding the combined
components as Verizon. The 350
Cochituate Road building acted as the
local headquarters, during all of these incarnations, for the
MetroWest area. In its later days, the building acted as a training
Verizon's employees. However, with the dot-com bust, and in order to
the company moved its employees to other nearby Verizon offices and
April 2004, Lowe's, a
chain of home improvement stores very similar to Home Depot, realized
needed a foothold in the Golden Triangle area as it proceeded on its
spree in the New England states.
Associates, a Boston-based company that leased shopping complexes,
a long-term lease with Lowe's at this time. The MetroWest Daily News
that Lowe's initially planned to construct a smaller 100,000 sq. ft.
far back as the Target store. Due to the small size of the lot,
would be forced to put some of the parking on the roof of the store. At
that point, Lowe's only used rooftop parking at one other store: a
location in Metairie, LA.
rumored plan at this
time was that Lowe's was going to acquire the adjacent post office and
construct a slightly larger store that would not require parking on the
The post office would close, and would be replaced by two post offices,
North Framingham and one in South Framingham.
This plan never came to fruition.
Board first met with Lowe's and Samuels and Associates representatives
7th, 2004, and over a series of 13 public hearings, the exterior of the
building changed drastically. Many aspects of the facility were
ranging from exterior windows for the store to lighting for the on-site
shelter. Approval was approached in late December, and again in
finally happened just after midnight on February 23, 2005, when the
Board unanimously approved 5 articles that completed the public hearing
and cleared for the building to be constructed.
expected to begin demolition in the weeks following the approval in an
effort to open the store in January 2006. However, that was far from
what would occur. A large strike of NSTAR workers during the spring
prevented the building's utilities from being shut off. Finally,
demolition began in June 2005, and by August, about half of the
building had been razed. The construction, completed by Holliston-based
Themeli Builders, was barely any more successful than the demolition.
Not only did the construction take longer than expected, but In
September 2006, while filing for a temporary occupancy permit, members
of the Framingham Planning Board criticized broken bricks at the
corners of the building, a rough ramp to the upper deck parking, and
the lack of the promised bus shelter and crosswalk signals. Even worse,
Lowe's had broken the town's sign bylaw by installing an unapproved
sign on the store's premises.
these troubles, the store eventually got its occupancy permit on
October 4; following several months of stocking, the store held a "soft
opening" on December 11. The store is slated to have an official grand
opening on January 11, exactly a year behind schedule.
My Pictures: December 11, 2006
completed roof parking deck atop Lowe's. Go through the automatic doors
ahead, and elevators down to the store. Unfortunately, no Vermaport
parking deck does give a great view of the Golden Triangle's skyline,
even if its highlight is a five-story bank building for the time being.
My Pictures: June 18, 2006
This is a
view of the side of the store. The covered area of the garden center is
located to the top left. The store's delivery bays can be seen on the
right side of the photo.
front of what will be the store. The location of the Lowe's logo can be
seen in the front; to the right, construction on the store's garden
center continues but appears to be near complete. The lighting for the
store's ground level parking appears to be complete; outside of this
photo, though, not much of the future parking lot is paved. Further at
the leftmost point seen of the building from this vantage point, you
can see the completed contractor's entrance, which allows commercial
customers direct access to the lumber section of the store.
With all of
the signage ordinances in place on the Cochituate Rd. strip in
Framingham, this small sign for the store can't be too much of a
surprise. It's around the size of the Target sign. Considering that
"Now Hiring" signs were posted around the base of this permanent sign,
the store's opening can't be too far in the distance.
Pictures: August 26, 2005
construction from Ring Road, looking west toward the Lowe's
construction site. The right side of the building has entirely
disappeared, while the left half of the building is no more than a
frame. The overgrown grass inside the fence is entirely gone, while the
grass outside the fence shows how high it once was. The lousy
landscaping will be replaced by fancy shrubs and mulch by when the
view of the construction from the right side of the construction site,
facing Route 30.
Pictures: May 8, 2004
Media: Renderings of Lowe's Home
Related Links: None