Former Newbury College / Welltower Site Development

Area Capture

Last updated 8/11/2022 -

The former Newbury College campus, located in the Fisher Hill neighborhood, was sold to Welltower, a leading developer of senior housing facilities. Following a successful zoning change, Welltower is redeveloping the eastern portion of the former Newbury College campus into a continuing care facility that would include independent living units, assisted living units, and memory care units for seniors. 

The Town also purchased the western portion of the site from Welltower. The Town has not yet identified what the property might be used for, but the Newbury Zoning Committee considered a 3- or 4-section school, a recreational facility, a storage facility for the Building Department, a training facility for the Police Department, and other uses identified in the Town's Strategic Asset Plan. The Newbury Zoning Committee produced a recommendation on a rezoning proposal for the eastern portion of the site together with associated agreements between the Town and Welltower. The zoning and other Town Meeting approvals were successfully passed and the continuing care facility is currently under active construction.

The Select Board anticipates creating a committee to recommend uses for the municipally-owned property on the west side of Fisher Hill Avenue in Fall 2022. Related background materials are on the bottom right of this page. The property is currently being used by the Public Buildings Division for a variety of workshop spaces that support all municipal and school properties. The Information Technology Department is also using a small portion of one of the buildings for storage and staging of leased computers and other equipment between lease cycles, for all municipal and school employees. Both of these uses were historically located within public school buildings. 

The Newbury Zoning Committee and the Select Board have agreed to a set of terms with Welltower for the rezoning of the east side of the former Newbury College campus and the Town’s potential purchase of the west side. Below is a link to a summary of the terms. These terms have been incorporated into a Memorandum of Agreement and in a variety of warrant articles and other associated documents that were voted at Town Meeting in June 2020 (see below for filed warrant articles).

Terms Summary prepared for the Select Board - 2.11.20

Warrant Articles

The following warrant articles were formally submitted on March 5, 2020.

Warrant Articles Related to Welltower's Development of the East Side

Warrant Articles Related to the Town's Acquisition of the West Side

Newbury Campus Zoning Study Committee

Committee Information

Charge

Meetings / Agendas / Minutes (includes meetings/agendas for Subcommittees)

Video Recording of 1-8-20 Newbury Zoning Committee Meeting

Subcommittees

Newbury Zoning Negotiation Subcommittee - The purpose of this subcommittee is to consider the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of the real property of the former Newbury College campus. This subcommittee’s meetings are not open to the public, and are held in executive session because an open meeting may have detrimental effects on the negotiating position of the public body.

Newbury Zoning Architectural Subcommittee - The purpose of this subcommittee is to review and propose changes to the design of Welltower’s proposal. The Architectural Subcommittee will likely play a significant role in the drafting of design guidelines for the project and the new zoning district.

Welltower

Website

Notice for Welltower’s 3rd Community Meeting on February 10, 2020

Notice for Neighborhood Meeting on Preapplication to Design Review process on July 15, 2020

Test-Fits for the West Portion of the Site

Schools (2+++, 3+++, and 4+++) ; Cost Estimates - produced by HMFH Architects and presented to the Newbury Zoning Committee at their meeting on October 31, 2019

Other Municipal Uses ; Cost Estimates - produced by ICON Architecture and presented to the Newbury Zoning Committee at their meeting on October 31, 2019

Site Information

Area:

Total: 7.88 acres

East Side: 4.75 acres

West Side: 3.13 acres

Addresses and Parcel ID #s:

East Side: 117 Fisher Ave (250-01-02), 124 Holland Rd (250-03-05), 125 Holland Rd (249-13-00)

West Side: 110 Fisher Ave (255-01-01), 146 Hyslop Rd (256-20-00), 124 Fisher Ave (256-24-00), 150 Fisher Ave (256-21-23)

Zoning District:

East Side: S-15/S-25

West Side: S-25

Timeline Showing History of Newbury College Campus