Hopkinton shines like gold for biotech firms
The zoning bylaw change was approved by the annual Town Meeting in the spring, encouraging the Mass. Biotech Council to increase the town’s rating from bronze to gold. Peter Abair, director of economic and global affairs at the council, explained that a by-right bylaw makes it easier for a biotech company to locate in a town. Obtaining a special permit adds several steps and can often add three to nine months to the length of the process, Abair said. “Improving the Bio Ready rating helps wave a flag to rest of industry to say, ‘here we are, we do welcome this industry and we’ve made it easier for these facilities to come here,’” Abair said. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but this definitely helps Hopkinton get more in the game than it previously was.” Hopkinton already has many life science businesses including Perkins Elmer, which recently expanded their facilities, Lonza and Arteriocyte. “We already have a bunch here, but it seems like we want more,” said Finley Perry, Chairman of Hopkinton 2020. “We wanted to continue to attract good, clean, high value and high wage occupations to Hopkinton.” Perry said they sought to make the zoning bylaw change to streamline permitting for such businesses, noting that there are state and federal laws that put provide oversight to biotech companies. “There is no real local expertise that would trump that, so why have it as a special permit,” Perry said.
Lindsay Corcoran can be reached at 508-626-4338 or [email protected].