, 2022-09-09 11:43:46,
Published: 9/9/2022 12:38:12 PM
Modified: 9/9/2022 12:34:27 PM
HATFIELD — A mostly vacant property on Routes 5 & 10, to be used for expanding the North American headquarters of tankless water heater manufacturer Stiebel Eltron Inc., could also become home to a publicly accessible dog park and disc golf course.
The Planning Board on Wednesday received an overview of the possible development of the 73-acre site at 99 West St., owned by Stiebel Eltron President Frank Stiebel, including a 72,000-square-foot assembly warehouse and parking for the business.
But while the expansion of the German-based company has long been planned, and a $2 million MassWorks Infrastructure Grant paid for much of the extension of water and sewer lines along the state highway to accommodate the company’s growth, the new elements of the project come from a vision from Ellie Stiebel, Frank Stiebel’s daughter.
Ellie Stiebel, who works as a registered nurse at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, told planners that she has seen more people adopt dogs during the pandemic, during which there has been a significant amount of isolation and mental health issues. Having the dog park at the location, she said. would be “a way to bring people together.”
Ellie Steibel also explained that the dog park would be set up as a nonprofit and could be paid for, in part, through a grant from the private Stanton Foundation.
The disc golf course would be an added amenity, she said, similar to what exists at the unofficial dog park in Northampton, while a tobacco barn on site could be renovated into a facility to showcase art and historical memorabilia, and would also have bathrooms inside it.
Erica Rioux Gees, head of real estate development for Stiebel Properties LLC., called the plans a gift from Frank Stiebel. “This is something they’re doing for the community,” Gees said of the Stiebels.
Gees said she will meet with the Select Board on Tuesday and other town officials and committees to discuss the plans for the site. Long term, there also may be a housing development put on a back portion of the property.
While no plans are yet before the Planning Board to examine, Planning Board Chairwoman Stephanie Slysz said it has long been known the property would be developed. “To see this other community aspect of it is a nice surprise,” Slysz said.
The board also received a brief presentation about the likely redevelopment of 16 West St. into a…
To read the original article, go to Click here