Tsakalos Eyeing Town Acres, Redevelopment In South Sandwich
By: Mary Stanley
Thomas Tsakalos, the largest commercial land owner and developer in South Sandwich, may be interested in expanding his holdings along this busy business corridor.
Mr. Tsakalos’s newly hired general manager, E. Peter Dubay, said this week that his boss has been eyeing the 55 acres of undeveloped commercial land that the town owns at the corner of Cotuit and Quaker Meetinghouse roads.
He said Mr. Tsakalos will “most definitely” pursue that property if, or when, the town again puts it on the market.
He said Mr. Tsakalos would like to roll these acres into the 25 acres of abutting undeveloped land he already owns to build a large commercial project. It would be one that would include a community building with space for a library, council on aging and possibly even the Sandwich Food Pantry.
“Tom could develop a nice project on those 25 acres; but he could develop something really magnificent on 75 acres,” Mr. Dubay said.
But this large new project aside, Mr. Tsakalos believes the existing commercial buildings in South Sandwich are ripe for redevelopment. And he is eager to get started.
The first step will be to build the internal roadway Town Meeting voters approved last month.
This road will pass through all three of Mr. Tsakalos’s properties, which include Canterbury Plaza, Heritage Park Plaza and Tradewinds Plaza, as well as his and the town’s undeveloped acres.
Since receiving the go-ahead from voters at last month’s Town Meeting to build this road, Mr. Tsakalos has wasted no time moving forward with his plans.
Soon after Town Meeting, the developer hired Mr. Dubay, who is a former member of the Sandwich Economic Initiative Corporation and former sales representative for Commercial Realty Advisors. Mr. Dubay will handle the planning and marketing aspects of developing and redeveloping Mr. Tsakalos’s commercial properties in South Sandwich. Mr. Dubay will also be organizing discussions with local boards and agencies so that other development projects can move forward. The new general manager said the first order of business is to build the internal road, complete with underground utilities, including a wastewater pipe. He expects construction on the road to begin sometime next summer and be completed by the end of the year.
And while that project is occurring, Mr. Tsakalos’s plans for another project, construction of a wastewater treatment facility at the end of Jan Sebastian Drive, will begin. Mr. Dubay said the planning phases of this project will require various meetings with property owners in the Industrial Park to negotiate a deal so that they will be able to tie into the wastewater facility.
“Building a wastewater treatment facility at the end of Jan Sebastian Drive will be on a parallel track with the construction of the road. All of this will be taking place while we are building the road,” Mr. Dubay said.
Mr. Dubay said he is not naïve, however, about the preliminary work that needs to be done before construction on the treatment facility can occur.
“There a lot of hurdles to clear, and we need to coordinate with all of the players. But the permitting process for the wastewater treatment facility has already started,” he said.
Once a wastewater treatment facility is in place, it will open up the possibilities for Mr. Tsakalos to redevelop his existing properties inside the South Sandwich Village Center, which include Canterbury Plaza, Heritage Park and Tradewinds Plaza. Mr. Dubay said these three developments are now being referred to as South Sandwich Village. The new zoning changes approved by voters in November, Mr. Dubay said, will allow the developer to move forward with creating a commercial complex with a village feel.
“The new zoning changes adopted at Town Meeting have freed things up. The zoning allows for more structures and less parking and gives flexibility on height requirements so that we can build residential units above retail or office space. The architecture will be consistent with a village. It will be a very pedestrian-friendly place where people can work, walk, and recreate—all in the same place,” Mr. Dubay said.
Though Canterbury Plaza will most likely be the first of Mr. Tsakalos’s existing properties to be redeveloped, Mr. Dubay said there is no need for current tenants to be concerned. “We will be in communication with the tenants, and it is important to us that they remain happy. There could be some logistical things that come up where we need to shift folks around until renovations are complete, but there is no need for them to be concerned,” Mr. Dubay said.
Mr. Dubay did not say when redevelopment might begin.
He said he has already begun receiving inquiries from various businesses and organizations interested in leasing space once the redevelopment and development have been completed.
Though Mr. Dubay would not specify who is making the inquiries, he said the calls are coming from a diverse group of businesses.
“We have been inundated with calls from potential tenants; some are local and some are regional. We’re trying to maintain a local feel but there will be some tenants with name recognition,” he said.
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