Update from the Town of Medfield, Board of Selectmen
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Important Update: The Board of Selectman have scheduled the Special Town Meeting for Tuesday, June 21st at 6:00 PM at Medfield High School.
The Chapel

MSH Redevelopment News –
Save the Dates for Info Session, STM & More Q&A


1. What have been the key decision points that were made to release the Request for Proposals (RFP)? 
The Town’s effort to redevelop the Medfield State Hospital site goes back to its purchase of the property in 2014 and has involved many Town committees, boards, and residents during that time.  Some of the key decision points leading up to the issuance of the RFP include: 

  • In August of 2018, the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee issued the Medfield State Hospital Strategic Reuse Master Plan, which was developed 2015-2018 based on extensive community input including thousands of resident interviews and subsequently won the 2019 award for Outstanding Planning Initiative from the American Planning Association.  The goal of the Master Plan and its “preferred scenario” was to identify an economically feasible development plan that reflected the priorities and desires of the community while limiting fiscal impacts on the Town. 
  • In September of 2018, the Board of Selectmen established the Medfield State Hospital Development Committee (MSHDC).  The purpose of the MSHDC was to test market interest in the Master Plan’s “preferred scenario”, advise the Selectmen on the viability of redevelopment based on market input and, if the effort proceeded, to act as an implementation committee for a redevelopment project.  
  • In October of 2018, MSHDC issued a Request for Information (RFI) to a list of more than 30 developers soliciting interest and comment on the vision of the Master Plan.  The RFI was a means of soliciting interest in the redevelopment and for MSHDC to gather more information on the opportunities and challenges of the Master Plan from a commercial development perspective.  
  • Based on the results of the RFI and interviews with 5 well-established and highly-regarded New England-based developers in early 2019, the MSHDC identified the property’s Business Industrial zoning as a major risk to successful campus redevelopment.  MSHDC recommended a zoning change consistent with the Master Plan prior to proceeding further. 
  • In November of 2019, the Town held a Special Town Meeting to consider the zoning change to further enable the redevelopment of the campus.  Voters at the STM supported the change and the measure passed by more than the required ⅔ margin.  The Medfield State Hospital District was established.
  • Subsequent to the zoning change and in consideration of the market interest demonstrated through the RFI, the Board of Selectmen authorized the MSHDC to draft a formal RFP.  MSHDC secured technical and legal assistance to advise the Town, to ensure the RFP would meet all of the requirements applicable under state law for disposition of municipal property and to assist in the broad distribution of the document.
  • The RFP was developed over many months of MSHDC meetings open to the public. After several rounds of public comment on the draft and incorporation of revisions required by the Board of Selectmen, the RFP was issued by the Town in April of 2021.  

2. How was the RFP advertised?  How many proposals were submitted? 
The RFP was advertised through a formal marketing plan required under the terms of the Town’s 2014 purchase agreement with the Commonwealth, which included more than 35 developers or development team partners such as architectural or engineering firms.  In addition, the Town advertised the RFP in The Central Register and the Medfield Press as required under state law and conducted its own direct outreach to its list of interested parties assembled over the years.   According to the Town’s records, nearly 90 firms or individuals downloaded the RFP from the Town’s website.  
Interest was expressed by numerous developers following publication of the RFP and the RFP was amended three times to provide additional information and answer questions prior to the proposal deadline of August 2, 2021.  A May, 2021 site walk was attended by representatives of 10 potential bidders.  Ultimately, the Town received proposals from Trinity Financial and Pulte Homes of New England (three variations) by the deadline. The proposals are available on the Town’s website.  

3. Why was the Trinity proposal chosen? 
The proposals were evaluated by MSHDC against the published criteria in the RFP.  These criteria reflected public input both at the Master Plan stage and at the time the RFP was crafted.  Review categories included Community Impacts/Benefits, Vision/Consistency with Disposition Intent, Development Team, and Design Guidelines and Zoning, each of which was broken down into multiple components. 
MSHDC’s review was conducted in accordance with state requirements for the sale or lease of municipal land, and informed by technical and legal advisors retained by the Town for this purpose.  The evaluation process took place from August - October of 2021 and included developer interviews, a series of public MSHDC meetings, and opportunity for public participation.  
Simply put, the Trinity proposal was rated as the most responsive to the criteria published in the RFP.  The Board of Selectmen formally designated Trinity’s proposal as the most advantageous to the Town in November, 2021.  

4. Why will the Special Town Meeting be held in June?  Should the Town be seeking additional proposals?  
The RFP was broadly circulated and well-publicized within the real estate development community.  Developers are well aware of the property and the Town’s goals for the redevelopment, with some even tracking the site since before the Town acquired ownership in 2014.  Outreach conducted by MSHDC after the bid deadline to determine why some interested developers did not submit a proposal identified various reasons for this, including:   

  • Scale and complexity of project
  • Competition from better capitalized and more experienced developers (can’t win)
  • Town’s preference for historic preservation over new construction
  • Town’s bylaw requirement for mixed income housing rather than either 100% market rate or 100% affordable housing 
  • Resources committed to other development projects/pipeline
The June, 2022 Special Town Meeting vote is to authorize the Board of Selectmen to sell a portion of the site to Trinity in order to accomplish the historic restoration and environmental remediation of the vast majority of the existing buildings, while the Town retains ownership of key areas of the site including open space and recreational lands to ensure continued public access and enjoyment of the property.
The Town has been working on a potential disposition since 2018 when the MSHDC was formed.  Important information about the site, the existing buildings, and market interest in the Town’s redevelopment vision has been gathered in that time.  MSHDC and the Board of Selectmen believe that this information, as well as input at public meetings conducted over many years, supports moving forward to a public vote on a disposition plan that is in line with the main goals of the Town’s Master Plan for the campus.  
Without approval by Special Town Meeting voters, the proposal cannot advance to a more formal permitting stage, expected to take up to 18 months before construction could begin (assuming successful permitting).  In an environment of increasing construction costs and interest rates, deferring the project is unlikely to improve the feasibility of the project or be helpful to the Town in achieving its goals.     

5. Pulte proposed a higher sales price than Trinity.  How did sales price factor into the proposal evaluation? 
Total consideration including sales price was an element of proposal review, however there was no minimum price or asking price published in the RFP and sales price was one consideration among many.   Under the 2014 acquisition agreement with the Commonwealth, sales proceeds received by the Town are subject to a sharing formula with the Commonwealth.  The formula has several variables so the sharing percentage will vary depending on a final sales agreement, but in some scenarios involving the transfer of the entire property as much as 50% of the sales price could go to the Commonwealth with the Town retaining the balance.  
The Pulte proposal was evaluated favorably on price and certain other factors in the RFP review, but not on others such as nature and scale of the proposed project  (the proposals called for demolition of existing buildings and development of up to 702 units of housing).  Since the Town acquired the property in 2014, public input has repeatedly and consistently called for preservation of existing buildings and open space as important priorities, with a limit on new housing units (no more than 334 per the Master Plan). Despite the attractive purchase price, no meaningful fiscal impact analysis was submitted by Pulte prior to the bid deadline that would allow the Town to accurately assess the cost of providing municipal services to such a large development, the impact of the project on schools or traffic, or other consequences of adding more than twice the maximum number of housing units called for by the Town’s planning efforts such as loss of open space. 
It should be noted that the Trinity purchase price does not include the cost of environmental remediation of the existing buildings, which is required in order to preserve these structures as desired by the Town.  Based on professional third-party analysis, Trinity’s current working budget for these remediation efforts is $20 million.  This cost is to be borne by Trinity as part of the project redevelopment, and is separate and apart from the purchase price to be paid to the Town.  

Submit Questions and Comments

Please use the form at this link to submit questions and comments  to the Medfield State Hospital Development Committee regarding Trinity Financial's proposed redevelopment of the Medfield State Hospital.

Trinity Financial Due Diligence information is available on this page
  • Upcoming events
    • June 9 at 7 pm: Trinity Financial presentation; Public Safety Building & Zoom
    • June 18 at 9 am: Trinity Financial open office hours at the Medfield Town House – all are welcome
    • June 21 at 6 pm: Special Town Meeting (all voters are encouraged to participate)


Nicholas Milano, Assistant Town Administrator  


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