Shrewsbury Real Estate Information

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Steve Levine

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Shrewsbury Firefighters Battling Gas Explosion

by Steve Levine

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts - Shrewsbury Firefighters were called to the scene of 15 Colonial Drive this afternoon after a gas line exploded, sending a fireball over 100 feet into the air.

NStar was doing a Gas Line repair when the line blew, as static electricity from from the line itself ignited the gas. Two NStar workers were exposed to a flash fire that singed their hair and skin. The injuries are considered minor and superficial in nature. The gas line needed to be shut down by an NStar emergency crew before firefighters could extinguish a burning backhoe. The backhoe was a total loss and another NStar service vehicle had minor heat damage. The flames shot about twenty-five feet in the air and damaged cable and power lines. SELCO shut down electricity to the area. Shrewsbury Police and Fire secured the area as residents were advised to shelter in place and stay in their homes.

More details to follow...

Shrewsbury's Sherwood Middle School Design Honored

by Steve Levine

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts - Sherwood Middle School was named the Judges Choice, for the Sustainability and Innovation Award by the "School Planning and Management" publication. In addition, architects Lamoureaux Pagano & Associates were recognized for Outstanding Design in Architecture and Education.

"The 130,000 square foot contemporary middle school was designed to provide a comprehensive educational environment for 900 fifth and sixth grade students, as well as space for student and community events. The progressive learning environment was designed with five “neighborhoods” of classrooms organized around a common room to foster a collaborative, flexible learning environment with integrated special education, project based curriculum support, and team teaching organization.

The building features a highly efficient insulated metal panel exterior wall system and a low tech solar wall application that provides supplemental heat to the gymnasium, reducing energy costs. Other green features include LED lighting, low maintenance recycled linoleum flooring, and night sky lighting to minimize the necessary amount of light for the exterior of the building and site. The compact floor plan incorporated a ventilation system with ducted fresh air intakes to optimize indoor air quality, and acoustics designed to minimize disruptions."

Shrewsbury Buffalo Wild Wings Employee Critically Injured

by Steve Levine

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts - An otherwise exemplary opening weekend filled with fun and excitement was marred last last night as an employee of Buffalo Wild Wings, working at their new Shrewsbury location was seriously injured when struck be a vehicle at the companies new Route 9 location.

Preliminary information indicates that the person involved, Nicole Bruno, 24 years old of Lynnfield, Ma, was an employee from one of their other locations here in Massachusetts, who had come here to assist the on-site team in Shrewsbury with their opening. From what I have been able to gather thus far, but have not yet confirmed, and agreement was in place for employees to be able to park at the Shrewsbury Credit Union building on the Northbound side of Route 9. According to the just released Police Report, Bruno had crossed the Eastbound lane successfully and was attempting to cross the Westbound lane when she was struck by a 2011 Mazda and was driven by Eileen Murray, 56 years old of Shrewsbury, MA, Murray was not injured as a result of the accident.

Shrewsbury Firefighters received the call at 11:30PM, and were on site by 11:32PM, where according to their report, they "found a female lying in the westbound lane with multiple major injuries." Firefighters assisted the medics with spinal immobilization of the victim, who was transported to UMASS. No official information has been released, but one person familiar with the situation has said that the party is in critical condition.

A spokesman for the Buffalo Wild Wings franchise holder, reached at the corporate offices, indicated that due to the ongoing police investigation, they are unable to comment officially at this time. I have no doubt that like many large businesses, they think of each employee as a member of the family, and surely have the employee in their thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

As soon as additional information is made available, I will pass it along.

In the meantime, I hope you will all join me in a special prayer for this individual and their family, as well as the entire BWW team.

The accident remains under investigation by Accident Reconstructionist Sgt. Michael A. O’Connor and assisted by Officer Daniel Cronin both of the Shrewsbury Police Department.

Shrewsbury, MA Real Estate Market Review

by Steve Levine

Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 10.32.19 AMShrewsbury, Massachusetts - As the 2013 year draws to a close, it's time to reflect back on just what the Shrewsbury real estate market looked like, and perhaps dare to predict where it may go from here.

Certainly it was a pretty wild year, both for Buyers and Sellers alike - not to mention those of us actively selling in the trenches. To put it into some perspective, 2012 was a very quiet year - as we began to dig ourselves out of the long recession, and Buyers buoyed in part by the low pricing, and more so by the record setting low interest rates, finally felt that they could wait no more, and began to rush into the market. This was evident really right after New Years Day 2013, as Home Buyers did their own "black friday" rush to grab up the few homes that actually were on the market at that time. This is not too uncommon, of course, as many sellers wait until "after the holidays" to list, and Buyers wait until "after the holidays" to buy. The question often becomes a race to see which sellers get to the market first. We'll talk about that later, but it's definitely a phenomenon to keep an eye on.

Getting back to my point, 2013 kicked off with a bang right from January, and it was such a refreshing thing to see the homes moving again at last. This activity continued all winter, with sellers who had given up thoughts of selling suddenly being awakened like bears from hibernation. Late winter and spring saw the activity continuing in crazy fashion, as many homes were being snapped up the moment they hit the market, or in many cases even before they were officially listed. As we hit our stride in mid-spring, and it seemed as though it was just going to get better and better, what was actually happening was that we were at the peak once again. Suddenly, we went from multiple over full price offers in May and June, to a market where Sellers, finally now up and awake, started to flood the market somewhat, leading Buyers to take a step back and pause, waiting to see what would be next. By July, the bloom was already off the proverbial rose, and things began to quiet down. Of course the well priced homes, and the "cream puff" properties, were still doing fantastic, but for the homes that one might consider the outliers, the struggle of finding a Buyer started to being again.

As that began to happen, the Sellers started fragmenting into a few of the key sub-groups.

1. The realistic Sellers who actually wanted to move, began to look at their asking price, realize it was too high for the current market, and make the adjustment.

2. The Seller who was on the fence, but thought they would move if they could get the highest price they had ever imagined, either dug in their heels and wound up letting their listings expire without selling, or took them off the market altogether to sit it out.

3. The Seller who had the resources, skill or time, decided they might be able to achieve their goals by making tangible improvements to the home, based on my approach of seeing what we can do that will cost us $2,000, for which we will get $10,000 more on the open market. That often meant taking it off for a couple weeks, and doing granite, repainting, re-carpeting, etc., and then hitting the market fresh.

In terms of hard data figures, here are some to consider:

In Q3 of 2013, we saw a 56% decline in the nimber of homes for sale.

The homes that sold, ranged from a low of 120,900 or a high of 1.1 Million. The medan Selling price was $384,750.

Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 10.47.16 AMThere were a total of 88 homes sold, with an average sales price of 431,175, and a median price of $384,750.
Interestingly enough, for those who wonder about whether proper pricing is one of the key ingredients in any sale, the homes current listed which have NOT sold, have an average list price of 549,300, and a median price of 439,000, or over $50,000 higher than the properties which successfully sold.

The Days on Market (DOM) statistics have been very consistent, with sold homes hovering around 117 days, however, this particular data point is wildly inaccurate because of the nature of how the system calculates this figure. As an example a home which was listed on day 1 and went under contract on day 5, but did not close until day 90, might show a DOM of 60-70 days, depending on when it's status was changed in the system.

Now for the big question...what does the future hold?

I suppose everyone has a different opinion on this one, along with a litany of data points that they hope will back it up. For me, it's less about the data than it is about gut instinct and a "feel" for the market. Right now, I sense that the overall sentiment is good, but perhaps the "passion" is not what it was a year ago. Whether that will change after the 1st, remains to be seen, but my prediction is that 2014 will show a slightly slower market, not moving in retrograde back towards 2012, but just without the rapid price spikes we saw during 2013.

As I mentioned, the real spikes in activity often occur just after New Years not as many believe, in March. With that in mind, I usually spend the last few weeks of the year frantically working with homeowners who want to get everything ready to go, and be among the first to hit the system in early January. If that's you, by all means ping me an email (steve@shrewsbury.net) and we can chat about it further. You can also stop by my website at www.stevelevine.com where I have tons of useful information prepared for you.

While we're at it, here's a link to an article I have coming out in the Community Advocate next week that talks a bit about the market, and my annual Homeowners Blend program. You can learn even more about it from the video below.

Until then, I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season, surrounded by love and peace.

Steve Levine

Shrewsbury Social Club's Benefit for St. Anne's Food Pantry

by Steve Levine

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts - The Shrewsbury Social Club (SSC) will hold its annual bake sale for the benefit of St. Anne's Food Pantry on Saturday, December 21st from 8 am to 4 pm.

For neighbors and newcomers, the SSC is a non-profit women's organization committed to supporting Shrewsbury’s community and local charities, while bringing new and current residents together through interest groups and fun social activities. Each year we hold a bake sale on the last Saturday before Christmas to benefit St. Anne's Food Pantry. Last year, with the support of the larger community, we raised over $650! Our goal for this year is to meet or exceed that amount.

Please join us for delicious homemade baked goods, including whole-fruit breads, coffee rings, and assorted cookies and candies that you may take home, to a party, or to treat your co-workers, at the following locations and times.

Shrewsbury Credit Union
489 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury, MA
8 am to Noon

Shrewsbury Health & Racquet Club
3 Tennis Drive, Shrewsbury, MA
Noon to 4 pm

Scizzors
196 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury, MA
Noon to 4pm

Shrewsbury Massachusetts - I know that this is a time of year when people are feeling the most gracious, and hopefully you can help these guys out at a time when they really need you. The following, is from a page set up by friends and family to raise the funds which are so desperately needed to help them with both short term and long term expenses.

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Shrewsbury resident Kim Hally suffered a devastating brain stem stroke on April 22, 2013 while attending her son Tim’s lacrosse game. Life for the Hally family has been forever changed since that horrible day. We all know Kim as a wonderful wife to Jack, loving mother to John, Bridget and Tim, as well as a sister, aunt and friend. She has always given of herself to others and was the first to jump in and help someone in need. Kim’s feisty, no-nonsense yet positive attitude has helped many of us through the challenges of life. Now is the time for us to join together to show support for Kim as she faces this ultimate challenge.

Since her brain trauma in April, Kim has faced a long, uphill battle. She has almost no movement from her neck down, a tracheostomy which prevents her from speaking and is taking nourishment through a feeding tube. As you can imagine, her condition requires constant, specialized care. Jack, John, Bridget and Tim have been by Kim’s side constantly since that fateful day, showing tremendous love and abiding commitment to her recovery. As a family, they have made a promise to Kim to one day bring her home. There is much to be done before this dream can be realized and tragically Kim’s insurance provider has recently dropped her from coverage.

To assist with the immense challenge of financing uninsured expenses such as specialized care, home modifications and other injury-related expenses, a fundraising campaign in Kim’s honor has been established with HelpHOPELive, a nonprofit organization that has been assisting the transplant community for 30 years. In 2000, they expanded their mission to include those who have sustained a catastrophic injury. All contributions are tax-deductible, are held by HelpHOPELive in the Northeast Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, and are administered by HelpHOPELive for injury-related expenses only. To make a tax-deductible donation please click the DONATE NOW button.

Your donation today will enable the Hally’s to keep their promise to bring Kim home one day – together we can make a difference! Thank you in advance for all your support!

Click here for more information, and a direct donation link.

Shrewsbury Firefighters Graduate

by Steve Levine

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts - On December 19, 2013, Class #46 of the Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighter Training program will graduate having completed 240 hours of training on nights and weekends. The 39 Graduates, 35 men and four women, represent the 20 fire departments of: Ashburnham, Berlin, Bolton, Dudley, Harvard, Leicester, Littleton, Lunenburg, Oxford, Pepperell, Rutland, Sherborn, Shrewsbury, Spencer, Stow, Townsend, Tyngsborough, West Boylston, Westborough, and Westminster.

Basic Firefighter Skills

Students receive classroom training in all basic firefighter skills. They practice first under non-fire conditions and then during controlled fire conditions. To graduate, students must demonstrate proficiency in life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation, and fire attack. Fire attack operations range from mailbox fires to multiple-floor or multiple room structural fires. Upon successful completion of the Recruit Program all students have met national standards of National Fire Protection Association 1001 and are certified to the level of Firefighter I and II, and Hazardous Materials First Responder Operational Level by the Massachusetts Fire Training Council, which is accredited by the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualification

In the above photo are – from left to right, Call Lieutenant Chuck Hill, Call Fire Captain Bob Fulginiti Sr., Firefighter Academy Graduate’s Patrick O’Niell and Stacey Meade, Chief Jim Vuona, Firefighter Academy Graduate’s Jim Zack and John Shider.

Buffalo Wild Wings takes Shrewsbury by Storm

by Steve Levine

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts - It is something many in Shrewsbury have been dreaming about for quite some time, and now it is a reality at last, and the newest Buffalo Wild Wings readies for an exiting grand opening this weekend. Showing in advance their long standing commitment to the communities they serve, the management team made tickets available this week for a grand "pre-opening" event, held last night. Reaching out to the athletic departments in Shrewsbury and the surrounding towns, they donated tickets for last nights test run, which were sold for $20 each to benefit the programs at those schools. The demand was overwhelming, with Shrewsbury at least, quickly selling out their allotment of seats. From 6-8PM, supporters of local athletics were treated to a fantastic time, and made to feel truly special by each and every one of the team in attendance for these training sessions.

I was fortunate enough to be invited, and my son and I headed down at 6:30, anxiously anticipating what we would find. The facility itself was absolutely GORGEOUS!! Having spent quite a bit of time at Border's, it's honestly hard to believe that it's even the same place. After purchasing the building last year, the franchise owners did a top to bottom renovation, occupying the northern half of the building for themselves, and leasing the southern half to a local tile company, schedule to open next week. By designing their restaurant in a front-to-back mode, they were able to take full advantage of the spectacular views to the West. No doubt this will be a true hot spot on 4th of July!

The interior finishes themselves are any sports lovers dream, and the screens are so huge, and so vivid, that it honestly may impact tickets sales at Fenway and Gillette, because this may actually be better than being there in person. The front area is set up with family tables, and then a huge bar sites in the center, with the bar table area to the rear of the building. THis will likely create a better environment than some local establishments, where you may find it hard to have a family dinner, while a bunch of somewhat exited people are drinking beer 5 feet away.

I think part of what makes this design work, and what will no doubt contribute to an easy opening weekend, is the vast experience of the staff, from the top of the organization to the bottom. You can tell immediately from the organized and calm demeanor, that these folks know what they're doing, as well they should The franchise owners, J&K Wings are based out of Michigan, and currently own 38 Buffalo Wild Wings, as well as several other franchises such as Smashburger. As one of the largest franchise owners in the company, they have enough critical mass in their operation, to be able to bring in teams of trainers from their home base in Michigan, who will spend time working hand in hand with the on site team to ensure a flawless opening.

“We are very excited to bring Buffalo Wild Wings to the Shrewsbury area and surrounding community. Guests will enjoy great food, including our award-winning wings, spun in one of our 16 signature sauces and 5 seasonings. We have 36 beers on tap, including a large selection of Massachusetts brewed craft beers and dozens of big screen TVs for the ultimate sports viewing experience. Our free wings for a year giveaway is our way of introducing Buffalo Wild Wings to our loyal fans and families in the Shrewsbury area. This event has created quite a stir when we’ve opened in other communities, and we look forward to the same results here in Shrewsbury,” said Kent Ward, Owner, JK&T Wings, Inc., a franchisee of Buffalo Wild Wings®.

On to the food itself. The menu can be best described as a higher end pub menu, with a vast assortment of burgers, and of course wings. With each main item, you have the ability to mix and match a host of options, side dishes, and sauces. I ordered what turned out to be an amazing burger, which came dressed with pulled pork, onion rings, and BBQ sauce. It was perfectly cooked medium-well, (the waitress indicated that they won't cook a burger anything rarer than medium-well, which was fine with me), and was still juicy and flavorful. Along with it, I had a side of what they called "buffalo chips," which were basically thin round french fries, and they came with a spicy cheese sauce that was yummy. My son Sam had the boneless wings, with hot sauce, and said they were great. Both the appetizers and main meal came very quickly, and while I fully expected a few glitches, given that it was their first day, I didn't see any of that at all. I spoke to one patron who said that their order had been messed up, but speaking for myself, ours was great. The service was top notch, and very attentive (at times too attentive, perhaps, to be honest..when trying to have a conversation, but I think that everyone's just eager to please, and the ability to adjust to, and read the guest, will come from experience), but when in doubt I'll happily take that over trying to find my waitress.

From the standpoint of atmosphere, it was a sports bar type setting. There was a Bruins game on all around, along with a host of other sporting events to watch. I will say, it was really loud, so if you're looking for a romantic place to propose to your girlfriend, I'm not sure that's the place...but if you all went to watch the Patriots game, have a great meal, and feel like you're in a place where you can scream at every touchdown, then this is it.

In other news, they also plan on a great lunch menu, including a 15 minute lunch guarantee, for those who work in the area and have a limited lunch break. Thinking of having a big party at home? They have a catering menu just for you, and are happy to cook you up a feast for 20 or 200, or of course have you come on down and have a private party at the restaurant itself.

One thing to take note of is that getting a wonderful business like this to open here in Shrewsbury is really a fantastic thing, and a credit to the leadership here in town. Just look around at the staff, and you'll see dozens of local students who now have jobs, thanks to the opening. According to representatives for the franchise owners, the town of Shrewsbury has been great to deal with, from beginning to end, and that underscores the great efforts we've been taking to attract more businesses to the local community.

This weekend, they are offering the first 100 guests a coupon book which will be good four a free order of wings each week for a year. If this opening is like their many others, it is expected that people will be sleeping out on the sidewalk tonight, hoping to be one of those lucky 100. Whether that's you or not, I hope you'll join me in welcoming them to the community, and stop on over to check out the host of fantastic offerings.

Shrewsbury High School Senior Art Show

by Steve Levine

art-show1Shrewsbury, Massachusetts - The Gallery at Shrewsbury Crossings will open the Shrewsbury High School Senior Show on Saturday, December 14th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. The artist reception will feature a musical performance by classical pianist Katherine Evans. Student Artists will welcome guests and discuss their work and artistic methods. Shrewsbury High School Visual Art Director Pamela LeBlanc coordinated the student submissions. “Students have been working really hard this year and it is always exciting when they get to show their work to the greater community.”

“This exhibit is the second for Shrewsbury High School students at the gallery.” according to Kelly Marcimo,, director of community relations at Shrewsbury Crossings. “We were so impressed with the level of work the students produced last year, our residents truly enjoyed the show. We are more than pleased to make this an annual event. This year we wanted to give the graduating seniors the spotlight on their work. It’s a special chance for them to have a gallery hanging experience.”

Visitors to the gallery are encouraged to bring a filled stocking to the opening to be included in our annual Stockings for Seniors collection. Holiday Stockings will be distributed via the Shrewsbury Council on Aging’s meals on wheels program.”

The SHS Senior show will feature paintings, pottery, photography and 3D work and some work will be offered for sale, all proceeds go to the artist. The exhibit will run through Saturday, March 1st. The gallery at Shrewsbury Crossings will be open daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm for free public viewing.

Shrewsbury Crossings offers assisted living and the Harbor Program of care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory impairments. The community is operated by Benchmark Senior Living, based in Wellesley. Benchmark is the largest privately held provider of senior living services in the Northeast and is committed to setting the standard of excellence in senior housing. The company develops, owns and manages an array of senior living communities which offer independent living, assisted living, and specialized assisted living for the memory impaired. Benchmark operates 50 communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Maine. Visit Benchmark at www.benchmarkseniorliving.com.

Buffalo Wild Wings in Shrewsbury plans pre-opening

by Steve Levine

Shrewsbury, Massachusetts - The New Buffalo Wild Wings has offered a “Pre-Opening Event” for the town of Shrewsbury, Thurs. Dec. 19th 6:00-8:30 pm. The SHS Athletic Booster Club has 100 tickets to this event. The cost is $20.00 per ticket but is good for 2 people. Your ticket will provide you with 2 entrees, 1 appetizer, and non-alcoholic drinks. The purpose of this event is to help train their staff for their opening day.

To purchase tickets please contact Paula Toti at ptoti@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us or call 508-841-8854 to arrange for ticket pick up /drop off. 100% of the ticket cost goes back to SHS Athletics.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 217

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