Meditech stalled in Freetown

When Medical Information Technology Inc. last fall announced plans to build a 120,000-square-foot office building in Freetown’s Riverfront Business Park, the software maker was hailed by politicians in Boston and on the chronically underemployed South Coast as a godsend. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



DEVELOPMENT

Meditech stalled in Freetown

Posted 12/12/11

When Medical Information Technology Inc. last fall announced plans to build a 120,000-square-foot office building in Freetown’s Riverfront Business Park, the software maker was hailed by politicians in Boston and on the chronically underemployed South Coast as a godsend.

Homegrown and in the high-tech sector political and business leaders across the country are clamoring for, the project appeared a certainty when it was whisked through an expedited state environmental-permitting process by Gov. Deval L. Patrick’s administration in August.

But more than a year after being proposed, the project, planned on what may be the site of an ancient Native American burial ground, is in jeopardy because of a dispute between the company, known as Meditech, and the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

And supporters of the project say there’s more at stake than the 800 new high-paying jobs the project would produce or the estimated $35 million in new disposable income expected to be injected into the region. If Meditech does go elsewhere, critics of the Historical Commission say the departure could chill new development projects throughout Massachusetts out of concern that searching for tribal or Colonial artifacts or remains could become a costly new part of building.

Robert Mellion, CEO of the Fall River Chamber of Commerce, said if the Meditech project, which involved no public money or incentives, ultimately does fall through, it will turn off the biotech companies the area is desperately trying to attract.

“The broader perspective is we are trying to diversify and the loss of Meditech would be a major blow to us in marketing our region as a major life-sciences super-cluster,” Mellion said. “We have chronic 10 percent unemployment because we were old-style manufacturing. We feel these are the jobs of tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, other areas in the region hungry for new construction and high-paying technology jobs wait in the wings to lure Meditech if its differences with the Historical Commission cannot be overcome.

New Bedford has offered to host a new Meditech office if the Freetown option falls through and Rhode Island’s aggressive attempts to reel in technology companies from across the border, especially to Providence’s evolving Knowledge District, continue.

Asked if they were actively pursuing Meditech, R.I. Economic Development Corporation spokeswoman Melissa Chambers said the agency could not comment on specific businesses, but offered a statement extolling the state’s virtues to companies that fit Meditech’s description.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Join PBN and two panels of successful female executives, business owners and entrepreneurs as we delve into what women should do to advance their careers, and become leaders in the corporate world and their own enterprises.
  • Book of Lists Party
    Save the date - January 15, 2015 for PBN's Book of Lists Party at the Providence ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement