Shopping center means more than just stores

University Station is set to bring a host of job opportunities for residents of Westwood

By Dana Koman
dkoman@wickedlocal.com
Posted Mar. 1, 2015 at 8:42 PM

WESTWOOD

 Aside from new shopping destinations, University Station is set to bring a host of job opportunities for residents of Westwood and surrounding communities – from caregivers and personal trainers to restaurant servers and grocery store clerks.

Paul Cincotta, New England Development vice president, said more than 1,000 jobs would be created because of the 2-million-square-foot project.

Located off exit 13 on Route 128/I-95, the bulk of the development’s businesses are slated to open between March and May.

Wegmans grocery store, one of the largest entities moving into the complex, opens its doors this summer. Cincotta estimates the retailer will employ roughly 600 people.

Life Time Fitness, which is still under construction, is scheduled to open in June or July. Cincotta estimates the business will employ between 200 and 300 people.

“They offer everything from the normal fitness workout stuff to kid’s programs that range from kid’s fitness to music and other kinds of non fitness-related offerings,” Cincotta said. “What’s unique about Life Time Fitness is they really cater to families. Their goal is to sell family memberships and have something for everybody.”

Life Time Fitness will house an indoor and outdoor pool, an outdoor bistro eatery, daycare, multiple workout studios and offer youth summer camp for basketball, music lessons and foreign language.

Although no local hiring agreement was in place, Cincotta said several incoming business owners advertised job availability in Westwood, Norwood and Canton, hoping to keep the employee commute short.

“Most of the retailers have reached out to Westwood,” he said. “I know Target, for instance, has coordinated with the high school.”

In January, Target Store Team Leader Brian Correia said the company hired teenagers from Canton and Westwood as part of its 250-plus guest service team.

Target’s grand opening is slated for March 8, with several smaller stores and eateries to follow soon after.

Gables University Station, the development’s 350-unit residential apartment complex is nearly complete and tenants are expected to begin moving in sometime in the spring. The facility will house individuals and families in one- or two-bedroom apartments.

“It’s not an inexpensive rental,” said Cincotta. “It’s a high-end rental.”

Once complete, the apartments will include wood-plank flooring, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, a pool, indoor parking, a fitness center and fully appointed business center with meeting rooms.

Nora Loughnane, director of community and economic development, said 69 of the Gables apartments are affordable housing under Massachusetts’s law 40B.

Cincotta said the affordable housing units will not be distinguished from the market priced apartments and will be dispersed throughout the entire complex.

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