The Bedford Planning Board unanimously approved a site plan for a proposed laboratory/research and development building at Werfen, the 350,000 square foot complex at 180 Hartwell Rd. last Tuesday.
The plan includes the construction of a two-story 118,692 square foot building and the demolition of a warehouse at the rear of the property which was for many years the missile systems division of Raytheon Co. The plan includes a gym and covered bike storage.
Werfen, based in Barcelona, is a global company specializing in haemostasis, acute care diagnostics and autoimmunity. Until the recent rebranding, the company was known as Instrumentation Laboratory.
The project is awaiting approval from the Zoning Appeal Board and the Department of Public Works and will need to be reviewed by the Conservation Commission due to proximity to Elm Brook and the possible impact of construction there , as well as nearby wetlands and the floodplain.
Attorney Michel Wigney spoke on behalf of the ownership of the Hartwell Farms condominium. She explained that the scorers want a written commitment from Werfen that he will make an effort to control noise levels at the loading dock, especially in the early morning hours.
She added that the scorers requested that vegetation be added to the area outside the loading dock to provide more privacy and reduce the impact of parking lot lighting.
Attorney Pamela Brown, representing Werfen, pointed to the fact that lighting levels in the plan are already lower than levels that were present when Raytheon was on the property. Civil engineer Brian Reiss said Werfen was committed to working with his neighbors.
Werfen also requested relief from Industrial District A’s floor ratio requirements because the buildings are not compliant. Planning director Tony Fields said concerns about floor area ratio and lighting will be addressed at the next meeting of the Zoning Appeal Board.
There are also plans to eventually add a new employee bridge to the property. Engineers representing Werfen told the council that traffic studies had been conducted. Brown confirmed that the fire department’s requirement for 360-degree access for emergency vehicles has been met.
In response to a question from Todd Crowley, Member of the Planning Board, it was confirmed that parking is at surface level and there is no risk of serious flooding. Board Chairman Steven Hagan expressed enthusiasm for the project and praised Werfen’s efforts in the community.