Business Leaving Downtown Framingham After 70 Years

FRAMINGHAM – Another long-time Framingham business is leaving downtown.

After 70 years on Union Avenue, Congress Insurance has closed its doors in downtown.

The insurance company has found a new home in Framingham however, at the Santander Building at 1 Whittier Street. The company is renting space with Charles River Brokerage.

The Crouch Building, home to the insurance company for seven decades, will be demolished soon, after the Framingham Planning Board approved an apartment project.

Congress Insurance has been in downtown Framingham since 1927.

Earlier this year, Brandolini Shoe Clinic, which has been in downtown Framingham, since 1931, announced it was leaving Framingham, due to the new project, too.

VTT Management Chief Executive Officer Vaios Theodorakos plans to demolish the Crouch Building to build a 6-story mixed use apartment complex.

The Framingham Planning Board approved the project on January 25.

The Crouch Building is also home to the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center, which is seeking a new location in Framingham.

Panza Shoes in the Wilsonia building next to the new apartment development is one of the oldest businesses still operating in downtown Framingham. In 2015, Fitts Insurance, after 83 years in downtown Framingham, moved to Southborough.

Therodorakos told the Planning Board the new apartment complex would have about 4,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor and  75 residential units including 49 1-bedroom and 26 2-bedroom units.

The latest apartment project brings the total number of apartments approved for the 01702 zip code in the past couple of years to more than 1,000 apartments.

In January, Bancroft Building, which used to be the home to Fountain Street artists, has been sold for $3.75 million. The new owner 59 Fountain Framingham Owner LLC is proposing 250 apartments.

The Planning Board also approved 210 apartments for the vacant Mt. Wayte plaza.

And in May 2017, Framingham Town Meeting approved an $8.7 million tax incentive for two developers for 467 apartments for downtown.

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Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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