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Sysco Wooed After Lakeville's Refusal

BOSTON (November 3, 2010)—Sysco Boston got the cold shoulder from Lakeville’s voters when it tried to open a distribution plant in that town, but the food service company apparently has no shortage of potential suitors.

Dozens of area communities — including Freetown, Mansfield, Middleborough, New Bedford, Taunton, Wareham, and West Bridgewater — are pushing their own alternative locations for the company’s proposed $110 million distribution center, according to Sysco Boston president Fred Casinelli.

He said that, whatever the local perks offered, the company’s decision will come down to three factors: site suitability, ready highway access, and the time it would take for construction to begin.

“We’ve already lost six months in Lakeville, and we don’t want to have to do that again,’’ Casinelli said in an interview.

He said each of the communities that has pitched itself as potential host has been asked for possible locations for the Sysco team to review this week. And a decision on that location is expected shortly.

The former Lakeville state hospital property on Route 105 had been Sysco’s top choice for the distribution facility, even though it would have required demolition of several old buildings and cleanup of a small onsite dump. Citing noise and traffic concerns, abutters of the long-shuttered hospital protested vigorously early and often to stop the project, and Town Meeting voters last month rejected a necessary zoning change for the property’s reuse.

Sysco officials said some 20 communities have since been in touch, looking for a shot at hosting the distribution plant.

Read more on the Boston Globe Web site:  http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/11/04/spurned_by_lakeville_sysco_boston_has_no_shortage_of_suitors/

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