Joyce Vyriotes
Communications Manager
200 West Cummings Park
Woburn, MA. 01801
Phone: 781-932-7072

Foundation is new owner of Cummings Park, Woburn
Major Woburn office complex donated to charity

Woburn, MA - Cummings Park and West Cummings Park, the large Woburn office and research complex, has a new owner according to Dennis Clarke, president of Cummings Properties, LLC. Clarke said that Bill Cummings and his family this week gifted the entire 59-acre, office and research complex to Cummings Foundation, Inc. as part of a large-scale charitable donation of most of the family's real estate assets.

Located on both sides of Washington Street, just south of I-95 at Exit 36, the fully developed 11-building complex contains 1.5 million square feet. It was gradually developed and built up by Cummings over the last 30 years.

The current donation includes all of Cummings Park, West Cummings Park, and other Woburn buildings totaling 2 million square feet. Properties in Stoneham, Wakefield, Wilmington, Sudbury, Burlington, Medford and Somerville were part of an earlier, similar donation by the family.

The 2 million square foot Cummings Center in Beverly is not among the properties donated to the Foundation. Cummings Properties' chief financial officer, William Grant, said that a dozen other large buildings in North Woburn will also continue to be owned by the Cummings family.

"In total," Clarke said, "43 buildings have now been donated, 15 this week, adding up to an aggregate of approximately 3.9 million square feet currently in the Foundation's portfolio. For a true sense of the scale of the family's gifts, the Foundation's net worth jumped to more than $408 million with the latest donation," he added.

For more than three decades, Cummings Park and West Cummings Park have been mainstays of the Woburn commercial real estate market. Directly abutting the busy intersection of Interstate highways I-93 and I-95, the sprawling commercial campus houses a total of more than 260 business and professional entities.

At the advent of Cummings Park, in 1971, Washington Street was a quiet, two-lane roadway lined by dozens of aging greenhouses. Today, Washington Street is a hotbed of high technology, biotech, and service companies of all types. Cummings Parks' evolution stands as a microcosm of the larger economic trends in Woburn and Boston's north suburban commercial real estate market as a whole.

"Bill Cummings began developing Cummings Park in 1971, after the city of Woburn changed the area's zoning designation to encourage increased commercial development," Clarke noted. Cummings sequentially purchased parcels from a dozen prior owners to assemble the expansive site. Cummings Park increasingly became one of the north suburban market's premier addresses. Its unique combination of location, convenience, appearance, and affordability made it very desirable.

In the acquisition, development, and subsequent management of its developments, Cummings and his team at Cummings Properties, LLC focused upon designing, building, and marketing the most efficient, effective product for the business community. This earned them the reputation of being very active and hands-on, an approach that continues today.

Industry sources say that Cummings' niche over the years has been in serving more smaller-type tenant firms than many other developers are willing to accommodate. Woburn-based Cummings also tends to work hard at promoting intra-park services such as restaurants, banks, medical services, lawyers and accountants among its tenant mixes.

Cummings Properties reportedly employs 256 full-time employees, about three-quarters of whom are mechanics and trades workers of all types. According to Clarke, the firm's current staff represent a combined 1,800 years of service.

The Cummings family's donation is not expected to have any effect at all upon the local "taxability" of the donated real estate assets. All of the properties will continue to be fully taxable in Woburn and in each of the other host towns.

According to Clarke, the Foundation's commercial buildings last year generated $2,942,000 in local real estate tax revenue for the city of Woburn alone. All investment profits from the real estate will flow directly to Cummings Foundation and will be devoted solely to the advancement of the Foundation's charitable purposes.

Cummings Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation, originally established in 1986 by William and Joyce Cummings. All Foundation funds must be devoted strictly to the advancement of its charitable, educational, scientific and literary purposes. Eleven trustees, four of whom are also employees of Cummings Properties or the Foundation, all serve on a volunteer basis.

Two of the Foundation's most important undertakings are the ownership and management of New Horizons at Choate, a not-for-profit assisted living community in Woburn, MA, and New Horizons at Marlborough, a not-for-profit 400-resident retirement community in Marlborough, MA.

The Foundation also sponsors the McKeown Scholarship Program in Woburn and seven other local communities where Cummings Properties has interests. Since 1997, more than $1 million has been awarded to local area students. Additionally, the Foundation contributed $1 million in July for a new building toward the North Shore YMCA in Beverly.

For many years, Cummings Foundation has enjoyed a close relationship with Tufts University, and Tufts' president, Lawrence S. Bacow, serves on the Foundation's board of trustees. Mr. Cummings and two of his children are Tufts graduates, and he is a trustee emeritus. The Foundation established an endowed chair in Entrepreneurship at Tufts in 1999, and is providing more than $4.5 million to the school during 2004.