On Friday, November 3rd, DiPrete Engineering celebrated the opening of Massachusetts’ inaugural Topgolf facility. DiPrete played a vital role in the development of this first-of-its-kind facility in the state. The journey began in 2015 when Cumberland Farms, the original owner, entered into a purchase contract for the site —formerly their Corporate Headquarters—with The Aspen Group. DiPrete collaborated with Aspen during the property purchase negotiations and explored various development options for the site.
Initially, there was a demand for multi-family housing, but zoning restrictions posed challenges. DiPrete Engineering then facilitated collaboration between Aspen and another client, New England Development, to explore alternative uses. The result was the successful attraction of Topgolf to the site, marking a significant milestone for recreational options in the region.
The development process involved a series of meticulous steps, with DiPrete Engineering taking charge of site design and survey. GZA GeoEnvironmental provided environmental and geotechnical expertise, while McMahon Associates addressed traffic considerations. The project required approvals from local and state entities, including rezoning from the Town of Canton at Open Town Meeting, and site development permits from the Planning Board, Zoning Board, and Conservation Commission. State approvals included compliance with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and coordination with MassDOT for traffic considerations.
The site’s unique characteristics added complexity to the project. Positioned in an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and almost entirely within the 100-year floodplain adjacent to the Neponset River, the project required careful navigation of environmental challenges. Furthermore, the site fell within the flight path of Norwood Airport, necessitating approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and MassDOT’s Aeronautics Division.
MassDOT’s ongoing major traffic improvement project for Dedham Street, including widening to four lanes, a new signal at the access driveway, and new ramps to access Route 95, added an additional layer of complexity. DiPrete Engineering successfully managed the alignment of the site work with MassDOT’s improvements.
From surveying and design to permitting and construction oversight, DiPrete Engineering executed a comprehensive approach to transform an abandoned office and industrial building into Massachusetts’ inaugural Topgolf facility. The site’s complexity, surrounded by wetlands, located in the floodplain, adjacent to a rail corridor, and with existing utility networks, required careful consideration and coordination. “Expanding DiPrete’s presence into Massachusetts through this distinctive project on a neglected site was truly remarkable,” shares Brandon Carr, Principal at DiPrete Engineering and Project Manager for this initiative. “The seamless collaboration of the project team, coupled with overwhelming public support, paved the way for the metamorphosis of a once derelict area into a state-of-the-art facility.”
Beyond introducing a new recreational option for the region, Topgolf is anticipated to have a significant economic impact, bringing over 400 jobs to the area. DiPrete Engineering’s expertise in navigating regulatory challenges and coordinating with various stakeholders has played a crucial role in the successful development of this project, contributing to the region’s economic growth and entertainment offerings.