Will Someone Ever Buy the Edgemere Drive-In?
There has been interest in the property ever since it closed in 2002.
According to imdb.com, the top five movies of 2002 were xXx, City of God, The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Spider-Man.
Perhaps one of those films was the last to be shown at the Edgemere Drive-In.
On Route 20, amongst the various industries, strip bars, gas stations and mobile home parks sit a number of historical landmarks that tug at our memories. Among them is the Edgemere Drive-In. Long vacant and overgrown with vegetation, the imposing, rusty yellow and blue sign still juts out on the highway.
Many wonder, what's going on with the property?
The short of it is, nothing. As Shrewsbury Town Manager Daniel Morgado responded recently to Patch, "Nothing has been proposed."
But there has been continuing interest in the property, said Town Planner Kristen Las.
The Edgemere Drive-In, which sat on 76 acres, was put up for sale in 1999, closed in 2000, reopened in 2002, and closed by 2004, according to drive-ins.com.
A search on the drive-in.com database shows more than 100 closed drive-ins in Massachusetts, with only three remaining open within 100 miles of Shrewsbury: Mansfield, Leicester and Mendon.
Currently, the land once occupied by the Edgemere Drive-In is owned by the Route 20 Nominee Trust, which acquired the property in 1999 from Route 20 Associates Limited Partnership. Real estate broker Colliers International has had a "for sale" sign on the land for years.
"They aren’t posting the sale price or lease price," said Las, "because a portion of the land, or all of the land could be for sale, or it could be a leased."
In 2006, Las said, Shrewsbury entertained a proposal to build a senior living facility there, but the proposal lapsed when the market went downhill.
"We’ve gotten calls over the past few years for potential solar use, sports fields and retail," said Las. "They just never followed through. We’ve never rejected anything.
Zoned for commercial business as well as part of the Route 20 overlay district, it allows for additional uses that could include a gas station, medical clinic, assisted living facility, light industrial, manufacturing or accessory retail. The property abuts Flint Pond and a portion of Lake Quinsigamond.
"We’d like to see it redeveloped with the existing neighborhood," said Las. "We receive calls monthly and we provide them with whatever info we have. Prospective buyers look at zoning info and water and sewer availability. No one has come through with formal planning. I’m in contact monthly with the broker."
Did you go to the Edgemere Drive-In? What do you remember seeing there and when? What do you think should go there?