Wish Project’s Wish Granted: A New Home in Chelmsford
CHELMSFORD -- The Wish Project has signed a one-year lease on a new warehouse location just ahead of its looming deadline to vacate its base of operations at Foundry Industrial Park in Lowell.
“We have successfully found a home for the next 12 months, and I’m very happy about that,” David Fitzgerald, executive director of The Wish Project, said last week.
The deadline to move out of its location in the Ayers City section of Lowell was Sunday, Aug. 19.
“The response from the community was overwhelming,” Fitzgerald said. “It was just so nice to see the community step up and help us pack and move. Now the nightmare is over. We found a safe place to operate for the next 12 months.”
The new location is at 166 Middlesex St., in North Chelmsford, according to Fitzgerald. Hitch Connection, LLC, of which Brad Welch is the owner and manager, owns the property.
“We’re just excited to have a new tenant in a spot that’s been vacant for a few months,” Welch said of the business agreement between himself and Fitzgerald.
“It sounds like a great group to me, and we look forward to working with them for the one-year lease that he had signed.”
Last month, The Sun reported that the nonprofit agency’s base of operations had to be vacated by Aug. 19 per landlord Jack Paley of Frontier Development. That set off a scramble for Fitzgerald and his team to try to find a new location, including an appeal to the community for help in raising money to pay for the move.
The Wish Project offers baby goods, household items and more to about 50,000 people in need annually and, for years, its rent has been below market value at Foundry Industrial Park, which is off Plain Street.
So far, more than $40,000 has been raised toward the organization’s $50,000 fundraising goal for the move to the new location.
“I’m so inspired by the support that Lowell has given me,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m so proud of my staff and the volunteers who were really put in a difficult situation. No one thought we would be able to find a place in 60 days ... and I was prepared to put us in storage.”
Fitzgerald said the new location may not be up and running until September, but that caseworkers will still have access to The Wish Project’s emergency services.
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