On a recent drive through downtown I found myself reflecting on how much our town has changed in the 21 years I’ve been here. I confess I was stopped on Main Street due to the construction, so I had time to daydream.
I realize that to many residents I’m still a newcomer, with only two decades under my belt, but seeing how Hopkinton has has evolved and grown while retaining its quintessential New England charm is truly inspiring to me.
It’s probably because I was in the car that I remembered when the town fixed the intersection at Route 85 and Main Street. Those two streets came together in the weirdest way and didn’t align at all. It was so difficult to navigate. I remember seeing lines of cars down Cedar street, commuters coming from Route 9.
We moved to Hopkinton from Southborough and settled in a beautiful antique home on Ash Street. I liked Hopkinton because it was a bigger town and had a great community feel. We enrolled our daughter in Kindergarten at the Center School, and I remember when there were no sidewalks on Ash Street. It’s much safer for walkers now. A few years later the town invested in revitalizing the Common, building the gazebo and placing the fountain. The Common truly is the gem of Hopkinton.
I’m also very proud of our beautifully renovated library and the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. On any Friday night we can catch a great show without ever leaving town.
Looking to my right I see Colella’s market – er, I mean CVS. Colella’s was a nice little country store, a place where you’d run into someone you knew. It was like a community hub in Hopkinton. They knew your name and would walk your grocery bags right to your car. But after 70 years, and no one to take over the business, Colella’s called it quits in 2015.
Speaking of food, the Central Public House and that entire complex was a welcome addition to town. CPH is a great place to grab a fancy cocktail after work. But for beer there’s only one place to go. I was so happy to see Ted expand Start Line Brewing into the old Waterfresh Farm space. Can you believe we have a microbrewery in town? That’s amazing! Having options like 110 Grill, Pan Thai, and Bill’s Pizza and Orale – no matter what you’re craving you don’t have to go far.
One of the greatest things about Hopkinton is that we have so many beautiful trails, lakes and parks. I think the town has done an admirable job in buying up land to be preserved as open space. I know there’s a lot of development and some of my neighbors don’t like that, but the town has balanced that pretty well. There are more land purchases up for a vote at town meeting next week.
Because of this growth (and the town’s continued investment in schools), property values are higher than ever. Looking at just the last 5 years, in March 2018 the average sale price of a Hopkinton home was $427,500. Today it is $824,000. Hopkinton also outperforms its neighbors by a wide margin – a comparable Westborough home sells for 21% less.
I truly feel that even though our town has grown a lot, we’ve all worked together to keep Hopkinton a charming and engaged community. Those on the Select board and other town boards, all who volunteer for countless hours of meetings, have helped us through sensible policies and appropriate zoning bylaws. And little by little we’ve seen improvement to the town’s infrastructure and our overall quality of life with new restaurants, shopping and arts. I feel grateful to be a witness to it.
Trina Macchi is the Team Leader at The Macchi Group of William Raveis Real Estate, based in Hopkinton.