BDS News

Journey from Newton to Needham starts with Government Incentives for world's largest online travel site

When ground is broken on the new estimated 290,000 square foot Needham headquarters for TripAdvisor®the world's largest travel site, the event will be a game-changer for the Town of Needham and a record-breaking achievement for government incentives consultant Lynn Tokarczyk and her team at Business Development Strategies, Inc. (BDS). For TripAdvisor's approximately $135 million expansion project at "Center 128" will transform the formerly underused property into a powerhouse competitor among the new suburban "work & play" technology parks popping up around the Route 128 beltway. At the same time, Tokarczyk and her company will add another triumph to their impeccable 10-year record of success in securing government incentives for growing businesses in Massachusetts.

TripAdvisor's decision to select Needham was facilitated by the estimated $2.75 million incentive package secured by Tokarczyk and the BDS team, including a $450,000 state investment tax credit (ITC) and $2.3 million in Tax Incentive Financing (TIF). Facing an aggressive timeline for approval and working in a Town that had never offered a TIF, Tokarczyk took on the challenge with trademark determination. "When TripAdvisor realized they might be able to defray some of the cost of their real estate investment, they decided to move forward with pursuing tax incentives," the state's leading government incentives consultant said. "The timing of the decision meant we had only a few months to complete the incentives project."

Timing is essential

Upon meeting in September with Needham Town officials to discuss TripAdvisor's plan, Tokarczyk discovered some basic groundwork was needed. "Since Needham had never utilized a TIF, the Town officials initially felt they needed more time," she explained. Tokarczyk and her team eased that concern by helping Needham streamline the TIF process and move the project forward. Within three months, a Special Town Meeting had approved the TIF and the state Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) had approved the ITC and TIF. This spring, the TripAdvisor project was approved for technical amendments by both the state and municipality.

Ensuring the new site would appeal to TripAdvisor's skilled and educated workforce was a top priority. TripAdvisor needed a location that would attract a technology workforce accustomed to desirable workplace amenities. After conducting an extensive site search for over a year through its real estate advisors, Columbia Group Realty Advisors, Inc. and Cushman & Wakefield, the Company chose the property owned by Normandy Real Estate Partners for its convenient campus-style location, capacity for an additional building, and the promise of exciting new onsite amenities.

The skill with which BDS brought the TripAdvisor project to a successful conclusion earned high praise from Company Chief Financial Officer Julie Bradley,. "Lynn Tokarczyk and the BDS team delivered incentives to TripAdvisor in record-breaking time," Bradley said. "We were very fortunate to have such a seasoned team represent our incentives project."

The project's positive impact on the local and regional economy and the location also proved appealing to the Needham business community, which was instrumental in gathering support for the positive TIF vote at the Needham Special Town Meeting.

"This is a great opportunity for TripAdvisor and Needham and our entire corridor," said Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce President Greg Reibman. "We now have a marquee tenant to jump-start development in an office park that has struggled for decades without an identity. Combined with proposed improvements along I-95/Route 128 and adjoining roads, this region is poised to explode."

"The Needham Business Association (NBA) is delighted with the Town's decision to grant the TIF to TripAdvisor, so that they may move their headquarters to Needham," said NBA Treasurer Chris Teachout. "TripAdvisor is not only committed to creating new jobs as part of the TIF agreement, but the Company also spends an average of $3.5 million annually with local vendors and establishments. The NBA feels this will have a tremendous impact on the local economy as well as complement our Shop Local campaign."

For TripAdvisor, which started over a Needham pizza shop 13 years ago, the move from Newton to Needham marks a return to its roots. But for Tokarczyk, the project stands for much more. "For the past 10 years, BDS has built its impeccable record of success on identifying, negotiating and securing government incentives for our clients," she explained. "During that time, we have assisted close to 100 growing companies in Massachusetts with securing valuable incentives that help keep jobs in the Commonwealth and stimulate the local and state economy. BDS is proud of its track record in assisting clients like TripAdvisor with growing, expanding and making a difference in Massachusetts."

About Business Development Strategies, Inc.

Celebrating 10 years of success in 2013, Business Development Strategies, Inc. (BDS) has grown into a leading government incentives consulting firm in Massachusetts. BDS helps expanding companies identify, negotiate and secure government incentives for real estate expansion projects that create and retain jobs, and enhance the state and local economy. Providing a full range of services in real estate assessments, resident outreach, government incentives tax law, and more, BDS helps clients save cash and expand. To learn more about how BDS can help your company access government incentives, contact Lynn Tokarczyk at 508-966-4300, or email Visit BDS online at

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors**, and over 100 million reviews and opinions covering more than 2.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 20 other travel media,,, and

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, April 2013


**Source: Google Analytics, worldwide data, May 2013


©2013 TripAdvisor, Inc. All rights reserved. 


SOURCE TripAdvisor