BURLINGTON – Garfield Circle is going to have a new neighbor after the Planning Board approved a special permit and site plan for a wellness center to take up residence.

Casey Thompson, owner of Anam Cara Therapeutic Massage, was the applicant recently in front of the planners with the two applications to locate on the first floor of 1 Garfield Circle, which is only accessible from Adams Street.

Thompson has been a licensed massage therapist for over 13 years and has been running Anam Cara Therapeutic Massage in Lexington, which received a Best of Lexington Award in 2018.

After recently hiring her first employee, Thompson sought expansion for her business, hence the applications to locate at 1 Garfield Circle. The property she will occupy is 1-floor of 1,200 square-feet of space, with five parking spaces.

The expansion also comes with a name change.

“I plan to change my business name to Anam Cara Wellness Center to encompass a wider range of holistic services offered,” disclosed Thompson.

In addition to therapeutic massages, she intends to offer infrared sauna therapy.

“There are a wide range of benefits from deep detoxification to muscle tissue repair and it is very harmonious to utilize in conjunction with a massage,” she explained.

Hours of operation will be 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. on weekends.

“In addition to myself and the employee I already have, I will start out by hiring two more massage therapists and a receptionist,” Thompson informed. “Once the massage therapists’ schedules are full, I will hire another therapist and follow this pattern until all the time available to work is full. I imagine this will end up being 5-7 employees, in total. The maximum amount of people that may be there at one time would be 9.”

Thompson briefed the board on the genesis of the name of her company. "Anam Cara" is a Gaelic word translating to "soul friend." This term embodies a Celtic philosophy about having someone in one’s life who unconditionally accepts them.

“It is my intention to create a safe and comfortable environment where clients can come relax, rejuvenate and heal,” enlightened Thompson.

Planning Director Kristin Kassner commented about the overall transformation of Garfield Circle and Adams Street.

“Garfield Circle and Adams Street have had a major turnover from manufacturing and fabrication to either dance, tutoring, or performance art uses, among others,” pointed out Kassner. “An upgrade like that, and a company like Anam Cara Wellness Center, is good for the neighborhood.”

The planners cited no issues with the special permit or site plan applications, so they unanimously approved both.

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