Instead of making a developer fit the neighborhood, here’s a case where the neighborhood had to fit the developer.
This week we received the following report from the frontlines in Maine about the potential ravages of big box stores: “Target/Lowe’s are destroying 80+ acres of wildlands and wetlands. The mall development will total about 120 to 140 acres. Target is paying a whole neighborhood to move – bought their homes at above-market price and wants Augusta to rezone that area to commercial so they can have access to the land to be developed. They are also destroying the Capital St neighborhood to make wider roads and create a 4 to 5 lane road through the neighborhood to have access to the land where the mall will be built. That will give them the ability to access entries. There are a lot of apartment complexs, homes for the elderly, a nursing home, a park, a school for handicapped children, and a few business located in this neighborhood. Because the sidewalks are wider than average, the handicapped people are able to use scooters, motorized wheel chairs in this area to get about. Target (Packard Development – Newton, Ma) claims they can do this because there are no driveways that enter Capital Street. The city council seems to be in favor of this development; because of the poor economy they claim Target will bring jobs to the area. Augusta already has a development complex for stores. Wal-Mart and many other major stores are at the Business Park. The Business Park is expanding this summer to include 80 more stores!!! We don’t need a Target/Lowes and other stores in a wildlife place with wetlands. This is the last wildlife/wetlands intact in Augusta. There are other suitable areas for Target to locate but this piece of land is visible from the turnpike and the gateway to the city of Augusta, so the Packard Development Company wants this area to develop Target/Lowe’s. The city council is meeting soon to vote on rezoning the neighborhood to commercial status. If this happens it will give Target a great foothold in developing this precious area and will be hard to stop. I love the wildlife and wetland area and it upsets me greatly to see this destroyed for shopping stores when Augusta has a huge shopping center already intact.”
For local contacts in this Augusta battle against Target, contact [email protected] Packard Development is associated with New England Development, which has a Wal-Mart/Lowe’s project in Leominster, MA that has become mired in court. See “Leominster” for details on that related story.