Home Depot threw its plans for Braintree, MA into reverse last week, and its local attorney says the company is not coming back. That was great news for area residents surrounding the heavily-trafficked Ivory Plaza shopping center. Home Depot had reportedly paid $2 million to the now defunct Caldor’s to buy the property in the plaza. But when Home Depot brought its site plan forward, the Braintree Planning Board gave the 135,000 s.f. proposal a thumbs down for a variance to expand the size of the existing building. Area residents had circulated a petition opposing the store as well. If Home Depot had simply moved into the existing Caldor’s shell, they would not have needed a variance, but a larger building cut down on the number of parking spaces left for the project, triggering the need for a variance, which the Planning Board could not condone. But on September 28th, as they presented their plans to the Braintree Zoning Board, Home Depot pulled out. “There is no interest to withdraw it and put it back next month or anything like that,” said the lawyer representing Ivory Plaza. “All I’ve been told is to withdraw it,” the lawyer said. Residents suspect that the location was simply too tight a fit, and opposition from the Planning Board and residents did not make the fit any better.
Home Depot’s departure was all the citizens needed to be told, also. Residents said the traffic congestion would have been horrendous. “You try to come through Route 3 on the weekend,” one resident told the Patriot Ledger. The Braintree site would have been the 4th. Home Depot store south of Boston. The company will undoubtedly move on to another location, but for the residents near Ivory Plaza, the departure of Home Depot was a major victory for the neighborhoods.