LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Longmeadow residents have voted in favor of rezoning the former Church of Christ Scientist property on Williams Street. The vote was taken at Tuesday night’s town meeting.
Residents had the chance to vote in favor of a zone change that will benefit their community and the Town of Longmeadow, according to a news release from The Colvest Group. A two-thirds majority was necessary to approve this change.
The Colvest Group sought the proposed zone change for the former First Church of Christ, Scientist, property on Williams Street from Residence A-1 to Business, which is the same zone as the Longmeadow Shops, Williams Place, and Big Y, for the construction of 25,000–30,000 square feet of retail space in one or more single-story buildings to lease to tenants. This project has been named “Towne Shoppes of Longmeadow.”
“Development of the Towne Shoppes of Longmeadow will essentially be an expansion of the adjacent Longmeadow Shops, consistent with the design and character of that property,” said Frank Colaccino, CEO and founder of The Colvest Group. “We are committed to attracting high-quality, specialty retail shops, all of which would complement the stores at the Longmeadow Shops.”
The Longmeadow Planning Board held a public hearing on September 6th to review the proposed zone change and make their recommendation to the town meeting. After the public hearing was closed, the planning board voted unanimously 5–0 to recommend the zone change.
The Towne Shoppes of Longmeadow will offer several benefits to the residents and to the town. such as:
- Increased, much-needed tax revenue. The proposed retail space will generate an estimated additional $250,000–$300,000 of “new growth” tax revenues annually, which includes real estate taxes, personal property taxes of tenants, parking lot stormwater fees, and potential meal taxes. This would help to fund the town’s increasing expenses.
- Best use of the property. The use of this property to expand the shopping area currently adjacent to it is more beneficial to the town than the uses available to a residential zone.
- Enhanced local shopping and dining options. As the success of the Longmeadow Shops has demonstrated, residents appreciate the convenience of a local retail destination in keeping with the town’s look and feel.
- Updated intersection. A traffic study conducted for this area in 2015 showed the need for an updated traffic light, a wider road to accommodate turning lanes, and sidewalk updates for ADA compliance. In 2015, when the zone change was approved for the CVS addition to Longmeadow Shops, the Shops contributed $250,000 to the town to be used towards the cost of upgrading this intersection. Colvest intends to cooperate with the town to upgrade this intersection and will also contribute up to $250,000 towards the project.
WWLP-22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting in March 1953 providing local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts. Follow 22News on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.