SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Plans are on Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno’s desk for the redevelopment of the Eastfield Mall, but he said he will make that announcement when the time is right. One question is what does this mean for the many small minority-owned businesses that have taken root there?
Almost a year ago, a celebration was held for 16 Latino-owned businesses that had just opened their doors, adding to the 22 total Latino-owned businesses in the mall. However, many will likely need to move according to Mayor Domenic Sarno. 22News asked the Mayor if he sees aid from the city for those businesses.
“I stressed to the ownership and management about being cognizant and being thoughtful in reaching out and for relocation assistance, whether it’s temporary in nature to the existing businesses there,” said Sarno.
Sarno also pointed to the $6 million American Rescue Plan funding that has already gone out to small businesses, 92 percent minority-owned. However, what’s next for the mall? Mayor Sarno said the developers are planning to take a ‘village’ approach to the property.
State Representative Carlos González said that could look at a lot like housing, “We are sad that we’re losing businesses, however, housing is a major issue in this city and throughout the state of Massachusetts. So converting it to housing I think is the most appropriate opportunity for the city of Springfield.”
22News attempted to contact the developer, Mountain Development but have yet to hear back as of Tuesday afternoon.