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Decision Delayed on New Manchester Walmart Location

The Planning and Zoning Commission tabled Walmart's request to open a second location town Wednesday until its next meeting on Oct. 3.

The Planning and Zoning Commission tabled two applications from Walmart as part of its meeting Wednesday, one that sought approval for a new 158,430-foot supercenter at 205 Spencer St., the other to expand the current Buckland Hills Drive store. 

Both applications are now expected to appear on the agenda of the PZC's next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 3. 

The first proposal would see Walmart construct a 158,430-foot supercenter at 205 Spencer St., the site of a former Kmart location that is in the process of being torn down. 

The second proposal seeks permission to expand the existing Walmart location in town, located at 420 Buckland Hills Dr. near the Shoppes at Buckland Hills mall, by an additional 439 square feet, and include a modification to the existing entrance and the elimination of the one-way requirement for the northern drive aisle entrance to the property. 

Stick with Patch for the latest on both these applications in the coming weeks. 

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Nutmegger September 20, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Thanks for the update. I couldn't make the meeting. Did they say why they tabled them?
David Moran (Editor) September 20, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I wasn't there either. I was told the PZC wanted more info than they had available at the time.
Bob Hetzel September 20, 2012 at 07:34 PM
I, too, missed the meeting. I might have commented that a "higher and better" use for this location would be as a transportation hub: for express buses between Willimantic and Hartford; as a park-and-ride for Manchester drivers who would like to avoid driving hassles and city parking fees; as a stop in an intra-city bus service; as a public facility for tourist info, rest rooms, possible government services, and an array of convenience stores, such as fast food, pharmacy, newsstand, package store, a dollar store, etc. - which would also enhance both the Ocean State and the Shop Rite plazas. This location connects with I-384, I-84, I-291 and both Silver Lane and Harford Road. It is also convenient to MCC.
Nutmegger September 20, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Interesting proposal, Bob. A lot of the things you mention are already there. There's a dollar store and a package store in the Shop-Rite plaza. There's a Wendy's, Subway, Dunkin' Donuts, and Starbucks for fast food. There's a commuter lot right on the other side of the on-ramp. But god knows the last thing we need in town is yet another CVS or Walgreens; they're already on every intersection, it seems. (Of course, my bet is that that's exactly what they'll put on the farm property on the corner of Hillstown and Spencer.) I think what the P&Z needs to do is think beyond the usual Manchester approach of "let's put another store up." There's this pervasive thinking that "commercial zone" = a typical big store, and it doesn't have to be that way. Something else I'd like people to remember is that this property is right up against the active West Cemetery. It would be nice to help retain at least /some/ dignity for that historic and important property, now that it's already being surrounded by a big-box store (Woodcraft) , a shopping plaza, and a highway.
Gerry Guay September 20, 2012 at 09:29 PM
I believe the Walmart Super Store is good for Manchester's Western part of town and on the site of the former K-Mart store. It would become a good taxable income source for Manchester (which Manchester desperately needs) and renew the activity in that part of town. We don't need more ideas to keep property off the tax rolls by having government, local or state, spend millions purchasing it for more useless projects which would have to be subsidized forever to operate. This is private property and hopefully will stay that way providing an income stream for Manchester. And since this is private property and Walmart buys it (if they haven't already), it will be up to them what they want to do with it and complying with the commercial zone regulations. It should be approved unless there is a zone change required but that doesn't look necessary.
M. Troy September 20, 2012 at 09:48 PM
The P&Z just doen,t make up its mind in a fast called meeting. Plus I believe they don't want to get Shop Rite upset. They do not want the compitition. As for the location ,an eyesoar has been there for years and using an already used area is a good idea we don't need more buildings that are going empty. The one at Buckland is a no brainer and should just be approved with no problem.
James Bond September 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM
The real question should be;"Is Wal-Mart good for this country?"I think not,just try to find anything that says made in America there,then ask who is getting the money? It ain't the U.S. worker that's for sure.This is a case of short sightedness,until we find out much much later that this isn't good for our ecconomy and then we'll scream at the U.S. government "how did this happen?"....the answer is in the mirror pal,which you buy at Wal-Mart.
Rebecca Smith September 21, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Too bad the PZC probably doesn't read Patch comments. Responding to several previous comments: I'm puzzled why someone would suggest a commuter lot when there's already one practically next door. As well as multiple fast food places and a bus stop. Does that person live anywhere near here?? I was in favor of this at first, thinking it's already a commercial property, & has been an eyesore for some time--better than eliminating more open/wooded land or historic/quaint buildings. But I hadn't considered the MCC traffic issue or the real possibility that it might put ShopRite out of business. ("Superstore" means it will include groceries.) Suggesting things to go there instead of Walmart isn't really appropriate, tho, I don't think, as the point here is that a business has applied to do something with a property (which no one else--including the town--has shown any interest in since KMart closed?), & so the PZC is required to give a yes or no answer to that applying business. I don't think the town is looking to take on another big "what should we do with this space" issue like Broad St.just
Rebecca Smith September 21, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Yet. Just yet. [In trying to get the "j" to stop coming out upper case, I accidentally hit the "submit" button I guess!] P.S. To Patch: Why, at the bottom of the page, is there a sponsored link for a business in MISSOURI???!
Resident September 21, 2012 at 06:10 PM
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ABG September 21, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Walmart still employees American workers. I don't think Walmart is any different than any other store. You can't find made in America anywhere. Our gov't is the one to blame by allowing these imports and the manufacturers for moving their business overseas. Oh yeah, union employees what more money, more benefits and more time off, which businesses can't control costs for in light of today's economy.
James T. September 22, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Why not put the 2nd Walmart at the Parkade where they just tore everything out of?!
Brian Hurlburt September 22, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Manchester does not need another Walmart. As some have pointed out, what would happen to Shop Rite? How about Stop&Shop? What would the net effect be over the next five years? One commenter suggests we need the tax revenue, however we need sustainable able tax revenue, and adding another Walmart is clearly not the answer. More people won't suddenly appear to buy more stuff, that simply will not happen. So within a fully saturated retail landscape, what will the end result be? More blight. For every Job created by Walmart, 1.4 American jobs are lost.
Brian Hurlburt September 22, 2012 at 01:24 PM
There are two questions being debated here. The first is: does Manchester need another Walmart? The next is: is Walmart and their practices good for the USA?
Brian Hurlburt September 22, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Alan, I am not sure why you would have an issue with people who build the products and infrastructure that you need everyday, to be allowed a livable income. Your thinking is what has gotten us to where we are with today's economy. We need to re-evaluate our thinking on what it means to buy local (USA, and best to buy Connecticut). We all complain about high taxes and the dropping value of our real estate, then we don't even support our own economy in a responsible manner. We need to stop making the need for a livable wage the scapegoat for our problems, and take ownership of the real issues.
Bob Hetzel September 23, 2012 at 08:07 PM
At the nexus of three limited access highways and the historic Hartford Road/Silver Lane, why would Walmart NOT want to build a superstore there? They apparently don't have the space at Buckland Hills, and don't need the traffic congestion there. That store will certainly close. However, as Nutmegger writes, many of the conveniences I suggest for commuters are just across the street - but they require a car to get there! There's not even a cross-walk. I envision the sort (and scale) of conveniences that are in many gas stations, for the express riders who will be picked up or will ride an intra-city bus home, as well as the park-and-riders. As an example, think of a highway rest stop. As for the present park-and-ride, it might simply be landscaped.

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