By: By Tammy Daniels On: 11:21PM / Monday September 12, 2011
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is expected to file building permits as soon as this week to construct a 160,000 square foot Super Walmart on Curran Highway.
"Because we are getting so close to final design on the Walmart project we're going to be submitting applications for building permits shortly," attorney Jay Sabin, representing developer Ceruzzi Properties, told the Planning Board on Monday night.
Planners review changes requested for the Walmart project on Curran Highway in North Adams.
The announcement came during the board's approval of a boundary change to slice three acres off the 26-acre Walmart parcel and an alteration at the exit from the jughandle to the accessway to the parking lot.
Jon Brodeur, of engineering firm Doucet & Associates, confirmed the plans could be filed by the end of this week and said construction will take about a year once shovels are in the ground.
The board was thrilled to hear the project was moving forward but was concerned that moving the boundary line — eliminating land investigated by the state Department of Environmental Protection — would leave the tainted property as is.
"It's very important for us to know that by doing this that someone is ...," started Planner Donald Keagan, who had his sentence finished by Vice Chairman Paul Hopkins, "is not getting out of having to clean it."
Sabin said it would fall to Ceruzzi to remediate the problem and that plans have been made in cooperation with DEP.
"Walmart is very, very cautious when it comes to their acquisitions and the way that they look at this, very appropriately look at this, is that ... Walmart would rather see my client deal with that than deal with it themselves," he said. "Especially since it's a property they don't need."
Large concrete rubble was dumped on the 3-acre site without informing the DEP, which allows concrete fill crushed to no larger than 6 inches with approval. Sabin said other expected environmental cleanup will also take place on the property.
Walmart is expected to purchase the larger the parcel.
The board continued the public hearing of Snoford LLC to operate a package store until October because of concerns over the lack of site plans, parking and the owner's frequent violations of conditions and property tax issues. Charles "Rusty" Ransford and Thomas Snow are seeking to open the store at 76 Union St. building owned by Ransford under the name of the former Pops Package Store that was torn down some years ago.
The owners had received licensing to operate a package store after being denied an all-alcholic license last year. The hearing had also been delayed several times until back taxes owed on the property were paid.
The hearing, however, brought up more issues including the condition of the building and the amount of parking and possible requirement to pave the lot behind the building. The discussion revealed that a business the board was unaware of was using the building and that a condition on the Crystal Hard Hat that included leasing parking from Ransford was in dispute.
Planners considered whether to reject the application outright because of Ransford's past history. "I don't have any confidence no matter what we do that he will be in compliance," said Keagan.
However, the board voted to continue the hearing, giving Ransford a list of information it required and setting a site visit prior to the next meeting.
:: Approved the application for a change of use permit for Security Supply Corp. to operate a wholesale plumbing and heating business at 50 Roberts Drive. The company expects to close on the property this week.
:: Approved a special permit to change and upgrade signage for NBT Bank N.A., which is moving in the former Legacy Banks building on State Road, on condition the signs not be internally lit.
:: Approved an application of MCLA for properties located on Blackinton, Church and Porter streets. One lot will be gifted to the commonwealth of Massachusetts for the MCLA Science Center and lot two will remain with the MCLA Office of Admissions and Wellness Center.
:: Approved the extension of hours for Supreme Pizza until 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 1 a.m. from Thursday through Saturday.
:: Approved the installation of an exterior cooler on a concrete pad behind Desperados on Eagle Street. Owner David Atwell said the cooler will be framed and painted over to blend in.
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Walmart is one of the best resources for affordable products in the area, I'm very happy to see the larger Walmart finally moving forward toward ground breaking. Looking forward to opening day! We don't have a many other choices in our area...glad we have a Walmart.
I dont think you avoiding walmart will put them out of business and they probably could care less if you avoid them or not. There are many people that are pleased to have a super walmart coming to the area..and if you are one of those that think walmart is putting people out of business think again it is not walmart putting other stores out of business it is the people that shop at walmart to save money that put the other stores out of business. There is no law that says just because you save money you need to shop there. So I think that maybe all of you people that have such a hate for walmart should just not shop there..they will be fine without you.
Editor: Lowe's is separate from Walmart but there have been indications if Walmart built, Lowe's would as well. I Agree (6) - I Disagree (2)
From my understanding, the Lowes project was shelved as the company was not confident that there would be the traffic that they need... which is measured in 'car trips'. When the Super Walmart goes in, the car trips should increase drastically (as per Walmart estimates). If this holds true, it will be more than enough to meet Lowes' threshold.
Now, the economy is another story... so we'll see.
We need to provide more jobs in North Adams, lets get the ball rolling and stop being difficult allowing businesses to open. People wonder why North Adams is filled with low income families, people complain way too much around here. If you want no businesses then move out into the country!!!
We need jobs people, lets just keep this area as poor as we can. We are going to start having crimes like Pittsfield if we dont put people to work. If you want no business then move to the country!!! Lets get the ball rolling!!!
In this economic climate, any ideological aversion to Wal-Mart is a luxury that few can afford. If a business is willing to open here that will offer goods at lower prices than existing retailers, that's a good thing for working families.
The "super" in super walmart will mean a significant expansion of their grocery section. I'm guessing that within a few years of this opening, anyone who walked to the BigY downstreet will have to get a bus or taxi over to Walmart because that will be the only game in town. While the upgrade in tax revenue and a few added part-time, minimum-wage jobs (with no benefits) might look like a good thing, that probably will be offset if BigY can't stay open. We won't be adding customers after all, just shifting them from one place to another. End result - no real increase in jobs or tax revenue, less selection than a real grocery store and less convenient to downstreet. And don't forget, two empty buildings, one of which sits right on Route 2.
Lowes cut back it's growth 40% a couple years ago due to national economy. North Adams makes a perfect location for Lowes since Pittsfield and Bennington have Home Depot. This way they can draw from north and south with only one store.
Here's the link. http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/09/24/us-lowesbp-idUSTRE48N3SN20080924
Sorry Robert but when Lowes comes to Berkshire County it will be in Pittsfield where the economy is growing. Since Mayor Alcombright took over North Adams has been heading in the wrong direction fast. Be assured Lowes is going south and it will happen soon. I know that Barrett\'s position was bring Lowes first and then you can have Walmart. When they got Walmart they no longer felt the urgency to attract a store of Lowes quaility. That is why after the election the developer brought the plans forward for a Super Walmart.
Why does everyone think that Super Walmart is going to drive away Big Y? Take a look to the south where you can stand in one area, throw a rock and hit Walmart, Price Chopper, and Stop&Shop, and not to mention BJ's who will open next month. I hear no one in Pittsfield complaing that any of the other stores are closing because a competitor is opening up shop in town. Why is it that most people in this town are so opposed to change? Gotta save downtown is all you hear but the only thing that seems to ever happen downtown is another window full of "art", I walked on Main St and I see a window full of old busted up shipping pallets, thats art? Dont get me wrong art is good, but not when its forced in your face where ever you turn on Main St. Want people downtown, give them a reason to come downtown, get the Mohawk open already(this should be a priority)it would bring more events, concerts shows etc..heck even schedule more events on Main St itself in the Summer months. The city and new Tourism Director should be looking at that stuff just as much as they are worried about pleasing the select people in the Mayor and Rudd's little clique!
South and central county are completely different markets. All you have to do is look at the population numbers (almost 4 times the population of NA in Pittsfield alone).
"the only thing that seems to ever happen downtown is another window full of art" - When is the last time you were downtown? Sushi House opened, Shima expanded, I Got Goodies moved and expanded, Sheer Madness expanded, Bark n Cat is moving and expanding, Empire antiques/Creations is expanding, Transcript is moving. That looks like things happening downtown to me. Having an event on Main street brings traffic for a single day and costs the city money while the art is there all summer (and the whole idea is to put a tourist draw into windows that would otherwise be empty)... And keep in mind that a lot of the spaces mentioned above were art spaces in previous years.
:: Preliminary Election: Deadline to register is Wednesday, Sept. 7. (Office open from 8 to 8.)
:: General Election: Deadline to register is Tuesday, Oct. 18
Registration can be completed at the city clerk's office at City Hall.
Absentee ballots are now available at the city clerk's office for the Sept. 27 preliminary city election. Voters may come in between the hours of 8 and 4:30 weekdays. Written reguests for mailed ballots can be sent to City Clerk's Office, 10 Main St., North Adams, MA 01247. Deadline for absentee ballots is Monday, Sept. 26, at noon.
The preliminary election will be held Tuesday, Sept. 27, to narrow the field of three mayoral candidates to two. The general election to select nine city councilors and a mayor will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8.