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Walmart's Application for New Spencer Street Location Could Be Approved Monday

Or the Manchester Planning and Zoning Commission could again decide to table any decision on the proposal.

A new a 158,420 square-foot Walmart Supercenter located at 205 Spencer St. could be approved after the Planning and Zoning Commission continues its public hearing into the proposal as part of its next meeting on Monday, Dec. 3. 

The proposal has already faced several delays, and when a public hearing to review Walmart's request for a special exception needed to construct the store in the proposed zone was opened as part of the previous meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Nov. 19, the hearing was continued until the next meeting, which is scheduled for this coming Monday. 

Colin McNamara told Patch that he was one of about seven people who attended the last public hearing and that he spoke out against Walmart's application because he feared another retail giant in town would hurt local Manchester businesses. 

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"There is no doubt that the development of a new Walmart Supercenter would put the squeeze on already struggling small business's in the area and that this isn't an issue that we should put our heads in the sand over," McNamara told Patch in an email. 

Senior Planner Renata Bertotti said the PZC could choose to grant the special exception at Monday's meeting, decide to again table the decision and continue to keep the public hearing open to allow for more testimony and information to be provided, or outright deny Walmart's request. 

"There is a lot of staff comments," Berotti said of Walmart's proposal. 

Planning Department and pertain mainly to drainage issues, parking and traffic questions. 

If approved, the new Walmart store, which would be built on the site of the former Manchester Kmart location, would be the second Walmart location in town. Earlier this year, the PZC approved a separate application from WalMart to expand its current store at 420 Buckland Hills Dr. by 439 square feet. 

Joel Mrosek December 03, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Also, I am certain Shop Rite can compete with WalMart. They are very successful business people and will adapt. They do not need the interference of government to compete. I have become quite enthusiastic about the possibilities for growth in this area of town. I would certainly not want to see retail expansion in the Broad St area. And if we don't allow development along this street where do we do it and if we choose not to promote development how does the Town get the revenues it needs? Raising the mil rate is the only option I can see.
Julie December 03, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Apparently none of you live off Hillstown Rd. and the traffic issues we contend with daily! And apparently none of you live in the Redwood Farms neighborhood where there is only one way in and one way out of the area. Why don't we ask 8th Utility Dirstrict FD what their response time is to people in and around the mall area during December compared to July. It's probably twice as high. You absolutely can not compare KMart to a Super Center Walmart. The mass amount of people is unwanted. Manchester is becoming a town of big retail box stores. Towns such as Essex and Madison thrive with Mom & Pop shops. Main St. in Essex is beautiful. Why do we need to lower our standard of living? Walmart doesn't care about you, me or our town. Because Walmart doesn't provide full time employment they also don't provide health insurance benefits and a majority of their employees are paid way below the poverty level causing their employees to still rely on Governament assistance, Care 4 Kids for daycare, Husky for health insurance and SNAP for food. The jobs Walmart claims they make aren't helping our community or our society. If you want to reinvest in our community lets put our money into our schools, if you build it they will come, quality education gets people here with families not a Super Center Walmart. In one month - patch.com blotter reported over 6 larceny's from people who don't live in Manchester, why are we going to allow outsiders to cause crime here?
Julie December 03, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Of course you wouldn't want to see retail in or around Broad, to close for comfort for ya..... I pay an arm and a leg in taxes on a single family home that I live in with my family, I don't want a Walmart anywhere in town especially in my back yard! You don't either!
James Bond December 03, 2012 at 10:04 PM
So you're saying that because there is already a traffic problem,a Wal-Mart won't impact it more than when K-Mart was there.Boy I'll bet that comforts the people living in that area.Like I posted earlier,Wal-Mart's lawyers know they're going to win and the PZB meeting was just 'going through the motions' so when they approve it they can say we did our job. None of them live near this proposed crap and won't fight it, thus proving they don't look out for the very people they suppose to represent.Stay tuned for the Grand Opening.
Brian Hurlburt December 03, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Joel, I still believe the traffic Wal-Mart would generate will be at least twice what K-Mart did. This Wal-Mart is planned to be a Supercenter, which will include: groceries, clothing, electronics, automotive, and more. K-Mart's offerings were probably less than 50% of that. So, with the increase in goods and services offered, comes an increase in consumer traffic. Additionally, there will be an increase in commercial traffic, because trucks are going to need to deliver all of the goods sold. From a traffic perspective, all of that needs to be considered. I don't believe that any increase in tax revenue is sustainable with this Wal-Mart. If any business does not survive because of this Wal-Mart, any revenue gain would be lost. History has dictated when a Wal-Mart moves in to an established area, stores that sell similar goods close; and for every two jobs created by Wal-Mart, three are lost. Is is in Manchester's best interest to have this land used for a differentiated offering, or sit vacant.

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