Both Developers Need a ShopRite
The issue that has caused the Hankin Company to oppose the Shoppes at Wissinoming comes down to the ShopRite. There were plans for it to go into the Arsenal but they have now signed a non binding letter of intent to go into the Wissinoming center. Both centers need a supermarket and ShopRite appears to be the only one interested.
To be sure there are legitimate issues with the site of the Shoppes at Wissinoming which would be located on the old SKF plant at Tulip and Aramingo.
At the NAC meeting on November 14th, the shopping center feud continued. An engineering company report critical of the design of the Shoppes at Wissinoming was discussed. The issues are safety, environmental and traffic congestion. The center will attract as many as 1500 new cars to the neighborhood. That part of Aramingo Avenue is already congested with the overflow of traffic coming onto local streets to bypass I-95 reconstruction. It will also create about 500 permanent jobs.
Carl Freedman of the FC Development Group LLC, the developer of the Wissinoming center, responded to the report.
(a) Traffic congestion – Carl had a traffic engineer study the traffic situation and that the area would not be more congested than usual. The city is studying the implementation of speed bumps ant changing the flow of traffic on the side streets entering the Shopping Center. This could in fact improve traffic over what it is now.
(b) Neighbors directly across the street from the development are thrilled about the added lighting and security the development would bring.
(c) Water runoff – With the of implementation of Green Technology there will be an added improvement of that concern.
On the safety and environmental issues, the audience seemed satisfied. However, the is no arguing that there will be more traffic going into the shopping center. However Freedman points out that this if from the local area. It is not a regional shopping center like the Arsenal that will bring in shoppers from long distances.
There is some question as to whether the local neighbors are fully aware of the impact of the development will have on traffic on their streets and some were not aware that a development was planned.
Mark Hankin from the Hankin Management Company spoke on behalf of the Shopping Center at the Arsenal. The Arsenal center will be three to four times larger than the Wissinoming center, however it is located far from a residential area. It will create as many as 2,000 permanent jobs when fully built out.
The NAC had previously voted to support the Wissinoming development and indicated they have no intention of changing that decision. The audience supports having both developments moving forward.
To get more information about this issue, there is a meeting on Tuesday, November 19th at 7PM at the Chateau Caterers at 5121 Tulip Street. This is sponsored by the Hankin Company.