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Shopping Center Controversy

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.


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Frankford NAC Zoning Board Meeting for April

From Douglas Bryant, President of the Frankford NAC

The Frankford NAC Zoning Board meeting was held Thursday April 13, 2013 at Second Baptist Church of Frankford at 7:00 pm. There were two properties seeking zoning variances. The first property at 1728 Orthodox St was for the building of a vehicle and tool storage garage. The owner of the property explained that he needed a facility to store his work trucks, various tools and related work equipment. After much discussion the community members present rejected his proposal.

The second property discussed is located at 4731 Griscom St. The owner of the property was seeking a zoning variance to open a Crown Chicken fast food restaurant. Due to the amount of increasing negative activity in the area he was questioned extensively on issues regarding security, hiring intentions and hours of operation, particularly concerning the hours of operation. The community was unanimous in rejecting the proposal.

On Wednesday April 24, 2013 Wissinoming Civic Association and the Frankford NAC Zoning Board met at Wissinoming Presbyterian Church to hold a joint board meeting. The purpose of this community meeting was to discuss a new site development at Tulip St. and Harbison Ave. The developer Carl Freedman of FC Development Group is proposing a Retail Shopping Center on that site. The site is 12.5 acres which extends from Harbison Ave. to Sanger St. on Tulip St. The existing factories will be demolished.

The Shopping Center will be anchored by a 67,000 square foot Supermarket with Retail Stores, a Fitness Center, Restaurant and a large Gas station with a convenience store. Carl Freedman explained that Green Technology will be incorporated in the construction. This development will create 250 – 300 construction jobs and 400-500 ongoing jobs. Security was discussed and there will be cameras that tie into the Police Department. The property will have trees and 700 parking spaces. There will be community give backs to the community. The developer was concerned about being so close to the railroad tracks and will install a 6 ft. fence. The community was concerned about truck traffic on Tulip St. to the shopping center. The plan is to have trucks enter from Harbison St.

Although no formal vote was taken at this time, the proposal was well received by the community. There will be follow up meetings to discuss this project. For more information on the FC Development Group and their projects you can go to .