Longmeadow Shops Alters Expansion Plan to Include More Parking

LONGMEADOW — Grove Property Fund, owner of the Longmeadow Shops, announced that it has altered its concept plan for a proposed expansion of the Longmeadow Shops to incorporate more parking spaces and improve overall circulation of the existing parking lot.

The proposal, which seeks a zoning change on a 1.89-acre parcel owned by the Longmeadow Shops, calls for an additional 21,096 square feet of shared retail space. Based on the proposed expansion, town requirements call for the development to add an additional 139 parking spots for a grand total of 593 spaces. At previous Planning Board meetings, Grove Property Fund and the project’s architect, Phase Zero Design, presented plans that achieved 88% of that parking requirement.

“The message was clear to us at the previous Planning Board meetings that additional parking spaces and improving the overall circulation of the parking lot were top priorities,” said Steve Walker of Grove Property Fund. “Our team was able to reconfigure the existing parking lot to improve the overall circulation, eliminate dead-end parking rows, and ultimately add 139 parking spaces, which brings us to 100% compliance.”

The new plan delivers a grand total of 593 spaces to be shared among the existing tenants and new proposed retailers. The proposed retail space would be divided by three tenants and would include a drive-thru pharmacy location. The footprint of the expansion would not extend beyond land that is owned by the Longmeadow Shops.

The petition to change the 1.89-acre area to a business-zoned parcel is one that requires a two-thirds favorable vote at Longmeadow’s fall town meeting. The meeting will be held on Nov. 18 at the Longmeadow High School gymnasium. The Planning Board has also tentatively set a date of Oct. 29 for a public hearing on the matter to seek further public comments.

“We have solicited feedback from key stakeholders in town, our neighbors, and our tenants, and we feel that we have put together a plan that is very sensible,” said Walker. “The proposal maintains the charm and character of the Longmeadow Shops, improves parking, and enhances the overall makeup and strength of the shops for years to come.”

Grove Property has estimated that the proposed expansion would bring an additional $70,000 to $80,000 in additional tax revenues annually. Grove Property purchased the Longmeadow Shops in 1994.

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