Tuesday, April 24, 2018 16:22

Yet Another (Potential) Lost Opportunity For Clinton

At the October 22nd  Clinton Selectman’s meeting there was a discussion centered around the venerable Lancaster Mills building on Green street. This is the former Bigelow Brothers mill and was the first horizontal manufacturing location in the U.S. during the industrial revolution. This was later the location of the Colonial Press. Note that I personally prefer to (1) keep the Mill’s exterior as is, to preserve the historical significance of this building and (2) move forward with the planned project. (My Opinion!)

During this discussion, Selectman Fiorentino very succinctly described the reasons the Brady Sullivan proposal should be allowed to go forward only to be rebutted by Chairman Haley and Selectman Dickhaut. The fact Clinton needs to attract Industrial and Commercial businesses, jobs and the revenue they bring with them is the point here. As Fiorentino pointed out, and I agree, A total commercial-industrial complex would be best, but given the fact that Brady Sullivan has done a nationwide search for a tenant and can’t find one makes the 139 unit condo plus 160,000 sf commercial space desirable. This is absolutely a great mixed use compromise solution for this site.

I personally wrote a letter of support for this project to the Planning Board and am sure it will fall on deaf ears. Weetabix has protested claiming it would put them in violation of the Bio-terrorism act of 2002 which I read and found nothing to prohibit the Brady Sullivan proposal. In fact Brady Sullivan agreed to Weetabix’ demand that they remove 24 condo units facing their warehouse, then at the very next hearing dropped the bomb that they may just move their operation to Canada if this goes forward. Veiled threat? possibly. They may already have decided to do this and want an out.

Haley stated he doesn’t care if the building is torn down and doesn’t seem to care about the historical significance or the infusion of badly needed revenue for the town. Dickhaut cautioned that Oxford Court is a perfect example of what would happen there with the town realizing no revenue…I’m at a loss here, as Dickhaut was a sitting Selectman when Oxford Court was siting their complex on High Street and the Board willingly signed over use of the public Church street parking lot to them when we already didn’t have enough parking for downtown businesses.

Selectman Dickhaut also stated we don’t need any more housing of this type in town, this is after endorsing the building of, and working for the Woodlands complex which will be 493 units when complete.  Sheridan commented that the mill could be razed and/or used for assisted living for the elderly. While a nice thought, it would likely be revenue neutral as the Corcoran house is. They had a TIF which had to renewed while I was on the BOS to help refinance, as they were in a financial pickle even though full with tenants. Brady-Sullivan isn’t an assisted living developer, and they own this property so it’d be their call.

My conclusion is that this project should be givin the green light by the Planning Board, the plusses outweight the minuses with Brady Sullivan willing to pay to fix the intersection of Green and Chestnut streets, landscape and clean up the land across the street from their building all the way to the top of Chestnut hill and have compromised on the number of units dropping the number at least twice while increasing the commercial component of the project. If this plan is rejected we all lose…yet again.

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One Response to “Yet Another (Potential) Lost Opportunity For Clinton”

  1. Mariah says:

    You know they will reject it if Weetabix whines again…There seems to be much more here than any of us know yet…

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