New building, more parking proposed for Longmeadow Shops

Zone change must be allowed by Longmeadow residents

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Longmeadow residents will be able to decide the fate of a zoning change to allow the Longmeadow Shops to expand. The proposal would involve the construction of a new 21,000 square foot building, and improved parking throughout the shopping center.

Matthew Watkins of the firm Watkins Strategies, told 22News that the new building, which would be located on a parcel of land between the existing Longmeadow Shops and the First Church of Christ, Scientist, would house three tenants. Under the concept plan, all three tenants would be retailers (rather than restaurants) with one space being designed specifically for a pharmacy, complete with a drive thru window.

An artist's rendering of the planned expansion at the Longmeadow Shops. Image courtesy: Watkins Strategies.
An artist’s rendering of the planned expansion at the Longmeadow Shops. Image courtesy: Watkins Strategies.

Watkins said that the tenants for the space have not been finalized, but clothing retailer J. Crew has been mentioned as a possibility. He noted that at 7,849 square feet, the existing CVS/Pharmacy space in the plaza is smaller than that company’s average store, so they may be interested in the 13,076 square-foot pharmacy space.

In addition to the new building, the proposal would also involve the reconfiguration of parking spaces at the plaza. Watkins said that the goal is to eliminate some of the “dead ends” that exist in the parking lot, which make exiting the shopping center difficult. The reconfiguration of existing spaces, plus the addition of spaces for the new building will result in more than 100 additional places to park.

Watkins says that the new building is estimated to bring in between $70,000 and $80,000 in taxes each year.

The construction project would require a zone change, which would need to be approved by 2/3rds of participants at Town Meeting on November 18. Watkins said that the plan would also be discussed at the next town planning board meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for October 29.

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