WILMINGTON, MA — A new retail/restaurant building is expected to be under construction at 196 Ballardvale Street this summer, Town Manager Jeff Hull announced during his recent town budget presentation.
“Paul Kneeland received Site Plan Review approval from the Planning Board in June 2016 for a new retail/restaurant building on the corner of Ballardvale and Route 125,” Wilmington Planning & Conservation Director Valerie Gingrich tells Wilmington Apple. “The 11,000+ square foot building was designed so that it can accommodate multiple tenants and a drive-thru if desired.”
Gingrich believes the developer is hoping to apply for the necessary building permits this spring. No tenants have been publicly attached to the project yet.
As part of the plan approved through the Planning Board, Hull announced that Kneeland agreed to contribute funds toward a study for Street Scape improvements along the southern portion of Ballardvale Street.
“The goal of these improvements is to facilitate safe and convenient pedestrian access between office, retail and restaurants located on the lower end of Ballardvale Street, [in the vicinity of Target],” explained Hull. “I’ve noticed, personally, people who work across the street trying to get across Ballardvale Street — it’s a bit of a ‘life in your own hands’ situation.”
“The study will enlist a engineer who can provide a conceptual idea that has a minimal impact on truck and vehicular traffic, while allowing pedestrians to safety cross Ballardvale,” Gingrich explained to the Finance Committee at a recent public budget hearing.
Kneeland will contribute $5,000 toward the study once he obtains the building permits. The town has budgeted $7,000 toward the study.
“[The improvements] will create opportunities not only for the people who work across from Ballardvale Street to gain access to the retail spaces, but will bolster the retail spaces themselves,” added Hull, noting this is just one of several community development projects the town has prioritized for Fiscal Year 2019.
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