Town Plans To Attract New Businesses, Fill Vacancies On Route 38 By Conducting Market Analysis

WILMINGTON, MA — The Town of Wilmington is ramping up its efforts to attract new businesses to fill many of its vacant storefronts along Route 38.

The town’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget funds $15,000 for the creation of a market analysis of commercial and retail demand along a portion of the Route 38 corridor, between Richmond Street and Clark Street.

“The study will answer several questions, including who is shopping there, what are they shopping for, and what businesses would they like to see there,” said Town Manager Jeff Hull during a recent budget presentation. “The expectation is to obtain information about the business sectors that might prosper in the Plaza area and then to identify opportunities that might exist for retail enterprises.”

The market analysis is focusing on this stretch of Main Street because it currently has many vacancies, including several high profiles ones (e.g., Walgreens, Chili’s, Sonic, Radio Shack, etc.), and attracting new businesses to these locations have been a challenge.

The town’s Planning Department will enlist the Donahue Institute at UMass to conduct the market analysis of the Wilmington Plaza/Wilmington Crossing area.

“The study will review zoning, vacancies, what types of businesses can be supported, and what types of retail is lacking, so the Town will be able to determine what types of businesses it would like to attract, and whether zoning is restrictive to recruiting such businesses,” Planning Director Valerie Gingirch told the Planning Board at a recent budget hearing.

Hull is the first to acknowledge that the market study, by itself, won’t fill any of Route 38’s vacancies.

“The market study is just the first step in developing a roadmap for actions that can foster desirable development in this area,” said Hull.  “A key to this endeavor will be gathering input from the public in an effort to link businesses that can be supported in the corridor with the types of businesses that residents will welcome.”

Look for more details from Town Hall, including on how residents can provide feedback,  in Fiscal Year 2019 (July 2018-June 2019).

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