ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NEWS: Sunnyside Cafe & EJ’s Pizza Getting Demolished To Make Way For 40B Apartment Complex, Both Hope To Relocate In Town

WILMINGTON, MA — At last week’s Wilmington Economic Development Committee, Planning Director Valerie Gingrich and Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nancy Vallee provided an update of recent economic development activity in town.

  • The plaza on the corner of Jefferson Road and Middlesex Avenue is being knocked down to make way for the 108-unit “Friendly 40B” apartment complex. At least two of its tenants — Sunny Side Cafe and EJ’s Fresh Pizza Grab & Go — hope to stay in Wilmington when they relocate. The Planning Department and Chamber of Commerce have offered to assist both business owners find available space in town.
  • The apartment complex recently received the necessary approvals from the town’s Conservation Commission. It has successfully completed the town’s permitting process. Wilmington recently received a $2.9 million Mass Works Grant to help fund a sewer extension, culvert repair, and roadway improvements to facilitate this project. The design phases have begun in those three areas.
  • The detox facility at 362 Middlesex Avenue is currently under construction.
  • A spin studio is likely going into 337 Main Street, where the old Supercuts was located, next to the closed Subway.
  • Cubby Oil and Energy recently moved to town. They are headquartered on Jonspin Road.
  • Adriana’s Eyebrows (Permanent Make Up) recently opened in the Lucci’s Plaza.
  • Textron is selling much of its land to National Development, which intends on building a warehouse. The Committee agreed to send a letter to Textron and National Development expressing disappointment and sharing the survey results that residents want more commercial options. “It would be a real bummer to have warehouses on Lowell Street,” said Committee member Suzanne Sullivan. “I agree,” said Wilmington Planning Director Valerie Gingrich. “The town wanted to see more of a mixed use in that area — commercial and residential. [National Development] is not interested in that… We’ve expressed that a warehouse wasn’t something we were excited about.”

The Committee is excited to learn more and receive training after securing a technical grant from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Economic Development’s Massachusetts Downtown Initiative to assist local businesses in recovering from the economic downturn brought on by COVID-19.

Committee member Nancy Vallee is taking the lead in creating a marketing video for the town. She will be getting it professionally filmed. The Planning Department can allocate $1,500 for the video, and the remaining funds will be solicited from business sponsors.

Planning Director Gingrich confirmed there will zoning bylaw changes proposed in two articles on the Town Meeting warrant that will be of interest to the Committee. The first article will get rid of special permit requirements (red tape) for general service restaurants looking to open in general business districts. The second article will create a new use — Brew Pubs — would allow restaurants to brew its own beer. Most of the beer most be sold and consumed on site, but up to 25% of its production can be sold wholesale.

The Committee will not provide an oral report at May’s Annual Town Meeting, but will provide a handout to attendees summarizing the process it has made over the past 12 months.

Committee Chair Mike Champoux announced that member Tom Card is resigning. Selectwoman Jomarie O’Mahony, who appointed Card, will likely get to fill his vacancy.

The Committee will hold its next meeting on Thursday, March 18, 2021 via Zoom.

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