Community and Economic Development Director Alison Steinfeld told Selectmen Market Basket supermarket is interested in coming to Framingham.
The company looked at vacant space in the Nobscot Plaza but deemed the space too small and is now looking at the Mount Wayte plaza, Steinfeld told Selectmen Tuesday night
The busiest grocery chain in New England has been Tewksbury-based Demoulas Supermarkets, according to Supermarket News. The company, founded in Lowell, in 1916, has revived after a protracted battle between family interests running the company slowed its progress for years. It operates 63 stores, all under the Market Basket name, after converting the last of the DeMoulas-branded stores a year ago.
The chain has regained its footing behind heavy investment in new and replacement stores, some as large as 135,000 square feet. It expanded last year to the south for the first time in New Bedford, but has been especially busy building new stores in New Hampshire, reported Supermarket News.
It has a location in Ashland on Route 126, just over the Framingham line, which draws Framingham shoppers. But compared to its new stores, the Ashland location is small.
Large and well-located, Demoulas' stores rely on a folksy, uncomplicated atmosphere drawn from longstanding presence in its markets and its reputation for practicality, reported the Supermarket News. It's renowned for neat, no-frills presentations under the tag line “More for Your Dollar.” It's a message that resonates with New England consumers, observers said, especially as the economy declined in recent years.
Selectmen has requested a meeting with the Mt. Wayte Plaza, but he refused to to meet with the Framingham board in 2011.
In September, Steinfeld told Seectmen “the Mount Wayte owner has moved to Florida. ... .They say they maintain the property and they pay taxes and they don’t see a reason to appear before the board. They say they do have a new leasing agent, who is aggressively marketing the plaza.”
In February, Framingham's Economic Development and Industrial Corporation reviewed a draft request for proposals for marketing consultants to develop ideas for the Mt. Wayte Plaza, on the corner of Franklin and Mt. Wayte streets.
The Plaza, which was built in the 1960s, is three-quarters vacant. There is a Dunkin Donuts, with no drive-thru, and St. Vincent's Thift Store.
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