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Selectmen Want Meeting With Shopping Center Owners

Selectmen put the owners of two shopping centers on notice last night to clean up their respective properties or face possible action by the town.

Two neglected and mostly empty shopping centers in town drew the attention of the Framingham Board of Selectmen last night as Selectmen agreed to invite the owners of the shopping centers to meet and discuss what the future holds for the neighborhood centers.

Selectman Dennis Giombetti strongly called for the owners of the Mount Wayte Shopping Center on Franklin Street and the Nobscot Shopping Center on Water Street to come before the board and give an account of what they plan to do to freshen up the sites.

“It’s a disgrace,” said Giombetti. “We’re talking about blighted, undeveloped properties that are extremely important for the vitality of the neighborhoods.”

The shopping centers suffer from decades of neglect and each has more empty stores than occupied space.

Selectmen and neighborhood groups have failed in many attempts over the years to make headway with the property owners to refurbish or beautify the shopping centers.

“Since I’ve been on the board, the Nobscot and Mount Wayte shopping centers have been a burning issue,” said Giombetti. “They have thumbed their noses at us for years. It’s time something is done.”

If the property owners refuse to come to a meeting, Giombetti is prepared to take the issue to another level.

“I’m more than willing to take aggressive action,” he said. “I’ll recommend we get a group together to see if we can take (the properties) over. Eminent domain is an action of last resort, but it’s time to get serious.”

Selectman Ginger Esty reacted strongly against the prospect of invoking eminent domain, because of the potential of lost tax revenue for the town.

Acting Chair Charlie Sisitsky reminded the board that the motion on the floor was to invite the two property owners to a meeting and called for a vote.

Selectmen unanimously voiced their approval that a meeting with the property owners or their representatives be established in late September.

“We want them to work with us,” said Giombetti. “This (the meeting) is step one. We first invite them in. If they refuse (to meet) then we can look at step number two.”

 

Ray Salemi August 10, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Good to see. Nobscot is on a rapid downward spiral. Annie's Book Stop is closing, TD Bank is leaving, it has a giant empty magnet store. The place needs some attention.
Bob Berman August 10, 2011 at 02:45 PM
How can we possibly only be at step one in this process, after over a decade of run down abuse of the properties? Out town leaders have sat on our hands for so long on this it is embarrassing. It is nice to hear words about how the Selectmen would love to sit down and chat, this is not the first time we have heard this and it has never come to pass. I won't be holding my breath.
Susan Petroni (Editor) August 10, 2011 at 03:39 PM
@Bob: It has been a long process. Framingham Patch is only 8 months old, but we reported in February Selectmen wanted to do something with these properties: http://framingham.patch.com/articles/selectmen-want-commerical-property-owners-to-end-blight I think the most work done recently has been by this group: http://framingham.patch.com/articles/playground-garden-swap-may-help-to-revitalize-nobscot On the Framingham Patch Facebook page one reader had a great idea - she suggested a Russo's-type business, which IMO is a great idea.
Bob Berman August 10, 2011 at 03:54 PM
Absolutely, a fantastic idea. There have been several other great ideas from neighbors and potential business owners over the years (my favorite is a Pinz type of bowling/restaurant place), but unfortunately without the BoS taking serious action, none of those ideas are ever going to move forward. I know first hand of at least three businesses who have approached the owner in the last eight years or so who were all told directly that the location is not available. A playground/garden swap is a great idea, but unfortunately even if the landlord did ever agree to it it is by no means the long term solution that is needed to truly redevelop the Nobscot area.
Anne August 10, 2011 at 06:01 PM
On behalf of myself and other people in the Nobscot area....we would like to see a supermarket in the Nobscot Shopping Center. Has anyone approached Market Basket?
Bob Berman August 10, 2011 at 07:31 PM
Yes Anne, multiple people have contacted Market Basket as well as other boutique style small market chains. Many have expressed concerns about the location being so close to the two Sudbury supermarkets, as well as close proximity to two Stop & Shops, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. More distressing are the chains that have had interest, have contacted the land owner and have been told that the land is not available.
Ray Salemi August 10, 2011 at 08:38 PM
Time for a MicroCasino.
Donald Wendt August 10, 2011 at 09:23 PM
Does anyone know why the owners are turning away business? I am no expert, but doesn't empty space cost them money in taxes and insurance?
mia briggs August 11, 2011 at 01:56 AM
I have been trying to get into the space next to banknorth to establish a hair salon and nails.I've called there management company numerous times only to be ignored or that they are not leasing.Nobscot is a beautiful area,I live here and I would love to see the plaza up and running.
Joe Rizoli August 11, 2011 at 04:17 AM
Joe Rizoli CCFIILE.com I want to know what is going on with the empty Cafe Belo at the train station downtown. It's been empty a while after the "perjury" people went on to better perjures. This is a building on the Historic Register and the town let it go to a bunch of criminals who played games, didn't pay their bills, made promises, lied, and painted the roof red/orange thinking they were living down in a Favala. Anyone talking about that building right downtown? Maybe we could fill the place with liposuction and tummy tuck doctors. The place would do a great deal of business with the blessing of the Selectmen who ask no questions anyway about WHO these people are and WHO they employ. Even better let's turn it into a ICE/illegal immigration holding area. The place would be booming with activity. Joe Rizoli
Donald Wendt August 11, 2011 at 10:32 PM
Joe, you are very skilled at pointing fingers at people and problem, but do you have any solutions?
Joe Rizoli August 12, 2011 at 02:35 AM
Joe Rizoli CCFILE.com OMG...like we haven't used town meeting, blogs, email PATCH, The MWDN, Cable, to express our views on everything. I have posted how to STOP illegal immigration in Framingham, I have recommended what the Selectmen should do when businesses apply for new businesses licenses or renewing old ones. We asked town meeting to to vote on some issues dealing with the topic. My solutions are simple, won't cost the town any money or Police that are already on duty. I Guarantee if the proposals went into effect their would be progress. The problem is the town has no backbone to be the parent and as a result the foxes have taken over the hen house. Joe Rizoli
Jim Rizoli August 12, 2011 at 03:12 AM
Jim Rizoli CCFIILE.COM When your solutions are ignored it's hard not to get a little angry. What really gets us is how easy it is to solve the problems. Why is it that the easiest solutions are the hardest to implement? Lets take the federal govt's debt problem...Get rid of the fed.... problem solved. Problem is too many politicians are financially supported by the people that make money on what the problems create for them financially. They then, filter that money down to those they want in office. By not solving the problem, the businessman, or corporation makes money and the politicians get a piece of the pie also. Not too hard to figure out what's going on here. The tough part comes to see if there are some politicians out there that refuse to play the game. If they do then they don't get the money to run their election campaigns. Pretty hard to get elected to any office today without a big war chest full of money.
FHS Mom August 12, 2011 at 11:10 AM
I don't think a Market Basket or Price Chopper grocery in Nobscot would have no worries as far as competition from the neighboring Sudbury stores and Stop and Shop. Especially in this day of tough economical times. I live in Nobscot and have to travel across town to the Market Basket in Ashland simply due to the fact that I can feed my family on $150-$200 a week there and have absolutely no chance of doing that at either of the Sudbury stores or Stop and Shop. Try to budget & plan out a weeks worth of meals for a family of 6 on a budget of $150 at either of those. You might get a half of a weeks worth of meals, if you're lucky. I'm so tired of having to go across town.
FHS Mom August 12, 2011 at 11:10 AM
urgh "any worries".

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