Target is coming to Wilmington. When exactly it will happen isn’t quite clear, but the wheels are again turning on the project after the slowed economy forced the retail corporation to temporarily step back from its plans.
Wilmington Patch readers asked us for an update on the construction that was scheduled to be completed on Ballardvale Street in 2010. The answer is that the project is back underway, with the company sending a representative to a Planning Board meeting as recently as last week.
Planning Director Carole Hamilton said the group was in front of the Planning Board as an initial step in its permit work. Target builders are planning to make changes in drainage and also add some additional parking.
Original discussion of a Wilmington Target began in about 2008, but the economy had an impact on the plans.
“Target stepped back for a while because the economy impacted them just like it impacted many other people, but they always remained interested in the location,” said Hamilton. “They probably still have another year of permitting before they will be putting a shovel in the ground.”
Town Manager Michael Caira said the town changed the zoning laws for the Ballardvale area several years ago in hopes of attracting businesses like Target. Caira said it’s the perfect location because it brings a benefit to the town without impacting any residential areas.
Ballardvale Street is located just off of I-93, so it offers ideal access to businesses in the area.
“I haven’t calculated exactly what impact (Target coming to town) would have,” said Caira. “But certainly from a financial point of view it’s a good, clean, development that offers a retail operation that offers something for the consumer and is in the town’s best interest.”
Hamilton said the Planning Board welcomes feedback on the project, but hasn’t heard much in the years since it was announced. The Planning Director said she believes that is because it’s a project residents are supportive of.
“This would be an uptick as far as tax revenue is concerned, and without a lot of impact to the town’s infrastructure,” said Hamilton. “You want people to be able to discuss a project if they wish, but the fact that there has been no discussion is a sign that it’s in the right place. This is something the Planning Board support initially, and I don’t see that there are any obstacles that would stop the board from approving a project at that site.”