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Wait, Why Is Nashua Getting A Whole Foods?

Today's question of the day follows up on a boisterous topic of discussion from our Facebook page a few weeks ago.

 

Earlier this month, the Nashua Telegraph reported that Nashua will be getting a Whole Foods, one store that Westfordites have been wanting for awhile now.

We shared this information on our Facebook page and it got quite alot of discussion!

So today we want to restoke the discussion and ask you why you think Whole Foods is going to Nashua and not here in Westford.

Lucia Byrne July 31, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Market Basket Monolopy?
Tito August 01, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Westford is turning into Billerica and doesnt attract exclusive anything anymore, Market Basket and Walmart are more Westford style these days
blazah August 01, 2012 at 04:28 AM
I heard the reason Whole Foods didn't come to Westford was there was a limit as to the square footage the store could have in Westford and it didn't meet their minimum space requirements.
Danny August 01, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Market Basket killed the whole Cornerstone development by anchoring there. That massive, space-hogging building going up there has instantly changed the whole potential small-town, community look and feel that would have been more attractive and consistent with Westford's character. So much for making that site a walking, "lifestyle" shopping area. As Tito says above, Westford is on course to turn into another Billerica. Why would Whole Foods want to associate itself with that?
Sam August 01, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Wow, I sure hope you don't bump into people from Billerica. What a snob
Danny August 01, 2012 at 01:17 PM
You're right, Tom. I agree and apologize for what seemed like an attack on Billerica residents. My comments stem from my disappointment that the Cornerstone developer took advantage of loopholes in Westford's master planning and zoning control, which I believe also has happened in Billerica. I also think the economic downturn forced the Cornerstone developer to allow tenants there that don't fit the "walking, community-feel shopping experience" he originally promised. They've ruined the great potential of the site with a monstrous Market Basket building and a huge, ugly parking lot - not to mention the fast food joint(s), cellphone store (don't we already have enough of them), etc. Burtons may be an exception, but it is certainly not a unique Westford restaurant like, e.g., Belles Bistro. My point about Billerica is re: poor zoning controls and lack of planning for site development in its COMMERCIAL areas. (The rest of the Town is a quintessential New England community with a beautiful look and feel.) My beef is that, in many commercial areas, town planners allowed too many strip malls, large shopping plazas, and poor traffic flow to ruin what otherwise would be a beautiful landscape. While any town should encourage development that provides critical services and products, this comes with an obligation to do it in a way that is respectful of community aesthetics. Sorry if it still sounds snobbish, but I believe Billerica dropped the ball on that point.
Vincent DiRico August 01, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Yes still snobbish. $ talks! It takes $ to run a town, the less $ there is from developments (like this) the more $ comes from your/my pocket. I am tapped out in the tax/fee department, you? Maybe O-man / grannie Warren have a master plan for more free cash ;)
Tony T August 01, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Let's put in a Walmart so this town doesn't go broke in FY 2014 when the current municipal contracts are up and many unions already preparing for a tougher resistance this time around
Vincent DiRico August 01, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Very strange, you didn't want W and won, you didn't snatch up the land to keep open space, now you complain with what you get, ... Trees, frogs, dirt, rocks, ... don't pay taxes/fees, just you, me and land developed in areas zoned for BUSINESS.
Sam August 01, 2012 at 11:23 PM
The Cornerstone developer has done nothing but follow the rules and he is continually slammed by Town officials and the public.
Margo August 02, 2012 at 01:04 AM
This town needs a new market basket. The current one is disgusting. The one in Nashua that they remodeled is fabulous. That's where I shop and will continue to.
w.t.f August 02, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Westford is NOT turning into Billerica and never will! I am not seeing many residential homes lining 110 through town and certainly our town doesn't have a liquor store every 15 ft.
Victoria Grzybinski August 02, 2012 at 04:00 PM
What happened to the master plan and the "Gateway to Westford"? I agree the Cornerstone and the town of Westford are making 110 disgusting with all the traffic and new buildings. Now down the street there are Princeton Properties building affordable housng, also assisting living development, plus more housing all from S. Chelmsford Street to Tadmuck Road. What is happening to Westford. I think it is tme to move! I also agree about Market Basket in town about being disgusting and I shop in Nashua and welcome Whole Foods anywhere near us, Nashua and/or Bedford.
Danny August 02, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Tom, it is most likely that the developer followed the rules, but he hasn't followed the aesthetic vision he laid out for what what was supposed to be some sort of pedestrian-friendly "lifestyle" center. Come on; Market Basket, Five Guys and another wireless phone store. It's simply going to be another ugly strip mall. I think the real reason we are not seeing Whole Foods or any other upscale tenant is that they all know what a debacle this is going to be in terms of traffic and aesthetics. Why associate themselves with another supermarket-anchored site dominated by parking lots and crowded with cars? Again, it certainly does not fit the bill of goods we were sold re: a walking friendly lifestyle center. In the end, the Cornerstone development will be looked upon as the end point of Westford's move toward becoming one of the premiere towns in the state. We are soon to become just another tacky, commercialized, and overly congested town.
Sam August 02, 2012 at 07:44 PM
I couldn't disagree more Danny. The look is exactly the same. Just because it is a MB superstore and a Five Guys as opposed to a Whole Foods and some Hemp shop, that makes it tacky? Rte 110 is our business zone and that is where we should be allowing business to develop. No one has any idea as to why Whole Foods is not coming in. Though I can guarantee you it has nothing to do with our "tackiness" and or congestion. They operate like all businesses and the dollar rules. Pure and simple. I have news for you. As much as we love Westford, and I do! it was never and most likely will never be considered a premier town. It is a great town to raise a family and has a ton of wonderful aspects, but premier? What exactly is your definition of a premier town anyway? Since moving here in 92 (yep still considered a blow in) I have watched a continual stream of gigantic residential developments, zoning bylaw infractions, good old boy handshakes, gateway visions go poof and plenty of new businesses move in. This is a natural progression for any town. This is happening along the entire I-495 belt for obvious reasons.
Danny August 02, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Tom, a premier town is one that honors its heritage and seeks to maintain a certain character. In the case of Westford, that means a small town-feel (even as our population expands), a respect for history (recognizing that change is inevitable), preservation of as much natural landscape as possible (recognizing that commercial development is required to support the above population growth and diversify the tax base, etc.) In essence, there is a tug of war between idealism and realism. It is the practical balancing of those objectives that is the end game. I never said commercial development is undesirable. The real challenge is in how that development is allowed to manifest itself. You indicate that it is a "natural progression" for any town to experience "gigantic residential developments, zoning bylaw infractions, good old boy handshakes, gateway visions go poof . . ." It's too bad, Tom, that you accept all of this as a natural course of events. No wonder you have thrown in the towel and seem to advocate for unbridled commercial development with apparently no concern over the end result. There was a vision for this gateway and, yes, it seems to have "gone poof." But I am not willing to throw in the towel and, instead, I would be happy to engage in spirited debate with you and others if it means salvaging the heritage of Westford. Just because this is a commercial zone doesn't mean we shouldn't have some influence over its direction.
Bill August 02, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Westford used to be a good place to teach but that too has changed so it seems that lots of changes taking place in Westford and many of them not for the best. You want a nice town? Look to Harvard,Groton or Concord
Sam August 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Fascinating how you got that I have given up or I am for "unbridled development" I have personally fought and voted against much of this. Cornerstone is following the rules. You may not like them but they are the rules. I understand they are looking for people to sit on the Bylaw committee. If you want to change such things this is a good place to start.
D.B. August 03, 2012 at 10:44 AM
I have lived in this town my entire life. I like Westford very much and always will. I have worked to beautify and maintain it. Yes changes are going to happen with time. Market Basket is not going to just up and leave. They are a successful chain that is growing across New England. I don't see how a new and improved one is such a bad thing. Obviously it would be nice to save the trees on 110 and its sad to see them go but it is not enough to make me want to leave.
Vicky Geary August 03, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I agree that the current one is disgusting. But the solution is not to build a new one. It is to remodel the old one. Having 2 MB in the same block makes no sense and once the lease is up on the old space, MB will likely vacate, leaving us with a big, ugly gap in an ugly strip mall.
joseph mcgruff August 03, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Belle's Bistro and 'mom and pop' places like this, which I prefer, can not afford the rent in the likes of Cornerstone and strip malls. That is why they usually pick stand alone buildings, that are just off the beaten-path...and thus why Cornerstone y co. almost always retain chains businesses, they have deeper pockets to pay the outrageous rents associated with central, more traveled and easier accessed locations. I am slightly confused to why concerns about who would occupy Cornerstone are coming up now? If the developer says 'oh, we'll do our best at keeping the integrity of the town and its character in mind' that is all well and good...and a bit nieve on the part of the residents. Even more to blame IMO (again) for this is the Board of selectman. At the end of the day you gotta pay the bills (and net a ridiculous profit) so when a Belle's Bistro, Mario's or Sweet Pea's gets priced out of the next new development, well take a look around...its pretty common. The BOS is to blame, not the developer. The BOS and town never seem to consider or grasp the long term effects when making the next 'necessary' change or addition to Westford. Example: Look at those glorious sidewalks that lead down Boston Rd. to Rt 110, besides seeing fewer people using those sidewalks than the number of years they have existed, they will now have to be ripped out when the Cornerstone road work begins. Next example Graniteville Woods...
joseph mcgruff August 14, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Or better yet, a new fire department? A girl passed away in Feb, 2007 from a house fire in Graniteville....the closest fire station, George Rogers station 3, built in 2002, was UNSTAFFED!!! It is staffed now by 2 firemen, thank you gentlemen, but the town wants to build a NEW station, on the Carlisle border when there are clearly staffing / budget issues with the existing stations! Good grief, who comes up with these 'ideas' Charlie Brown?
Dick August 14, 2012 at 06:56 PM
I don't think they have a one lane in each direction!... Look at the congestion that is going to take place on 110 now.
Kendra Kilsdonk August 14, 2012 at 11:12 PM
As far as Cornerstone Square goes...what's with Petco going in there? There are TWO, individually owned, pet stores very close by...Pets, Pets, Pets and PetThingz. Besides, Petco stinks. Poor stocking, unhelpful (sometimes rude) staff.... Petco's "Unleashed" branded stores are much better, smaller, better brands and with a "community" feel, but I notice we're not getting one of those :(. We don't need another pet store and I avoid Petco in any event.
Steve Cobb January 06, 2013 at 05:36 PM
When Trader Joe's moved from Tyngsboro to Nashua they were able to add a nice wine section. They also have a better location, and doubled their floorspace and, seemingly, business.
bob January 07, 2013 at 01:33 AM
I agree market basket is keeping the two stores open to keep out any kind of other super market. And i was shocked that Petco was in there! so much for supporting our small businesses! Westford is becoming a strip mall eye sore. The same junky Mall stores and fast food joints every 5 miles.
KSimons February 14, 2013 at 05:53 PM
I know this is a little off subject but with all the commercial build out that is happening in town and everyone wants all this space. Don’t you think it’s time that this town should have a split tax rate? I think its long overdue. I have been here in town for 33 year and put two kids through the Westford schools and happy to pay my fair share. Now with all the commercial build out it’s time for them to pay up for taking away the beauty that Westford once had.

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