It’s A Shame About Walmart
Pittsfield could have really benefited from a Walmart Supercenter at the Williams Stanley Business Park. Much needed tax revenue for the city, jobs, a within-walking-distance grocery store for residents of the Morningside neighborhood was once a hopeful future, and not to mention, 16.5 acres of blight would have vanished.
The Berkshire Eagle reported on Tuesday that Walmart will no longer be an option to fill the vacancy at the Williams Stanley Business Park. On Wednesday, Waterstone Properties confirmed with the newspaper that there is something in the works occupy the space. However, it continues to be a mystery.
Did we wait too long? Were there too many stipulations? Or, has Pittsfield become a victim of Walmart.com? Trending on facebook today was a story on how Walmart saw a 50% increase from online sales in quarter three, following news that Walmart had halted plans to build Supercenters in general.
Although Waterstone is still committed to developing at the 16.5 acre parcel, (going so far as leaving a $65,000 down payment on the Woodlawn Crossing project), Pittsfield is left waiting again.
Growing up in another former G.E. city, Lynn, I have seen the blighted acres of abandoned chained fenced lots that G.E. had left behind, and it doesn't bode well for a city already plagued with crime and poverty issues, as well as perceptual problems. During my last family trip to Lynn, I noticed a newly built Market Basket at a former G.E. plant location, and it made a sightly world of difference to the area.
Let's hope Waterstone can come through, as Walmart is not the only company they do business with. Kohl's anyone?