HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — Residents of one Holyoke neighborhood are concerned about a large retailer coming to town.
The site in question is 18 prime acres of commercially zoned land on Whiting Farms Road.
Walmart is one of the retailers reportedly interested in the site.
Mayor Alex Morse would like to see the property developed.
“Be it Walmart, be it another big retailer, I think the important thing to remember is that it’s a vacant piece of land that’s zoned commercial. It’s an opportunity for Holyoke to get jobs and tax revenue,” says Morse.
Mayor Morse says the site is already zoned commercial so a big retailer like a Walmart could come in and build a store. The mayor says the city would work with the developer on a site plan to address neighborhood concerns like traffic.
However, neighbors like Nancy and Joseph Dube have their concerns.
“I really feel this would be too close to this neighborhood we have a lot of elderly people living here who’ve been here for quite a while so this would be very disturbing I feel,” says nancy Dube.
Not too far away on Lower Westfield Road and Homestead Avenue, Big Y is planning a $16 million project.
Joseph Dube thinks the additional traffic from a Walmart store on Whiting Farms Road would be too much.
“Definitely traffic. We’re going to have much more traffic when they build Big Y, but I think the way it is right now, I wouldn’t do it. I’m against it definitely,” says Dube.
Mayor Morse says competition is healthy and feels the city could handle the Big Y project and a Walmart or another big retailer not too far away.