Upton's Site: potential developer

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Kentlands : One Thread

At the last Board meeting, a representative for a developer who is interested in the Upton's site made a brief presentation. (Forgive me if this is addressed somewhere else; I scanned the topics briefly.) Fresh Fields is very interested in the site, but they want to break the store up into two separate retail spaces. They feel they need a second loading dock that would be on Booth St. The Booth St. condo residents have objections. The developer or their representatives will hold a meeting with Kentlands residents to discuss this on Tuesday, October 10 7:30 at the clubhouse. I was notified because I signed a sheet saying I was interested in the subject; I assume that all residents are welcome. Personally, I would love to see this empty store occupied and Fresh Fields is a great tenant (though there is also the question of whether or not this area can support them, Giant, and Harris-Teeter - but that's another subject). I hope there is a way that everyone can work this out so that it enhances the street and the condo area instead of being a negative addition.

-- Elly Shaw-Belblidia (mirinor@aol.com), September 30, 2000


There will not be time to announce this meeting in the Town Crier - due to publication dates - so please spread the word to other community members. Fresh Fields is a wonderful store, and carries a different line of produce and health care products than does Harris- Teeter or Giant. It would be great to have some people come forward who could brainstorm options to address concerns of Booth Street condo residents yet still attract the store.

A related topic concerns Trader Joes ( click here to join that discussion).

-- Michael Berney (mgberney@yahoo.com), October 02, 2000.

Does anyone have an update with real information on the possible Harris-Teeter entry? Since there is obviously no renovation being dne at the former MJDesigns facility, and Harris-Teeter has been hiring store staff through at least one local job fair, it seems like they're about to open a store somewhere in the upcounty area. It's just not in Kentlands.

-- David Fetzer (dfetzer@ex-pressnet.com), October 02, 2000.


Harris-Teeter is currently in the process of de-constructing the interior of the former MJDesign. I believe that both the Lakelands Leader and the Kentlands Town Crier carried articles about Harris-Teeter and other new stores in their last issues. One person who is always up to date on what is happening in and around Market Square is Sonya Burke, the Editor of the Leader, whose email is SonyaBurke@aol.com.

-- Joel Aronson (jaronson@erols.com), October 02, 2000.

We, at the Beatty Companies,are always interested in the thoughts and feelings within the community and feel this type of forum allows any and all of to express our views. Therefore, we must say that the existing, vacant Uptons location provides a wide variety of opportunities for larger retailers to locate within the Kentlands area. The type of retailers that would complement the existing tenant base, rather than another tenant competing with the existing tenants and cutting the pie of available purchasing dollars into even smaller pieces. This can only serve to the detriment of those existing stores and ultimately, you the community.

Harris Teeter has commenced the demolition of the interior of the store and is waiting only on utility termination to proceed full force. This store should be up and running by March/April 2001.

I can't imagine that three food stores in Kentlands is warranted and that more than two will survive. The difficulty with saying, "Let them try and may the strong survive" is that the margins are so low in this business that two may close and you are worse off than now.

I propose that there are higher and better uses for that location and those should be explored. For example, I understand Circuit City was looking for a new home.

Thank you for the opportunity to express our views and we look forward to the continued dialogue in this forum.

John M. Beatty, Sr.

-- John M. Beatty (jmbbmco@aol.com), October 02, 2000.

I am disappointed in Mr. Beatty's response, which suggests to me that he will not consider a Fresh Fields proposal for the Upton's site. Everyone I have spoken to in the Kentlands - and in nearby communities, including Washingtonian Center - would absolutely love to have a Fresh Fields nearby. And a Harris Teeter too! With 100s of new homes already occuppied in the Lakelands, and the enormous number of other new developments nearby, I don't agree that the Kentlands can't support 3 stores.

I do wonder if Harris Teeter has a clause that requires the Beatty Corporation to exclude other grocery stores?

A Circuit City is not what we need - there's one just a mile down Quince Orchard already, so this brings nothing new to the Kentlands.

On a related note, I heard that a Thai restaurant was interested in moving into Market Square, but was told that by the Beatty Company that they (Beatty) didn't want "too many Asian restaurants" there. I hope this rumor is untrue, because a Thai restaurant would be a great addition. And lumping all Asian restaurants together is simply wrong; they are quite distinct cuisines and it would be a welcome addition to have more of all of them.

-- Steven Salzberg (salzberg@tigr.org), October 02, 2000.

I don't think Mr. Beatty is the leasing ageny for the Uptons space. I went by the other day and no company has a leasing sign up. Mr Beatty did not own that property or ever lease it. As for the loading dock on Booth street, I and others fought long and hard at city planning not to have a loading dock on Booth Street. Originally Uptons wanted to put a loading dock and trash bins there, we convinced the city planning commission to put in the two glass display windows that are there now and move the loading dock where it could not be seen. I would hope we don't have to re-visit that again.

-- Bill Edens (billeden@erols.com), October 02, 2000.

So if Mr. Beatty is not the leaser of the Upton's site, then I don't understand why he made the comment that Kentlands cannot support three food stores. And if it's not him, who is it?

-- Steven Salzberg (salzberg@tigr.org), October 03, 2000.

Steve what don't you understand? Beatty probably gets a floor rent per square foot and a percenatge of the sales, now if you were him would you want more competition. Call Uptons if you want to know who is leasing the space. Bill Edens, RE/MAX Commercial.

-- Bill Edens (billeden@erols.com), October 03, 2000.

I got this from the net.

Uptons stores to close American Retail Group Inc., a privately-held company with about 1,000 specialty retail stores, will close Uptons, its Atlanta-based department store chain. "While we are closing 75 of our 1,000 stores, moving away from the department store business will allow us to develop and expand our primary specialty retail store businesses," said Louis Brenninkmeyer, chairman of American Retail. American Retail's other businesses include: Eastern Mountain Sports Inc., Hub Distributing Inc. and Maurices Inc.

-- Bill Edens (billeden@erols.com), October 04, 2000.

I tend to agree with Mr. Beatty's concern about having three grocery stores in Kentlands. While I think everyone agrees that Fresh Fields is a wonderful store, I just don't know if that's what we really *need* here. There are many other types of stores that Kentlands does not have at all that could go there instead. Regarding Circuit City, I think Mr. Beatty said that the one down the road was looking to relocate as opposed to opening another new store.

-- Kim Skimmons (kimskim@seneca-creek.com), October 04, 2000.

I would LOVE to have a Fresh Fields nearby and hope that the issue of the loading dock can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

One thing I don't understand is, if competition among the various grocery stores in the area is the issue, why isn't Safeway being factored in? Could the real (unstated) concern be competition specifically between Fresh Fields and Harris Teeter?

Well, what if Harris Teeter does not even end up here? It would not be the first time a store was coming, coming, coming to Kentlands . . . then, gone, before it came.

-- Mary N. Macdonald (mnmacd@his.com), October 05, 2000.

The discussion about Fresh Fields outcompeting Harris Teeter is a red herring, introduced (above) by Mr. Beatty. As Bill Edens (above) points out, Beatty might stand to gain from higher profits at Harris Teeter; maybe that's why he is arguing against it, although I don't honestly understand why he is taking that position. But that is beside the point - Harris Teeter's real competition is Giant, and anyone who's been there lately has seen that even before the opening of the competition, Giant is sprucing up very significantly in an attempt to keep its customers. So we see that competition is a good thing already for us, the customers. The reason I say it's a red herring is that Fresh Fields is a very different kind of store (as many of you know). What many of you don't know is that Harris Teeter is just another grocery store, like Giant only better, and therefore its main competition is Giant, not any potential Fresh Fields. I've heard (and read, in the Town Crier) comments to the effect that Harris Teeter was similar to Fresh Fields, but it really isn't. I grew up further south and my parents still live there, and they've been going to Harris Teeter for years, as have I. It's very nice and I can't wait for it to open, but if we had a Fresh Fields here I would go to both stores, for different things. With hundreds of new houses coming on-line in the Lakelands this year and next, I've no doubt that the community can support two new groceries, easily in fact. If anyone from Fresh Fields is reading this, I hope they will do whatever they can to come here.

-- Steven Salzberg (salzberg@tigr.org), October 07, 2000.

I also would love to see a Fresh Fields or any other retail user in that space, (Uptons), but not at the cost of the streetscape being ruined. Booth Street now has two out door seating restaurants, two glass display windows and retail shops at street level. I think any loading dock and trash bins or any plan to disguise them on Booth Street would be horrendous. I would hope the City of Gaithersburg Planning Staff would not recommend such a proposal. I have often been a critic of the planning staff, I hope they prove me wrong this time. CC: Dave B. Humpton, City Manager, Jennifer Russel, Director of Planning & Code Administration, John Schlichting, Chairman of the Planning Commission.

-- Bill Edens (billeden@erols.com), October 08, 2000.

Steven, I have also been hearing that Harris Teeter is similar to Fresh Fields. I cannot say that I am overjoyed to hear that it is "just another grocery store," even if it is, as you say, "like Giant only better." Personally, I think that we already have two great grocery stores in Giant and Safeway. I do not buy the idea that a store--whatever it sells--can be all things. Inevitably, some things suffer. So, in my life, there will always be room for the smaller, specialty stores.

Bill, I agree. As much as I would love to have a Fresh Fields nearby--not at the cost of the Booth Street streetscape's being ruined. But, could that streetscape actually be enhanced at the Upton's end? I think that the display windows you mention greatly improve what would otherwise be the featureless back of a store. But it is still the back of a store, and, even when Upton's was in business, it has always seemed to have a dead feel to me.

What if Fresh Fields were to face Booth Street, like the stores in that attractive little stretch at the other end of the street (i.e., right off of Kentlands Blvd.)? I am thinking that if Fresh Fields were to face Booth Street, it would bring life to that part of the street and also make for a more continuous streetscape. The store would have two entrances, just as Upton's did, only in this instance one would be off of a parking lot, and the other would be off of Booth Street. Ideally, there would be windows facing Booth Street. Besides creating a friendly feeling for passers-by, these could provide a nice view (the little woods and condos) for customers who eat at Fresh Fields.

This may not be possible. But I am wondering if Upton's could be divided parallel to Booth Street to yield: (1) one retail space facing Booth Street with an additional entrance from the current side parking lot, and (2) another retail space facing Hunter's Inn, also with an additional entrance from the current side parking lot.

-- Mary N. Macdonald (mnmacd@his.com), October 08, 2000.

Mary's suggestion with respect to the entrance to the Upton's space is an excellent one. As it is currently configured, the space has no relationship with any of the other commercial areas surrounding it. You have to go out of your way to walk to it, and drivers parking in the lot in front of the space are completely cut off from the shopping center just a hundred yards away (very bad design idea, that!). Changing the entrance to integrate the space into the Booth Street shopping corridor would really help, and would give the retailer a much better chance of success, I imagine. I hope that any potential developer, and the community, will VERY seriously consider Mary's suggestion.

-- claudia Salzberg (claudia_salzberg@yahoo.com), October 09, 2000.

I just got back from city hall, yes Manikin is the contract purchaser for the old Uptons site. Fresh Fields is the proposed Tenant for the eastern half of the site (the part closest to Giant). The contract purchaser wants to put an addition loading dock on Booth Street to service the Tenant who will take the half-closest to Quince Orchard Rd.,(no Tenant announced for the other half yet). The developers plan has the loading dock with a 14 to 15 foot high brick wall running along Booth Street to shield its view from the street. This configuration would put a hall in the interior of the building running along the Booth Street side of the Fresh Fields space. If the developer is putting in a hall to service the Tenant in the other half of the property, I asked why dont they add an additional loading dock to the existing ramp area. His response was that is his wish but it would require the owner of the Kentlands Square Center giving them an additional easement, (Now if you owned the Center that has Giant, would you give Fresh Fields an easement?). I would hope they could work it out but I would not bet on it.

I asked the city staffer has the Staff made a recommendation yet, his said the staff was meeting today sometime but were attending the meeting Tuesday (What meeting? Where? What time? The Assembly has made no announcement of it to the citizens or I have missed it), with the Kentlands Assembly to hear the views of the citizens.

We need to unite as a group to get some amenities from the developer through the city's planning process. One idea I have is to put an out-door or a street side cafe managed by Fresh Fields just east of the glass windows and in front of the proposed brick wall on Booth Street. Marys idea is also a good one -- more difficult for the developer but worthy of pursuit.

-- Bill Edens (billeden@erols.com), October 09, 2000.

If you look at my original message that prompted this discussion, you will see that it was to inform the community about a meeting tomorrow, Tuesday October 10, 7:30 pm at the clubhouse. I learned about this meeting in a letter I received from the law firm of Linowes and Blocher who are representing Manekin LLC. I received the letter because I expressed my interest at the last Board meeting, where the idea was initially proposed. I have tried to spread the news through word of mouth. It would have been a good idea to at least post it on the clubhouse door but I don't believe that was done. Elly Shaw-Belblidia

-- Elly Shaw-Belblidia (mirinor@aol.com), October 09, 2000.

Elly I did see your message about the date; the complaint is really addressed to the Kentlands Citizen Assembly. I told the city staffer that there has been no official notice about this meeting (that I was aware of) to all Kentlands Citizens from the Assembly, his response was that Nora Caplan knows. It will make things worse at the city planning meeting when someone will undoubtedly say I knew nothing about this plan and the Developer will say we went to a meeting with the citizens and that person or a planning commissioner will ask was this meeting given public notice. The answer is NO, I checked the bulletin board in Gatehouse today and there is nothing posted about this meeting. CC: David Humpton City Manager

-- Bill Edens (billeden@erols.com), October 09, 2000.

I feel the discussion of the Beatty Companies hidden agenda's or "red herrings" relative to the proposed Fresh Fields in the Upton's location has gotten us to a place I never intended us to go. First, let me say that our concerns about Fresh Fields were not percentage rent from Harris Teeter related. This event is so far into the future I can't even see that far. My views were merely as a developer, a shopper and someone interested in Kentlands, pointing out that complementary uses create traffic at different times to fill different needs whereas competing uses do not. The remote location of the Upton's will be difficult, at best, to incorporate with the balance of the retail so perhaps any store, including Fresh Field, will be a welcome addition.

I reiterate that the Beatty Companies have no ownership or leasehold interest in this site and that the comments I offered were only a perspective I felt the readership might appreciate. The Circuit City example was to be just that, an example. I apologize to those of you I may have offended. In the future I will only address comments directly relating to Kentlands Market Square.

John M. Beatty

-- John M. Beatty (jmbbmco@aol.com), October 11, 2000.

John: If your comments upset a few people, there are many, many more of us who appreciate your continued involvement with us in dialogue about our community. We are the better from hearing your perspective. You bring a wealth of information to these discussions, and for many of us, you have become more real, more human, through offering the sorts of comments you do here.

Please continue to contribute your comments. In my role as moderator, I promise to try to do a better job of reigning in the conversation in those isolated instances where it may become too heated or personal.

-- Michael Berney (mlberney@aol.com), October 11, 2000.

John, I also agree with Michael Berney. On the other hand you could have done a better job earlier in the debate of expressing your ownership or non-ownership of the site, (Uptons), better than me. I think some people thought you were the owner and leasing agent for this site. People must understand you have put your hard earned dollars in your site, (Market Square), and you and the Kentlands, Lakelands Citizens want your project to be successful but you have the finial word on Tenants, unless you want some cash caring partners. But isnt free speech great.

-- Bill Edens (billeden@erols.com), October 12, 2000.

I feel someone other than me should write up the meeting held with the contract purchaser (of the Uptons site) Fresh Fields and the citizens. I also feel if there are opposing views, they should be heard. No one showed up and spoke in favor of the plan as drawn, they should speak up. I feel there are some people would not want to loose Fresh Fields over a loading dock at the back of Uptons on Booth Street.

-- Bill Edens (billeden@erols.com), October 12, 2000.


I agree with Michael Berney on this one. Your comments, regardless of whether people agree with you, are vital to this debate. Unfortunately, some folks use this board as a personal punching bag - either that or they take their toys and go home when everyone doesn't agree with them.

Personally, I understood your initial comments on this subject and I "got" your perspective. I also think that Fresh Fields would do very well in the Uptons site and I'd like to see that happen. Please continue to comment here. The information you provide is beneficial to this community.

-- Robin Caldwell (rcaldwell@paint.org), October 12, 2000.

I agree with Bill that if anyone supports the plan for Fresh Fields, as proposed--i.e., with a loading dock on Booth Street hidden by a wall and further camouflaged by landscaping--they should make their views known. Like him, I heard not a word of support for that plan when it was presented at last Tuesday night's meeting.

I am obviously not one who supports the idea of a loading dock on Booth Street for Fresh Fields, or any other store (see my comment on October 8, above). I think that Bill came up with a good alternative plan, which he presented at the meeting on Tuesday. It is a plan, I believe, that would enhance the Upton's end of Booth Street AND which has some advantages for the retailers. If I got anything wrong, or left anything out, Bill, please correct me.

Store 1, the space closest to Chicken Out and the one Fresh Fields would occupy, would have its main entrance facing Great Seneca, as proposed, but it would also have an additional entrance off Booth Street. The loading dock and wall being proposed to hide it would be adjacent to store 2, in one of the two parking lots, NOT on Booth Street. Instead, where these structures would have been on Booth Street, there would be an outdoor cafe-type area. Store 1 would benefit by not losing an 8-foot wide stretch of space along its entire back (needed to get goods from the proposed loading dock on Booth Street to the second retail space) and by being more visible from Quince Orchard. Store 2 would benefit from the convenience of being able to unload goods directly into a storeroom, rather than having to transport them through a hallway along the back of store 1.

-- Mary N. Macdonald (mnmacd@his.com), October 12, 2000.

Is there anybody out there (active message board participant, or fellow "lurker") who would like to share the highlights of the Uptons site developer's "meeting with Kentlands residents" this past Tuesday? I was unable to attend...

-- David Fishback (fishback@oscsystems.com), October 12, 2000.

One highlight of the meeting would be Bill Eden's presentation of a plan that would accommodate Fresh Fields' coming, while avoiding something that no one present at the meeting seemed willing to support, i.e., a loading dock on Booth Street (see my other posting from today). I took the time to write that out, so that those who were not present at the meeting would have the opportunity to consider that plan, form their own opinions, then EXPRESS THEM. Another highlight would be the plan for the two retail spaces that the developer's representative presented. I did not take any notes on anything at the meeting, so, again, if anyone out there remembers something differently, or if I leave something out, please, jump in.

The proposed architecture for the entrance to Fresh Fields was described as being in a style that would "fit in with Kentlands." It looked quite nice, from where I was sitting. It would face the parking lot off Great Seneca and would be the only entrance to the store. The second store would have two entrances--a main one facing the parking lot off Great Seneca and a second entrance facing the parking lot off Quince Orchard (the way the entrances for the Upton's building are now). The backs of the two stores would face Booth Street, and there would be signage identifying what the buildings are, but no entrances. Because Fresh Fields needs both of the loading docks that are already a part of the Upton's building, another loading dock would be constructed on Booth Street. A high wall would be built to hide this loading dock; it would be brick, just like the outside wall of Upton's. Landscaping would be added to help hide the wall. Also, there is apparently some HOA property off to one side, and the developer would throw in some landscaping there. There would be an 8-foot wide hallway running along the back of the Fresh Fields store, so that goods could be moved from the loading dock on Booth Street to the second store (the one the new loading dock is intended to service).

The outcome of the meeting was that the developer's representative said they would reconsider their plan, as presented, and try to, as Bill Eden suggested, "think out of the box." In fact, the Fresh Fields representative said that they do think out of the box, and, as an example, he told us that one of their stores (in the D.C.-metro area, I believe), was actually built in a garage! They will be back to meet with Kentlands residents again, and Barbara Moidel has assured us that, this time, the board will notify the community. Meanwhile, I would like to thank Elly for posting notice of last Tuesday's meeting on this site (and for doing so well in advance of the meeting) and, also, encourage anyone who has strong feelings about this matter to ATTEND THE NEXT MEETING AND SPEAK OUT.

-- Mary N. Macdonald (mnmacd@his.com), October 12, 2000.

Concerning the Upton's site, I don't see how this community can support another specialty grocery store. If Fresh Fields comes in, I feel either Harris Teeter or Fresh Fields will survive but not both. Do we really want to do this to Harris Teeter when we have put so much effort into getting them here? I have nothing against Fresh Fields, but remember they did not survive a location about 3 miles from here in Gaithersburg Square.

-- Bill and Pat Reed (wmreed@erols.com), October 13, 2000.

>I agree with Bill that if anyone supports the plan for Fresh Fields, >as proposed--i.e., with a loading dock on Booth Street >hidden by a wall and further camouflaged by landscaping--they should >make their views known. Like him, I heard not a >word of support for that plan when it was presented at last >Tuesday night's meeting.

OK, I will speak up then. I was at the meeting, and I didn't speak because it was clear that the residents of Booth St (who seemed to be the majority of those present) had some legitimate concerns, and I felt it was important that they air them. I think that the developer's plan looked TERRIFIC and would be a great improvement over both what's there now (an empty box) and the previous site (Upton's). He's going to add significant landscaping, in the form of several fairly large trees, which will provide shade and be more picturesque than what we'll otherwise have. The main advantage is that we get Fresh Fields. Everyone at the meeting Tuesday night expressed a desire to get Fresh Fields, by the way; they just didn't want the loading dock on Booth St. My opinion is that if that loading dock is the only way to get it, then I'm all for it. I'd be happy to see a solution w/the dock on the Quince Orchard side, so let's see if the developer can swing it - but if not, I would strongly support his efforts to get Fresh Fields there using the plan as presented. There were several suggestions at the meeting, most of them involving having an entrance on Booth St. The question is what merchants could the developer attract to such a space; most merchants aren't willing to have their storefront facing a space with no parking. I wish everyone in the Kentlands could see the developers drawings of the proposed Fresh Fields: it has a beautiful storefront, totally redone from the Uptons design, and would be a wonderful addition to our community. As for the comments from one person about Fresh Fields vs Harris Teeter, I reiterate that Harris Teeter is primarily competing against Giant, not Fresh Fields. Exactly this question was posed to the Fresh Fields Vice President who attended Tuesday night. (He expressed a strong, sincere wish to get into the Kentlands, by the way.) He said that they are already doing great in other locations with one or more conventional groceries nearby, and that this presents no problem for them. They have studied it and they're aware of the Harris Teeter plan, and they still want to come and think they'll do well. It's their business to figure this out, so I believe them. As he explained, their products (lots of organics) are not offered by the conventional groceries - including Harris Teeter. I hope the developer can create a plan that will avoid the Booth St loading dock, but I was a bit dismayed by the negativity of many of the views expressed Tuesday night. If we want to get a good tenant, we might have to be a bit more flexible as a community.

-- Steven Salzberg (salzberg@tigr.org), October 13, 2000.

This obviously has nothing to do with which particular grocery stores do or do not move into Kentlands. However, since we may be getting a Fresh Fields, I thought I'd just throw it out there that, in an article on "Good Food" in this month's Washingtonian magazine, Fresh Fields made "the best" list for all four of these major categories: fish markets, produce stores, butcher shops and bakeries. Dean & DeLuca was the only other store to make the top list in all four categories, and Sutton Place Gourmet made it onto three of the lists (all but best bakeries). Harris Teeter made one of the top lists (best produce stores) and is described as "A cross between a conventional supermarket and Fresh Fields. Its produce straddles the organic-nonorganic line with much more of the latter" (page 84).

Does anyone know when the next meeting between Kentlands residents and the developer for the former Upton's site is scheduled to take place?

-- Mary N. Macdonald (mnmacd@his.com), November 08, 2000.

I have been informed that the developer's representative has scheduled a meeting to discuss a revised plan for the loading docks on November 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kentlands Clubhouse and that a general notice regarding this meeting is planned for the next flier distribution. I imagine that this information (and any change in the meeting date or time, if there is any) will also be posted on our KCA website (http://www.kentlandsusa.com).

-- Mary N. Macdonald (mnmacd@his.com), November 09, 2000.

This week I went to the Gaithersburg Planning Department to review the new Uptons plan. The Contract Purchaser has moved the majority of the loading dock off the Booth street side. Instead of an addition dock on the side of Booth Street the Contract Purchaser has extending the corner of the building to put the new dock in the area of the existing docks, the new corner gives the impression that the building has been extended. This plan is for review for anyone who wishes to see it at the City Office, 31 South Summit Ave, first floor. I urge concern citizens to go and review the new plan for themselves.

-- Bill Edens (billeden@erols.com), November 18, 2000.

Does anyone know what the current status is? Was there a meeting with the city, and if so, what happened? If not, what next?

-- Claudia Salzberg (claudia_salzberg@yahoo.com), December 31, 2000.

For what it's worth, I was in Fresh Fields (Rockville) last week and inquired about their possible Gaithersburg store. The manager told me that they are still trying to locate a site that suits their needs. He said they have two sites in mind plus the Upton's site. But he added that the Upton's site was definitely not their first choice for some reason. Too bad, I love their fish.

-- Kim Skimmons (kimskim@seneca-creek.com), February 08, 2001.

My understanding is that Harris Teeter is out and Fresh Fields is close to confirmed for the old MJ Designs site.

That leavees the old Upton's, the old Boston Market, and the soon to be old Crown Books sites to fill in.

-- Tom Marchessault (tmarches@juno.com), April 08, 2001.

I've had several meetings with the developers, Mike Watkins, and a few residents of Copperfield Crossing I.

I'm in favor of residential development on this site for a number of reasons. It would improve the looks of Booth St. from Quince Orchard Road down to Kentlands Boulevard. I believe residential units, whether they are apartments, condos, or town houses would set the appropriate tone at that entrance of the Kentlands, it would prevent any unwelcome commercial development and, hopefully, cut down on truck traffic. A few small businesses, tucked in among residential development could be a really good ice cream parlor, a bike rental/sales store, perhaps an out of town newstand. The triangle of KCA-owned land could feature some sculpture, a flower garden, perhaps a fountain, thus creating a really pleasant recreational dimension to Booth Street, one that would encourage pedestrian, rather than car traffic.

I like the idea of a bed and breakfast in Kentlands, but I think another site would be better than this one. With the advent of the new research company in Quince Orchard Park along Great Seneca opposite the Kentlands, residential development at the Upton's site might attract many employees who could walk to work or use a company-provided shuttle. An overhead walkway over Great Seneca would almost be a necessity. The developers have planned a clubhouse and a pool for their residents' use to avoid overburdening Kentlands' facilities.

-- Nora H. Caplan (nhcaplan@webtv.net), July 05, 2001.

Nora's comment about the need for a pedestrian bridge over Great Senca applies to more than the Uptons site. If the transit station is in QO Park a pedestrian bridge will be needed to allow transit users to cross to/from homes and businesses on the east side of Great Seneca.

How much would it cost? Well, a 60m bridge in Canada cost US$308,000 in 1997 Click here. One factor that runs up the costs are ADA ramps at the ends. One ramp can cost as much as the "bridge"!

If the Great Seneca bridge were built from bluff to bluff near the GSH & Kentlands Blvd intersection it might be possible to do without the ramps, like the Canadian bridge. Maybe not $308k, but it should be affordable. The question is - who funds it, city, county, or state?

-- Rick Marvin (RickMarvin@aol.com), July 05, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ