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Letter to the Editor: 'I Want Storrs Center to Succeed'

The following is a letter from Mansfield resident and University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst.

To the editor:

I want Storrs Center to succeed not only because I lead the University of Connecticut, but for a much more personal reason as well: I am a resident of the town of Mansfield.  

I live steps away from the downtown area. My husband and I vote in Mansfield. One of our children is a graduate of EO Smith and another will graduate next year. This is our home.

Like any other family, mine buys groceries every week to cook, bake and fill our cupboards. Access to a new grocery store with fresh foods located in the heart of the town – that can be reached both by foot and car – would be a most welcome addition.   

I sincerely hope that the town Planning and Zoning Commission will amend its regulations to allow for a grocery store to come to Storrs Center.

A grocery store adds a tremendous value to an area – particularly when it is planned wisely and in such a way that is as aesthetically pleasing outside as it is inside. That’s true whether we’re talking about a predominately rural community like Mansfield or the most densely-packed neighborhood in New York City: a grocery store makes a neighborhood a very attractive place to live. It would also provide jobs, increase foot traffic in downtown and help draw other businesses to the downtown area. Not to mention contributing to Mansfield’s bottom line financially.

Sincerely,

Susan Herbst

Mansfield

Melinda MacDonald November 15, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Great idea - and the grocery store wouldn't have to occupy a huge footprint. The new KSK Food Market in Ashford, is in a relatively small space but offers a full-service shopping experience at reasonable prices. The market hasn't been open long enough to prove the model, but I, for one, intend to shop there first, the Willimantic Coop second, and then BigY/Pricerite as needed.
ric hossack November 15, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I sincerely hope PZC does NOT approve the changes to the design district that were created by the developer and the Downtown Partnership. Ms Herbst obviously does not understand all the implications and like the other kool-aid drinkers is just concerned about their own selfish interests. Of course a grocery store is desirable to any neighborhood. But to modify the design district to accommodate the developer so they can save money is wrong. The new design would provide a 125 car parking lot beset with run-off problems and traffic problems. Go back to the original design of underground parking. And where is the concern for the closing of the Grand Union, which will decimate neighborhoods in the north end of town......oh that's right.... that is not UConn's concern because it isn't a UConn project.
Catherine Kalonia November 15, 2012 at 06:31 PM
I would LOVE to see a grocery store in Storrs Center... hopefully one with a varied and interesting food selection.
ric hossack November 15, 2012 at 09:44 PM
The other thing that is misunderstood here is they are requesting a change to the design district parameters to allow the parking for the grocery store to be on a flat lot. The rain run-off will require an additional separator be installed. And the developer, not the town, was responsible for the underground parking. It is simple economics. Storrs-Leyland has no money. So now we are to change the rules? A grocery store was and always will be in the plans.

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