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Selectman makes presentation Wednesday to save Swansea Mall

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In what was highlighted by major restrictions from Walmart, Senior member of the Board of Selectmen, Attorney Christopher Carreiro, made a comprehensive presentation to Swansea Officials and the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday at the Swansea School Administration Building.

Carreiro said “Wal-Mart’s restrictions imposed on the Swansea Mall in 2012 are oppressive, contrary to public policy, and have made comprehensive redevelopment of the Swansea Mall impossible. These restrictions must be extinguished by eminent domain so that the highest and best use of the Swansea Mall can be realized.” Carreiro highlighted some of the major Walmart restrictions, such as grocers and servers of alcoholic beverages, in the presentation below.

With these types of restrictions, its no wonder that the Mall has had difficulty replacing tenants. The tenants before the agreement with Walmart were grandfathered in.

powerpoint_presentation_swansea mall

Carreiro stated that the Swansea Mall owners, Carlyle, immediately began marketing the property after coming to agreement with Walmart.

Carreiro’s proposal was developed over the past 18 months and explained that the Town of Swansea, acting through a proposed Redevelopment Authority, would not expend its own funds to purchase the Mall, instead it would utilize its eminent domain powers to act as an intermediary, and bring the buyer and seller together, for the purpose of releasing all restrictions on the land, to effectuate redevelopment. Carreiro received a quote from BCEDC (formerly FROED) for consulting fees at $4,000 per month.

Carreiro stated “The Town of Swansea has lost, in the aggregate, over $6.5 million dollars in tax revenue from the declining Swansea Mall since 2004, and government intervention is now absolutely necessary to promote economic development and revitalize Swansea Mall Drive and the Route 6 corridor.”

Carreiro’s presentation included details of the economic conditions and events leading to the deterioration of the Swansea Mall, as well as the required governmental action necessary to commence government intervention. Carreiro has also identified two additional vacant parcels of land, located along Route 6, for an eminent domain taking, which Carreiro has deemed ripe for redevelopment. The presentation also discussed the possibility of incorporating Swansea Town Hall and other municipal departmental offices into a redevelopment plan for the Swansea Mall property.

A public meeting is expected to be scheduled to discuss the plan.

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