Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
The city of Gardner declared the area surrounding the current Price Chopper grocery store off Moonlight Road as blighted and designated it a redevelopment district during a council meeting Oct. 15.
The new designation gives the city and the developer the greenlight to pursue Tax Increment Financing for redevelopment of the area.
The city agreed with findings of consultants that the area qualified for TIF because it exhibited characteristics of blight such as deteriorated structures, defective or inadequate street layout and unsanitary and unsafe conditions that may lead to loss of life.
The resolution sets in motion the process of using TIF to build a new shopping center in the area which will have a 60,000 square feet Price Chopper grocery store as the anchor tenant.
The district is divided into three project areas. The first project will house the new grocery store and an additional 3,500 square feet of retail and restaurant space and will include a public road, new turn lanes along Main Street and a traffic signal.
The second project will include the redevelopment of the existing grocery store into new commercial space, a pad site to accommodate 4,000 square feet of retail space and infrastructure improvements.
The third project include façade improvements to existing buildings, parking lot improvements and other infrastructure improvements.

In other business
the city approved eight oil well permits for wells located on the southwestern end of the city. According to Michael Kramer, public works director, the city staff found the applications to be in compliance with the conditional use permit ordinance.
The city adopted a new ordinance allowing the city to accept semi-annual fees for the establishment of massage therapist business and allow for the transfer of an existing massage license to another location.