Louis J. Ceruzzi
likes making money selling land for Wal-Mart supercenters.
or more than three years, the developer from Connecticut has been trying to win approval for a 160,000 s.f. big box store in Greenfield, Massachusetts that he
refuses to identify.
Opponents of the Greenfield project have said since the beginning that the big box store is Wal-Mart
, but Ceruzzi Properties
of Fairfield, Connecticut insists that a tenant for the project is still not selected since he
began marketing the project in 2007.
This is the second time around for Wal-Mart
In 1993 the giant retailer lost a well-publicized battle in this community of 17,000 people when voters overturned a vote of their city council to change industrial zoning to commercial.
The original parcel reverted back to industrial, but was later sold by the Mackin Construction company
to a Native American group.
The same landowner, Mackin Construction
, now has a buy/sell agreement with Ceruzzi
for land just across Route 2A corridor from the original disputed site.
Only this time around, Wal-Mart
is leaving no fingerprints.
The world's largest retailer is trying to hide behind the developer, but the company is finding that there's nowhere to hide.
This week, the same development company, owned by Louis Ceruzzi
, submitted plans for a 160,000 s.f. Wal-Mart supercenter 25 miles west along Route 2 in the town of North Adams in Berkshire County.
In another parallel, the site in North Adams is located in an old gravel pit---just like the Mackin gravel pit in Greenfield.
Like the Greenfield site, which abuts the White Ash Swamp, the North Adams parcel abuts nearly 13 acres of wetlands.
There already is a 97,000 s.f. Wal-Mart discount store in North Adams, which will be closed down and sold by Wal-Mart realty.
The existing store is located on Curran Highway, the same road on which the larger supercenter would be located.
North Adams is located 15 miles from an existing Wal-Mart store in Bennington, Vermont, which the company also is trying to expand, and 17 miles from another Wal-Mart discount store in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
The Bennington, Vt. Banner newspaper describes Ceruzzi
as "one of the largest developers of malls and retail stores in the country.
Ceruzzi, chief executive of Ceruzzi Properties, a Connecticut real-estate developer, also is president of Starwood Ceruzzi, a real-estate holding company affiliated with Starwood Capital Group.
Founded in 1998, Ceruzzi Properties
rapidly became a leading developer of "big-box" retail "power centers" throughout the northeastern United States.
Mayor Barrett has some history with Mr. Ceruzzi.
has invested nearly $5.4 million for its two Curran Highway projects-the Wal-Mart and the Lowe's sites.
bought an 8 acre gravel bank from the city two years ago, and bought another 50 acres abutting the gravel pit.
You should require Ceruzzi
to put up a demolition bond to pay for the razing of the existing Wal-Mart if it sits empty for longer than 12 months.