There is a new shopping center in town. Its location was never really controversial—the developer chose a wooded, rocky spot just off one of our main roads, and I did notice that a well-regarded local ecologist told the local paper “there really is no unusual or special plant, animal, or habitat in that spot.” Its mix of stores, still evidently a work in progress (there are quite a few empty storefronts remaining), caused some concern, as our already struggling Main Street didn’t want or need competition. Not to worry, folks, thus far all the tenants of the new mini-mall are big corporations with headquarters out of town. Whether the development would get a tax break, how much, and for how long was hotly argued, but the mayor and those in her corner prevailed because the local economy so badly needs a bigger base. One item seems never to have been debated: the design. The developer and his design team pledged to be “sensitive,” which meant not only that the storefronts would have a somewhat-New-England-ish look, but that there would be hills and dales and green swathes. I notice even vintage-looking streetlamps were installed here and there.
“Gloucester Crossing,” as it was dubbed, is now open for business.