Aldermen Want Update on Empty Winter Hill Star Market Site

At-Large Aldermen William White said the city and Ocean State Job Lot are still involved in litigation in land court.

Star Market in Winter Hill closed in 2007, and since then . Now, the Somerville Board of Aldermen want an update on the site.

As background, Ocean State Job Lot, a chain of discount stores, signed a lease with the property owner, Jim Cohen, in 2009, according to press reports, but in 2010 the Somerville Planning Board refused to grant a special permit to Ocean State Job Lot.

Here's some background information on the dispute. (Also here.)

The site, at 299 Broadway, has been emtpy for nearly five years now, and the Somerville Board of Aldermen have asked for information about its status.

"It's a topic of conversation throughout the city," said Alderman At-Large Dennis Sullivan at the March 22 Board meeting.

At-Large Alderman William White, a lawyer, provided a brief summary of the status of the site at that meeting. "Ocean [State] Job Lot didn't meet the requirements in the eyes of the Planning Board, so they denied it. The owner has appealed it now; it's before, I believe, it's in the land court."

"What the owner is claiming is a couple of things," White said. "One is that the Planning Board made the wrong decision because they qualified for the zoning. And they're also claiming that political pressure was applied and therefore … the Planning Board did not make, basically, a correct decision."

White said the matter is "ongoing."

He also said, "Evidently they've decided to go forward with this [litigation] and they're not entertaining anybody else coming in as a tenant."

Ron Newman March 26, 2012 at 04:28 PM
The city should publish and widely publicize the name, address, and phone number of this property owner, so that citizens can complain about the blight that he has created on Winter Hill.
Joe March 26, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Winter Hill is a blight. And Foss Park should be patrolled a little, have you ever seen a place with so many drug deals, graffiti, needles, litter, and illegal people
Joe Beckmann March 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Why doesn't Job Lots go to Circuit City instead? Better parking, better - and more relevant - neighbors, and lots, lots better than a Walmart grocery!
Matt C March 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Everyone comments are pretty spot on. The current sight is pretty disgusting and though no one wants to see ocean state job lot, maybe we have to take a reality check and realize "nice" stores don't want to open up next to heroin dens (see Troubled Jaques Street Address Site of Heroin Bust) I have written in the past I would like to see this spot be an anchor for revitalization of this section of the Broadway corridor
Sam March 29, 2012 at 03:14 PM
If this owner had been receptive, I bet the Aldi would have moved in there instead of Medford.


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