Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

August 18, 2021

Whole Foods site plan gets PZC approval in South Windsor

Photo | CoStar The Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor.

South Windsor's Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday approved plans for the construction of the planned Whole Foods building at Evergreen Walk.

At the regular meeting, commission members unanimously approved the site plan for the 50,000-square-foot building, which will replace two existing buildings, the current sites of Old Navy and Sakura Garden, comprising 53,000 square feet. The new building will have two units: a 40,000-square-foot unit for Whole Foods and a 10,000-square-foot retail space that will be available for lease.

PZC Chairman Bart Pacekonis said he was somewhat concerned about the empty retail space, as he recalled a similar space attached to the old Highland Market that went unused.

“I’m looking at your group as being more active in getting tenants, and I’m hoping we’re not making the same mistake and having that eyesore for 10, 15 years,” Pacekonis said.

Karen Johnson, project planner with Evergreen Walk’s managing company Charter Realty, said the company has seen an increase in leasing activity since Whole Foods was announced, and is not concerned with the retail space being vacant.

“We’re comfortable that it will be leased shortly,” Johnson said.

Construction of the Whole Foods is part of a larger initiative by Charter Realty to revitalize the property as a shopping destination for South Windsor and surrounding towns. These plans, outlined in a document released by the company, detail efforts to lease retail locations to various companies, although the document conceals their names.

An undeveloped 5,680-square-foot lot by the former Moe’s is to be leased to a “national burger chain,” and a “national athleisure brand” expects to lease a 5,715-square-foot space. Other storefronts have letters of intent for businesses to lease, but specifics have not been announced.

David Gagnon, civil engineer with Langan Engineering, said the hope is to have the Whole Foods accessible by sidewalk from Evergreen Crossing, a nearby retirement community, which also would help connect it with the rest of Evergreen Walk.

PZC member Stephen Wagner said he is excited by the development of Evergreen Walk, and pleased with how Charter Realty has handled it.

“It’s great to see there’s a long-term plan there to keep this place going and keep it lively,” Wagner said.

PZC alternate member Megan Powell said that while she had not been present for the entire application process, the company did a good job with the Whole Foods site plan, other than minor concerns.

“I do think that due care was given throughout the process,” Powell said.

PZC member Michael LeBlanc said he loves the mural planned for the rear of the building, but wants to make sure it will be easy to touch up if need be.

“The only problem is that they’re hard to maintain,” LeBlanc said.

Pacekonis said he also was concerned about maintenance of the mural, as well as what could happen in the distant future.

“I’m also concerned that at some point, that mural is gonna want to be replaced with advertisement,” Pacekonis.

The commission ultimately agreed to have make a condition of the application’s approval be that no advertisements could replace the mural.

Mayor Andrew Paterna said he feels that the new Whole Foods will be great for Evergreen Walk, and presents many additional development opportunities.

“It shows that South Windsor is still in a great position to attract economic development,” Paterna said.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF