I was planning on highlighting the multipurpose vacancy in Part 3 but I can’t find my images of the selected properties so….
Let’s look at the former site of Benny’s on Copeland Drive. Benny’s was a good fit in my opinion and I’ll add that I liked using its predecessor Rojacks as well. Before that the location was a supermarket (Fernandes ?) that served the community well. The site overall offered a human scale even when prioritizing the car. Combined with the long time empty lot beside it this stretch of Copeland represents a major hole in Mansfield.
This location offers a clear view of the difficulties both communities and business folks are facing. The general sense of America being “over-retailed” along with the incredibly fierce competition offered by online giants is oppressive. Add the financial & regulatory burdens of starting a biz in Massachusetts you get long-term vacancy which in turn acts as a form of self-perpetuating slide.
Again I don’t have many answers for the problem. Unlike a smaller downtown storefront a place like Benny’s plots at best in the middle of the flexibility scale. I assume a renovation is more in line with realities than a rebuild unless it was somehow combined with the neighboring lot. The former I imagine could be grandfathered in regard zoning issues such as parking the latter opens up a can of crazy.
Either way it would be great if something can hit Copeland Drive. The immediate area which includes Chauncey (106) actually has some of the most glaring holes Mansfield has on offer. That last part will be covered in The Vacancies Part 4 since I totally know where those images are. Until then…
Let’s be a stronger town,let’s be a smarter town and by all means let’s be UNITED.