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New life for vacant lots

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GREENFIELD — After a 27-year wait, two outlot parcels at the northeast corner of McKenzie Plaza in Greenfield are now primed for development.

The city advisory plan commission Monday approved plans to build two new retail buildings at the plaza, located at the corner of State Street and McKenzie Road. It originally was platted in 1987 and is currently anchored by Marsh Supermarket.

Though developers envisioned additional retail space on the out parcels when the plaza was originally conceived, separate ownership of the four lots comprising the shopping center made a concerted effort to expand it difficult.

Also included within the plaza is the Jim Dandy restaurant, a professional medical office building and additional retail storefronts attached to Marsh.

In December 2013, Greenfield’s Greenwalt Corp. purchased the medical building lot at the south end of the plaza and the retail frontage along State Street.

The company plans to build two retail buildings fronting State Street and utilizing existing parking in the outlying eastern area of the parking lot.

As now drawn, plans call for one 3,000-square-foot building that could accommodate up to two tenants and another 6,600-square-foot building to the immediate south that could house three tenants.

Greenwalt officials said the company could not talk about what tenants might occupy the space. Construction is anticipated to begin this fall.

Preliminary plans show a northern entry off State Street north of the plaza’s main entrance across from the Speedway gas station and convenience store. A traffic lane along the southern wall of the larger of the two buildings will allow cars to enter State Street’s southbound lanes.

“This is redevelopment of underutilized space,” said Greenfield attorney Ronald Pritzke, who represents Greenwalt on the project. “It’s creating an architectural oasis in what is now a desert of a parking lot.”

City planning director Joanie Fitzwater said development of the out parcel with the addition of the two new buildings will not burden existing parking as the plaza already contains 658 parking spots. That’s more than 200 spaces more than currently required by city development codes for the plaza’s size.

“Parking is not really an issue,” she said.

“I think it will be a wonderful addition to our corridor to put buildings on those parcels,” Fitzwater said.

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