August 20, 2008

Mall site restaurants eyeing future

Two fast food retailers that have property bordering the city-owned property where the downtown mall once stood are apparently eyeing a move.
An assistant city attorney said that both McDonalds and Dunkin’ Donuts have made informal inquiries “about possibly moving their location.”
Jeff Steeg, one of the city’s part-time attorneys, said that the restaurants haven’t made any sort of request in writing.
The city’s Real Estate Committee agreed that it would be best to have the two restaurants speak with the nonprofit Bristol Downtown Development Corp. about any ideas they have.
Frank Johnson, the chairman of the BDDC, said he has talked with the owners of the McDonalds about future plans.
It isn’t clear what either restaurant may have in mind, though city leaders have long said that McDonalds would like to replace its aging building.
Mayor Art Ward said Wednesday the city has let the restaurants know it doesn’t see any reason a developer wouldn’t want them to stay on as part of the revitalization project.
Ward called them a “consumer generator” that helps draw people to come downtown.
The McDonalds property is located in an awkward spot for the redevelopment of the 17-acre downtown mall site, officials have long said.
They said they always expected that a new restaurant would be built on the perimeter of the property as part of any overall project to revitalize the key downtown parcel.
It’s less obvious what Dunkin’ Donuts may be contemplating since its property is just north of the city-owned site and would likely remain a prime location if the city’s grandest dreams for the site were to come true someday.
City Councilor Mike Rimcoski said he would like to see “the white elephant” dealt with.
“It’s not white anymore,” Johnson countered. “It’s gone.”
The city ripped down the decrepit mall last winter, leaving a large vacant lot where it once stood.
An effort to secure a developer this spring came up short when the only bid came from a mysterious Florida company with no solid track record. The BDDC rejected it.
The city bought the mall property in 2005 for $5.3 million. It has spent about $8 million in all, when consultants, demolition, lawyers and other costs are included.
The nonprofit company was created during Mayor William Stortz’s administration to oversee the redevelopment of the mall property.

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a gerat idea getting rid of OSJL was. Now two of the few profitable businesses (that didn't receive tax payer funded grants) want to leave. What a great plan.

Steve Collins said...

I don't think they want to leave. I think they want to get a better spot on the site.

Anonymous said...

City Councilor Mike Rimcoski has lost touch with reality.

Anonymous said...

Move out of Downtown . In order for a business to be profitable , it boils down to location , location , location ... It is obvious the mall is going to continue to resemble a missle testing site for many years to come , so it is smart to bail out before they lose even more money .

Anonymous said...

Rimcocki is a blowhard. He never offers anything to the conversation but what he thinks are witty comments.

Hey Mike it's time to pack it in and move to Florida. Maybe you can sit on some condo board down there and make you stupid comments. You offer nothing to this town.

Anonymous said...

Whatever they do, I hope they don't go to Rosenthal for help. He is another dope who brings nothing to the table, except for fundraising tickets for Nicastro's next State Rep run.

How is that ethical?!?! The guy who has been on the hot seat, who was appointed by Nicastro when he was Mayor then supported by him when Cockayne goes after him, now is fundraising for him? Where is Ken C now? Where is the hard hitting reporting?

I'll give everyone a hint - talk to members of the Bristol Rotary about their last event.

Steve Collins said...

Just to get the facts straight: Rosenthal told me that he has raised a small amount of money for Nicastro. There's nothing illegal or unusual in that. City employees have long been heavily involved in political campaigns. Some of them have, of course, even been elected to office.

Anonymous said...

$ - 4:11P.M. - STUPID IS, AS STUPID DOES - STUPID!

Anonymous said...

Steve, actually I think there is a law about solicitation in the workplace and even if Rosenthal is not solicting city employees, its still unethical for Nicastro to have him doing it. What happens the next time Rosenthal screws up or wants something and he ends up before the Salary Committee which Frank chairs?

Anonymous said...

Ah Steve...you need to go deeper. Start with the BDA, then go to the SEEC, and if you are smart by then you will get the scent. Nicastro and Rolly polly are in the cross hairs!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the hatch act cover Rosenthal? That was the same act that KO the late Tony Savino from running for office a couple of years ago. I also think it is interesting that Frank has Dale Clift as his Treasurer, Dept Head. He has Johnathan Fund Raising for him, another Department Head. Just is so the good old boy network, you scratch my back and I will get you a job at the city, Frank Nicastro!!!

Anonymous said...

And you wondered why they didn't support Stortz trying to get rid of him.

Anonymous said...

The question is: who has he been approaching and did he promise them anything?

Anonymous said...

Rosenthal needs to be run out on a rail, with the Trumpeteer right behind him.

How is it not unethical to solicit funds for your boss? Yeeh I know your point Steve, but he did this at a Rotary Dinner serving in his role as the Director of the BDA. He works with these people, giving grants or other supports to them from the city. You don't think these people feel obligated to give money? I work for the state and bringing in fundraisers for our kids' leagues or clubs is frowned upon, and I was told it is forbidden for supervisors to do this period! Then for Nicastro to be okay with this? This is ridiculous. Our city council, including the mayor is a joke! Does everyone there have their heads so far up their a@#es that they can't figure out how wrong this is? It is bad enough when the Mayor has a kid and a wife who works for the city, then he gets to vote on issues that directly affect their pensions and financial futures, or that we have McCauley, a firefighter and card carrying union member with the same ability, who obvisouly acts on ther behalf whenever something of importance to them comes up. It really is a joke.

We desperately need some leadership in this town who will do what is right by the people. Someone with character, and I'm not talking about Geritol Rimcoski or everyone's favorite drinking buddy the Mayor himself. Enough already. If things don't cange and if leaders are not held accountable for crap like this, the same group of idiots will stay in power year after year, watching each other's backs and Bristol will be mired in mediocrity forever.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

McDonalds wants to move because it is now in an awkward location with its drive through window. Dunkin Donuts doesn't even have a drive through. The only one in town like that. Pretty simple issue really. But I love hearing the conspiracy buffs go

Anonymous said...

Reality 6:05 is not faceless know it alls like you who think you can rule the world annoymously! Even Hitler was known. How do you defend yourself when the critics are faceless and nameless. So are the molesters on line.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the "enough already" but from you! Stop your useless whining, you even have to be sick of it by now. And for you 6:05 your probably the one who needs a reality check. Hiding on this blog criticizing "all". Wake up wise guy reality is knowing who you are This blog is not "reality"

Anonymous said...

I think Bristol needs to create a unique space for the town and look at other cities' successes. I think a town green should be created at the mall site and shops can be created around that site. When you are down in the center of Bristol, looking at the hills above can be quite pretty. If there is no reason to stroll or people are afraid to stroll, then they don't notice the advantages of the area.