Headline: New color in store for Chapel Square
The complex may soon tone itself down a bit, however, officials say.
“They will repaint all of Chapel Square including Wal-Mart,” says Ron Wolfe, a member of the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, which advises the Town Council on building projects.
The commission has reached a preliminary agreement with Chapel Square’s property manager, Timberline Management, to repaint the buildings, though a color has not yet been chosen, Wolfe says.
Mayor Judy Yoder says she’s looking forward to saying goodbye to the yellow hue.
“I would like to see a color change,” she says. “That’s the one building in town we’ve heard people make comments about as far as the color is concerned. I’d like to see it toned down.”
Timberline Management manages Chapel Square for its owners, Lehman Brothers.
The Timberline also has agreed, tentatively, to spruce up the back of Chapel Square, which faces the railroad tracks, and refurbish the Wal-Mart building.
“They need to do something with the back of the building,” Wolfe says. “It is quite unattractive. But there’s no requirement, so we can’t make them do it.”
The town had hoped to see an extensive renovation of the Wal-Mart building, which planners say does not match the rest of Chapel Square architecturally.
But next summer or fall, Wal-Mart will likely move out of the building when it opens a new store nearly triple in size at the nearby Village at Avon shopping complex.
The town, therefore, will allow less extensive renovations to make the building more compatible with the rest of Chapel Square.
“The owners have made the point that another tenant could come in and want to do a complete renovation, including tearing the building down, and it would be a waste of an investment” Wolfe says. “But the town’s staff recommended considering the fact, if Wal-Mart moves out, it would be hard to get the owner to do anything on a vacant building.”
The chances of the building remaining vacant are slim, says Shane Bohart, Traer Creek LLC, which is developing the Village at Avon. Traer Creek has taken over the responsibility of finding a tenant to fill the building when Wal-Mart leaves.
“It’s not our intent to let that property sit vacant. Right now, we’re considering a variety of different retailers. We’ve received a significant amount of interest on the property,” Bohart says.
“We’re looking at some different, large-scale, national uses that we think will be successful in filling that property next fall when Wal-Mart relocates.”
Bohart says he can’t release the names of companies interested in opening a store in the centrally-located Wal-Mart building. The situation should become clearer in the next three to four months, he says.
“I understand where the owners are coming from as far as Wal-Mart,” Yoder says. “I’m anxious to see what’s there a year from now.”
The Planning and Zoning Commission also endorsed allowing the owners not to build a chapel proposed in the original agreement to build Chapel Square. The owners were never required to build a chapel and now they never will, Wolfe says.
“There was not a great deal of enthusiasm for the chapel at the time it was proposed,” Wolfe says. “And at this point, town staff and the owners believe that the religious organizations in the area aren’t looking at this as a great loss.”
Instead of the chapel, there will be more room for customers’ cars.
“They are going to come and put in a loading dock and additional parking spaces,” Wolfe says. “It probably worked out as a good compromise.”
Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at email@example.com.