What Businesses Would You Like to See in Chelmsford in 2013?

Plenty of businesses came to town in 2012, which ones would you like to see in 2013?


Just like 2010 and  2011, 2012 also brought a wide array of new businesses coming to town.

Today we want to ask you: what types of businesses would you like to see in Chelmsford in 2013?

There will already be a new Subway and Honey Dew Donuts, but maybe another kind of restaurant instead? Perhaps something in the old Stop and Shop Plaza? And is there more room for anything on Drum Hill?

We'll be out and about this year looking for new businesses and other business related stories, but in the meantime, share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Anna Bucciarelli January 02, 2013 at 07:46 PM
At the time my children were in middle school, there was indeed a teen center held at the old McFarlin school, and supposed to be well chaperoned but let me tell you, the supervision fostered more drugs and other antics then you'd care to know about. I pulled my kids right out of there ... Yes, it's a sad state of affairs that our youth do not have, as you say, a place of their own ... dances would be nice as would video games, etc., but I do think VERY close monitoring is an essential ingredient. And now, with two community center buildings in town, wouldn't it be great if Friday nights at one of them were given over to dances for young people? As for a homeles shelter, rooms at the Quality Inn (next to Moonstones) houses some homeless already ... do we have that many more in Chemsford that we need to provide a permanent place? Not sure, think I may just agree with Maggie on this one.
Anna Bucciarelli January 02, 2013 at 07:51 PM
And we've already discussed this fully in the post about Aubuchon's leaving us ... we all had great ideas and my understanding is that Summer Street is considering all of our ideas ... I'm still hoping for an old-fashioned Italian grocery store with good, crusty, chewey Italian bread, some fresh veggies and fruit ... all that great stuff. My hope springs eternal!
Lenny Banakos January 02, 2013 at 08:04 PM
What we need in our town is a good family restaurant that serves breakfast. A Denny's would be perfect or a IHOP. We already have too may of the other kind of restaurants here already.
Vivian Merrill January 02, 2013 at 08:07 PM
What we need is a bunch of venture capitalists willing to let us use their money to get what we want. Most of these properties are privately owned-the town has no say in what these properties are used for. If someone could put together a workable plan, and find a way to fund it-the first steps are done. Negotiate a deal with the property owner and get it done. Franchises of all types are everywhere-we just need someone who wants to do it for real.
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) January 02, 2013 at 08:39 PM
It would definitely be interesting to compare if Chelmsford was able to do something like that. Cornerstone has been a big topic over the last year in Westford. Half the town loves it, half the town hates it.
Sunny January 02, 2013 at 08:49 PM
There is the Greater Lowell YMCA that offers programs for pre- and teens after school.
Maggie Desmond January 02, 2013 at 09:05 PM
did I mention "Groundhog Day" or am I really in this movie!
Sunny January 02, 2013 at 09:18 PM
It would be great to have a second store of Debra's Natural Foods (W. Concord) in Chelmsford. A great selection of veggies and fruits year around, spices, gluten-free products, vitamins and books are located in this store; lectures and homemade products. There is another natural food store in Groton that might want to start another shop.
Sunny January 02, 2013 at 09:21 PM
It's becoming Framingham and in a few years, the storefronts will be all emptied. The only saving grace is the Littleton Casino and that won't happen!
Sunny January 02, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Remember Ground Round and Lechmere Plaza
Sunny January 02, 2013 at 09:26 PM
In Florida, the Dunkin Donuts are family restaurants, not what you see up here in MA.
Georgia January 02, 2013 at 09:55 PM
To follow up with what Sunny mentioned about the Y being in Lowell - that's all well and good, but unless there is a parent home, or available, to take the kids to Lowell, it is of no use to us, as they will not transport kids from Chelmsford. This does not work for working parents. Having something in town, where they can go - either by walking or taking a school bus, would be a big bonus.
Lisa Carr January 02, 2013 at 10:22 PM
Stop and Shop owns the former site in Chelmsford They are not going to let another grocery store (like Trader Joe's) move into their building
Sunny January 03, 2013 at 01:34 AM
On the topic of YMCA, after-school bus drops off the Lowell kids. I imagine that a special bus could be arranged for Chelmford. Chelmsford Community Ed should work together with YMCA. Does Chelmsford kids get transport to Nashoba Ski Resort? There are large amount of buses after 2PM.
Supersoul January 03, 2013 at 02:05 AM
A bowling alley or roller rink would be something for S&S plaza.
Donna Reed January 03, 2013 at 02:23 AM
It's possible no one has heard..the State is going to stop using hotels and motels for the homeless. It is too costly for taxpayers...and where is it written that Chelmsford is "above" a shelter? We have a food pantry, AND the motels that are housing the homeless now.....and last I knew, we have at least our quota of 40B's, don't we? And Maggie, yes, you did mentione GroundHog Day, but as I'm sure you know, anyone is free to remove themselves from any and all discussions on Patch at any time. No one is required to read OR contribute. These issues come up for healthy discussion, not for us to be ridiculing each other. As for the issues with drugs....that's going on EVERYWHERE....have you never had a child attend the high school OR the Middle Schools in town? We are NOT exempt...And of COURSE any local community center for the kids would HAVE to be VERY closely monitored, but it could be done in such a way that the kids wouldn't feel like they were being "policed"...this town has NOTHING for 13-18 year olds to do, and that may be the reason so many of them are getting into drugs and other types of mischief. I know the cars in my neighborhood have been fodder for the teenagers for quite a few years now. And as Lisa pointed out, S & S DOES still own that plaza, and of course they are not going to rent to a Trader Joes..or any OTHER type of retail food store. The question was simple..what TYPES of businesses do we want in town ? Not necessarily WHERE in town.
Donna Reed January 03, 2013 at 02:58 AM
Supersoul....two GREAT suggestions ! !
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) January 03, 2013 at 04:31 AM
Well, I'm technically required to read them ;-)
Anna Bucciarelli January 03, 2013 at 10:29 AM
I thought so too, then reflected on the 3A strip in Billerica ... is that how we want our town to look? Having said that, I think you are absolutely correct Donna ... our kids do need something of their own but I still maintain that the two newly renovated town hall buildings could offer teen-specific programs on a regular basis ... why not? Isn't that what they are for, to foster quality programs for all? Talking about the S&S property is beating a dead horse and there is no point in even venturing further discussion about it since we all know it falls on deaf ears. Still, a bowling alley/skating rink do sound appealing, just where?
Sunny January 04, 2013 at 12:46 AM
In the past ten years, count how many bowling alleys closed in Central MA? Pool tables and video games are big draw. There are disco alleys in Acton; a lot of problems; McDonald's closed. How many teens use the Chelmsford Forum? May be during summer, it could be used for roller skating. Town needs a bylaw for interminable vacant buildings. Chelmsford should not have to purchase the land to prevent large 40B development or unfavorable plan.
Paul January 04, 2013 at 02:51 AM
What the kids need are their parents' time. People whine that they don't have time to care and watch after their kids. It makes you wonder why they have children. These teen-specific programs you suggest are simply nothing more than a substitute to hiring a baby sitter. Besides, Paul Cohen will not allow anything to be built that does not generate tax revenue. Smart growth... lol.
Anna Bucciarelli January 04, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Paul I couldn't agree with you more, you are so correct, parent/family time is lacking in many homes. Still, you, I and most adults are able to structure our social time because there are options for us that do seem to be lacking for our young kids. I think the library does a fine job but is it asking too much to have, say, a Friday or Saturday night social for teens? Not saying we need to go overboard structuring teen-specific programs, just offer a thing or two that will help foster appropriate social interaction. This thought goes along with my personal gripe about no rec. programs in Chelmsford for or that include dev. disabled individuals in our community, either school-aged or older, and that too is a shame. We should at least consider providing programs for the good of all of us and that includes kids of all stripes. I see your point about the Forum ... that doesn't, however, preclude us from at least using our existing resources to expand to our entire population, kids & disabled in particular. Plenty going on, I think, for tiny ones and adults, why not consider these populations in our planning in the future. They are, after all, the future of Chelmsford, are they not?
Paul Tress January 04, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Why not a terminal for buses to and from Logan and Manchester airports, like the Logan Express?
paul surette January 07, 2013 at 04:44 PM
That, Sunny, is because most in the south consider Dunkin Donuts fine dining :) Does Dunkin serve bisquits & gravy too?
paul surette January 07, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Thank you , Paul....I agree....like I just said in the Malden Patch, parents have kids, but give no forethought about how they will watch over them. Oh, I know, let's build a teen center, and shove them there. What a serious crock of poop! This reasoning is why I'm against tax-funded teen centers. They are just glorified baby-sitters!
Anna Bucciarelli January 07, 2013 at 08:22 PM
Paul ... You're probably right about the baby sitting, in fact I know some folks think of it as respite for themselves when they send their kids off. So, here's a thought: how about a cooperative effort on the part of parents, say they must contribute a certain # of hours as chaperones, do some of the clerical work that may be required, in order for their teens to participate. Seems like a fair exchange and I think it could work. Thing is, I cannot see the town building any facility when we have plenty of space in the two newly renovated buildings, not to mention a great big room in the town's Sr. Center with a stage ... Library uses it during rain storms in the summer for their concert series, it's used for any # of other town functions (and it IS a town building, not owned by the Seniors tho some would like to think so). Last thought for you, Paul, your DD remark had me practically rolling on the floor ... you are a witty soul but I fear for you ... bound to be thought of as more than a funny.
paul surette January 08, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Anna, I think you have a valid idea in where parents who throw there kids into these teen centers, should put in some time there!
Anna Bucciarelli January 08, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Actually, Paul, the idea comes from many years of my participation in my Dev. Dis. son's life. When he was diagnosed as Autistic, no one even knew what it was or what to do with it ... at the time (1968-69) there were no programs, it was thought that only 1 in 10,000 had the syndrome, very different from today, and we were on our own. Took much courage and research on our part to develop programs for him, then years of advocacy and constant voluntary participation in every aspect of his life, and it continues to this day. It paid off for us, he is semi-independent, has worked part time for Poland Springs in their Dracut warehouse since 1992, is their workhorse and they are happy and lucky to have him. I believe very strongly, as I think you must, that parents must involve themselves in all areas of their kids' lives, "normal" as well as those like my son who struggles through each day but makes it because he is supported by us (me, now, since my husband recently passed away). All kids face trials and parents have to realize that they are their primary teachers and supporters and never be absent from their lives and be ever vigilant about where and how and with whom their children spend time. Life is full of a number of things, nothing is ever really easy but in the end, we do what we must.
paul surette January 08, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Anna, I wasn't aware that your husband died. I'm sorry for that. My nephew, who is now 23, has OCD. My sister, who is a saint in the dedication department, oversaw almost all of his education, right through until he graduated from Umass-Lowell. So, I can relate to what you've gone through, as far as being involved, and I salute you!
Anna Bucciarelli January 08, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Thank you Paul ... would love to meet your sis, kudos to her ... I find my best and closest friends are the ones who have struggled with adverse conditions, i.e., kids with problems.


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