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Freeport market owner plans major expansion if street is extended

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Freeport market owner plans major expansion if street is extended

FREEPORT — Adam and Sheila Nappi on Tuesday night showed neighbors conceptual plans to triple the size of the Bow Street Market.

Their plan depends on an extension of School Street.

Nearly 70 residents attended the meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn and learned about plans to build a new market with four, two-bedroom apartments above. The apartments are a requirement of the mixed-use zoning passed several years ago.

The new market will have a 15,000-square-foot footprint, but would be disguised from the street by the slope of the land. Architect James Pelsor of Augusta's Bunker and Savage Architects said the market is in the style of a New England farmhouse and barn. From Bow Street, the public will see a single-story building in keeping with other houses in the neighborhood, he said.

"We don't want to lose the character of the market, but we want to grow," Nappi said. "It will still be alive with the things and people you know. This will still be Bow Street Market, not Shaw's."

Nappi said his customers have asked for more daily essentials and more produce. He said he expects the business to double – not by gaining new customers, but by increasing the variety of goods sold.

The plan is to keep the current 5,200-square-foot market and run the distribution business out of the basement. There will be two apartments upstairs, and eventually, Nappi said he would like to see local businesses use the main floor of the shop.

The third piece of the plan is the School Street extension, a critical piece of the Bow Street development.

Nappi said discussions surrounding the street extension have been going on for 10 years. The expansion is crucial to his plan, he said, will connect the neighborhoods and allow for better traffic flow.

"The extension of School Street is imperative to the expansion of the market," he said. "Without the extension this wouldn't be a success. Research shows the development will not go forward without the extension."

Nappi said he will pay to build the road extension in exchange for a tax increment financing district designation that would allow him some future tax revenue generated by the new value of the developed land. He said the cost of the expansion has yet to be determined.

"This will be a completely public process," he said. "There will be hearings and presentations and opportunities for people to voice their opinion, and the Town Council will ultimately make a decision."

As they did at meetings earlier this year about School Street extension, residents expressed concern about speeding in their neighborhoods, the fear of increased truck traffic and the possibility of light and noise pollution.

Nappi said he is committed to help financially and politically to keep the neighborhoods safe, and to reduce speeding.

"This is the start to a long process," he said. "Our goal is to open the new market in 2011."

The conceptual plans will be presented to the Project Review Board Wednesday, Jan. 13, at Town Hall. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and Nappi encouraged the residents to take their concerns to the board.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net