Walmart presents 1st plans for Falmouth expansion, demolition of cinema

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FALMOUTH — Walmart presented plans to expand into the Regal Cinemas space on Route 1 at Tuesday evening’s Planning Board meeting.

The expansion would increase the size of the store from 84,000 square feet to 124,000 square feet by razing the Regal Cinemas building and expanding into that footprint, as well as adding space to square off the back of the building.

In the sketch plan, the store’s lawn and garden facility would shrink, from 8,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet.

The expansion, which was announced last November, has generated debate. The Town Council narrowly voted down zoning changes that would have set a maximum footprint for buildings on Route 1, and would likely have limited Walmart’s expansion.

Around that same time, a survey of residents and business owners, found that 63 percent of the 332 respondents favored maximum footprint limits in the business district, while only 28.6 percent did not.

Regal Cinemas has not responded to many requests for comment on the proposed demolition of its Falmouth building. Employees of the multi-plex, including manager Jennifer Therrien, said they have not heard anything from the corporate office on the issue. Therrien referred all comments to her bosses, who, again, did not respond to requests for comment.

Walmart’s sketch plan presentation is an informal first step in the planning process.

The expansion is subject to the state’s Informed Growth Act, which means the company will need to do an economic impact study and submit the results of that with the site plan.

The Planning Board will then evaluate whether the expansion will have an undue impact on the town.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or Follow her on Twitter: @emilyparkhurst.