We were pleased to see more than 300 people attend our recent public forum on the revitalization of the Hanover Mall on August 9th. It was a unique opportunity to speak with residents, explain our plans in greater detail, and answer questions about our vision for bringing a mixed-use project to life in Hanover.
But after reading the August 18 editorial in the Patriot Ledger, “Where are young families going to live?” it is clear more clarification is needed.
The editorial criticizes PECO Real Estate Partners (PREP) for failing to disclose the plans for 297 apartments last year during the TIF (Tax Increment Financing) approval process, while, at the same time, recognizing the importance of including a residential component in our mall revitalization plan. The editorial states “…the company should have told the town there might have to be something in addition to shopping at Hanover Crossing.”
But as a matter of fact, PREP did inform the community there might be additional uses at Hanover Crossing – the kind of product that would enhance and be complementary to the retail, dining and entertainment options envisioned for the mall.
In a Jan. 18, 2017 Hanover Mariner article (“Big Changes in Store at The Hanover Mall”), PREP’s chief development officer Mark Wilhoite said “…all possibilities are on the table, including multi-family housing, assisted living and offices.” He went on to explain “It will predominantly be retail, but we’re not ruling out any other type of uses that may go into the project.”
PREP couldn’t have told the public about the plans for 297 units at the time of the Town Meeting vote because those plans did not exist. It wasn’t until several weeks after the TIF passed that The Hanover Company approached PREP with a proposal for luxury residential units.
However, from the start of this process, PREP made it very clear that something would one day occupy the nine-acre parcel. The possibility of making this a mixed-use development was stated publicly and often, and any claims to the contrary just aren’t true.
PREP bought the Hanover Mall two years ago because it knows the property has great potential and is eager to continue our investment in both the mall and the community. Throughout this process, PREP has met with town officials, residents, business leaders, abutters, and held public forums to be as transparent and open as possible. PREP recently launched a project website (www.thehanovercrossing.com) so residents have an additional way to get information and ask questions. At no point did we deceive the public or withhold information–something the local media should know because they reported on the potential for mixed-use nearly two years ago.
We look forward to continued conversations and believe this is a project of which the entire community will be proud.
– Lloyd Sova, VP of Development at PREP