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News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, July 5, 2018
Public hearing to consider plan to relocate Blue Hill Co-op

Raising for relocation

A design of the planned new Blue Hill Co-op store on South Street will have parking for more than 70 vehicles, indoor/outdoor seating for 88, and 6,700 square feet of retail space.

Photo courtesy of Blue Hill Co-op

by Anne Berleant

Final plans for a new Blue Hill Co-op on South Street will be reviewed first by the public and then by the planning board on Monday, July 9, at town hall. A regular meeting of the planning board follows, when the board may approve the application and issue a building permit.

The Co-op plans to break ground on its new store site after Labor Day.

“We are very encouraged by the tremendous support we have thus far received from the Blue Hill Co-op community,” General Manager Kevin Gadsby said.

Bruce Stahnke of Brooksville firm Stahnke + Kitagawa Architects will represent the co-op at the hearing. He first presented plans to the planning board two years ago in a pre-site plan review process. The design contains:

11,988 total square feet
7,014 retail and café square feet
88 indoor and outdoor seating

72-car parking lot
A “comprehensive landscaping design plan” is also part of the application, Gadsby said, and crosswalk plans include paths from Blue Hill Harbor School and Bay School. The parking lot will be on the side of the building, with street-side sidewalks part of a larger design plan and grant application submitted to Maine Department of Transportation by Blue Hill Community Development.

The co-op first began its relocation effort in 2012, through a purchase option on the 5.5-acre South Street parcel that it purchased in 2014. The co-op has since raised over $1.1 million in its first phase, a large portion through member investment shares in 2017.

“In order to achieve our stated goals, there is still a great deal of work ahead of us,” Gadsby said.

A soft June 2019 opening is planned, followed by a grand opening the next month. E.L. Shea of Ellsworth is the general contractor.

Public Hearing
Blue Hill Co-op’s proposed South Street store
Monday, July 9, 7 p.m., at town hall