Windham has a variety of zones that can accommodate commercial real estate development and businesses. Below is a summary of the zones that offer opportunities for commercial real estate development for retail, office, manufacturing, warehousing and agricultural uses.
C1 – Commercial Zone: This zone is designed to provide general retail sales, services and business space within the town in locations capable of conveniently servicing community-wide and/or regional trade areas, with safe, well-regulated automobile access and pedestrian access where appropriate.
A sample of permitted uses include; agriculture, retail sales automotive and outdoor, private warehousing, business and professional office, light and heavy industry, child care, construction services, hotel, motel, multi-family housing and housing for older persons, restaurant, bank, drive-through, convention center and auto repair.
The C1 Commercial Zone is in many ways the Downtown of Windham. The Comprehensive Plan, 21st Century Downtown Plan and the WEDC Strategic Plan encourage having people live and work in the downtown. As an example, a new development on Anglers Road and Rt. 302 is close to receiving final approvals for multi-family housing in the C1 Zone.
C2 – Commercial Zone: The intent of this district is to provide for a mixed commercial and residential zone as a buffer zone between the C1 Commercial Zone and the abutting residential areas.
A sample of permitted uses include; agriculture, fitness center, theater, restaurant, medical office, housing for older persons, recreational facility, motel, hotel, club, bank, convention center and drive thru.
C3 – Commercial Zone: The intent of the C3 Commercial Zone is to provide areas for a mixture of light, low-traffic generating commercial uses and single-family housing.
The biggest news about the C3 Commercial Zone is the recent addition of Contractor Services being allowed in the zone. This recent change as approved by the Windham Town Council, will allow tradesman like electricians, plumbers, carpenters, etc., to operate their contractor services businesses in the C3 Commercial Zone.
Historically, the zone has accommodated agriculture, business and professional office, service business landscaping, private warehousing, public warehousing, childcare and many home occupations.
I – Industrial District: The intent of the Industrial District is for manufacturing, processing, treatment, research, warehousing, storage and distribution.
This zone allows agriculture, distribution center, industry light, industry heavy, mineral extraction, warehousing private, warehousing public, truck terminal and some home occupations to name a few. The Industrial Zone appears to be good candidate for adding Contractor Services and Construction Services.
Enterprise Development Zone: The intent of the ED Zone is to provide a unique area within the town to allow manufacturing, processing, treatment, warehousing, storage, research and distribution with safe, well regulated vehicle access located off a major street.
Some of the permitted uses in the zone include, auction house, automobile auction facility, business and professional office, construction services, convention center, hotel, motel, light and heavy industry, warehousing private and warehousing public.
One of the biggest challenges in this zone is that it is accessed from Rt. 302 via Enterprise Drive, a non-signalized intersection. Windham could certainly use help from stakeholders such as our town leaders and staff, legislators, business and real estate owners and their employees, residents and others to seek a partnership with the MDOT to make a signalized light at Enterprise Drive a reality.
From an economic development perspective, there could be tens of millions in investment in this massive business park site if we only had a signalized light. A light would dramatically improve ingress and egress a well as make that intersection a lot safer for all as well. And, it seems like agriculture would be a good candidate for this zone, especially for large scale agricultural operations.
Village Commercial Zone: The intent of this zone is to serve as a primarily residential area with a mix of stores, services and commercial enterprises. Several properties in this zone actually have access to public sewer, while the rest of town is served by private septic systems.
This zone allows agricultural, artist studio, assisted living facility, business and professional office, childcare, construction services, fitness center, medical office, light industry, restaurant, retail and sales and personal and commercial service businesses.
As a commercial real estate professional, I strongly recommend talking with town staff and other industry professionals before making a decision and/or a commitment to lease or buy commercial property in Windham or anywhere else.
Larry Eliason, Commercial Broker, www.ButtsCommercialBrokers.com