Cambridge Plaza slated for new owners, renovation

MD-Cambridge Plaza is reborn_3x aerial

Dorchester Banner/Fairchild Properties LLC
New owners for Cambridge Plaza, and a major overhaul of the long-abandoned K-Mart building are planned for the Route 50 shopping center. An artists’ rendition of the new “Cambridge Marketplace” shows the extent of the planned redesign.

CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge Plaza, long identified by its empty parking lot and closed-down K-Mart store, is poised to be reborn, according to the Cambridge City Economic Development Department. News of the transfer of ownership of the property was released last week, when marketing information for the new plaza also went online.

Since 2001 the Cambridge Plaza has been owned by William Rickman Jr., of Rockville. The new owners of the property will be Fairchild Properties, LLC, and the final settlement on Cambridge Plaza is expected to be completed by April of 2016.

According to Mary Calloway, of the Economic Development Department, their office began working with Fairchild Properties, LLC, in July of 2015. After meeting with Fairchild principles, Charlie and Sue Fairchild, EDD staff assisted to coordinate their next steps in the disposition of the property.

“The Fairchild representatives are very excited about the project,” stated Mary Calloway of the Cambridge EDD, “They are thrilled.”

Cambridge City Planning and Zoning and the City Engineer have also been involved in the planning process, which will include demolition of the former Fresh & Greens supermarket building, the China Buffet, and the old Department of Social Services office building east of the Fresh & Greens building. Final plans are tentative, but the planning so far has also included demolition and re-design of the front of the K-Mart building, if not outright demolition and a new rebuild.

The State Highway Administration is also involved in the planning, as a new access eliminating the current access road that parallels US Rt. 50 has been proposed. The new access plan is desired to improve entrance and exit from the shopping center.

When asked about potential conflict with downtown merchants, Ms. Calloway replied that new development of Cambridge Plaza “can only complement Main Street. If the US Rt. 50 corridor looks better, it will entice people to stop, and in the process become more familiar with Cambridge.”

“I am very excited about this project, and the impact it can have on the community,” said Ms. Calloway.

Fairchild Properties have been actively marketing the new project, primarily through the Sierra US Commercial Real Estate company. They have hinted that they already have two new tenants signed up for the new shopping center, and one more in negotiation, although the names of the new retailers have not been released.

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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