Mall Sign

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Mall Sign

Postby RBarnes » Thu May 24, 2012 12:50 pm

http://merrimack.patch.com/articles/wha ... o-10047629

Mall sign is up. Stands out on the hilltop like a sore thumb.

I can see it clearly from the building I'm working it cutting into the landscape, I can only imagine how bad it's going to look when it's lit up.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby MMK » Thu May 24, 2012 10:35 pm

RBarnes wrote:http://merrimack.patch.com/articles/what-is-the-address-for-the-merrimack-premium-outlets#photo-10047629

Mall sign is up. Stands out on the hilltop like a sore thumb.

I can see it clearly from the building I'm working it cutting into the landscape, I can only imagine how bad it's going to look when it's lit up.


I have to disagree with you Rick. With all of the gloom and doom that Jamie cast about the sign proposal, I have to say the sky didn't fall. It clearly points towards the highway, well away from the neighborhoods, and I think they did a tasteful job with it.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby JMac1000 » Fri May 25, 2012 6:20 am

MMK wrote:
RBarnes wrote:http://merrimack.patch.com/articles/what-is-the-address-for-the-merrimack-premium-outlets#photo-10047629

Mall sign is up. Stands out on the hilltop like a sore thumb.

I can see it clearly from the building I'm working it cutting into the landscape, I can only imagine how bad it's going to look when it's lit up.


I have to disagree with you Rick. With all of the gloom and doom that Jamie cast about the sign proposal, I have to say the sky didn't fall. It clearly points towards the highway, well away from the neighborhoods, and I think they did a tasteful job with it.


Yes. I have to say it is far better than I had expected, and that I don't mind admitting I believe I was wrong about the sign. I am not sure what this will look like, lit up, as its over 1500 square feet. However, I am very pleased that this is not able to be seen from the neighborhoods as far as I can see. i am still very disappointed with the lack of tree buffering and screening between the neighborhood and the mall. There are some homes that have almost no tree density and you can see the parking lot, and when phase 2 is built, buildings will be built very close to the 100 ft buffer. Not a single tree has been planted to increase the buffer density. During the Planning process I kept hearing about berms, trees plantings ect. To date, I see nothing!

Despite being wrong, I do think you need to look at the bigger picture. The Town Planning Board approved a sign that was more than 1000% larger than our standard regulations. Any other large retail or commercial operation that chooses to locate in the vicinity of the Mall, and they will, will expect signage just as large to be seen from the highway and the surrounds. The board has set a bad precedent here. If they deny a similar size sign in the same area, they will set up grounds for litigation against the town. Why should the mall have something far larger than, perhaps some other large big box store next door or nearby? My underlying is is that a few signs of this magnitude and you talking about a pretty unsightly look for that area of town.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby Jimbo » Fri May 25, 2012 9:29 am

Only the letters will be visible, and only by LED. This is gonna be a minimum lighted sign. No giant spotlights to light up the neighborhood. In the end, they, I am sure will still plant trees and bushes, but gotta get it open first. In the end, there's no stopping it now. :D
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby timothy dutton » Fri May 25, 2012 9:53 am

According to the Community Development Director, All plantings must be in place before they are given their permits to open.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby FromMerrimack » Fri May 25, 2012 5:22 pm

I went through all of the adjacent neighborhoods today and couldn't even see the back side of the sign (not lighted of course). So far, for me, much ado about nothing! Further - with all the leaves out now I saw no sight of the mall. Am I missing a 'buffer' failure?
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby JMac1000 » Fri May 25, 2012 11:05 pm

FromMerrimack wrote:I went through all of the adjacent neighborhoods today and couldn't even see the back side of the sign (not lighted of course). So far, for me, much ado about nothing! Further - with all the leaves out now I saw no sight of the mall. Am I missing a 'buffer' failure?


From Merrimack,

I could not agree with you more. As I stated in my note earlier today, I was wrong, and truly thought the sign would be far more intrusive than it is. Even when its lit, I now do not expect it to be burdensome. I did mention the Planning Board is walking down a slippery slope by approving that sign which was over 1000% larger than standard town regulations. WIth more spillover development expected, like IKEA or something, the new commercial neighbors to the mall will expect similar treatment for signage, which could make the area pretty unsightly

The buffering is very disappointing and far worse then promised. Issues exist, for example, in the areas of Englewood Drive and I believe 24-30 Whittier Rd, the backyard of those homes have a clear view of the parking lots. Furthermore, what you see now is not the end product by any means. This is phase 1. Phase 2, which is expected to be built rather quickly will add 50 more stores and four more buildings in the very rear of the property closest to the neighborhoods. Also there will be 3 or 4 restaurants and a possible hotel added behind Cedar Lane and Spruce Street. So while no buildings can be seen as of yet, the overall project is far from over. If fact, when you consider what is left, the project is just barely half constructed and the future buildings will be far closer to the homes. We will not know the true maximum impact for some time. They are also constructing a parking garage toward the rear of the property. However I have heard that may be underground. If you drive into the low numbers of Whittier Rd from the areas closest to exit 11, you can actually see parking lot from your car as you go around the bend. However, the backyards in the areas I mentioned have very clear view lines. There was an expectation that the buffer would be strengthened with more trees to provide density. This never happened. In the back of Englewood, they cut out an about 80 ft width of trees leading to the mall. They were supposed to cut out 40ft width to allow for the sewer lines which hooked up to the Whittier Neighborhood lines. This is the area they area required to plant some trees to narrow the width. However, I am not aware of any tree planting in the other areas I mentioned.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby Stan Heinrich » Sat May 26, 2012 9:51 am

The sign appears to be tastefully done.
Driving north on the Everett Turnpike you cannot see the sign until you have passed the exit 10 ramp.
Going south you cannot see the sign at all unless you take your eyes off the road and look hard right.
Looks like a ground sign is going to be put up on the southbound side.
There is a Premium Outlets billboard on the norhtbound side of route 3 just after exit 2 in Nashua.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby Tom Mahon » Sat May 26, 2012 12:38 pm

The draft traffic plan calls for numerous changeable electric signs, north and south, on the turnpike to direct motorists to Exit 10 for the mall. After the intervention of the town manager with the Governor's office, both DRED and NHDOT have signed off on temporary special signs for the mall to be placed on the turnpike. Don't know if they will be up in time for the opening.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby Brian McCarthy » Wed May 30, 2012 7:48 am

The sign must be huge if you are at its base. From old Rt 3 its visible as you come into sight of the BAE building and pretty much all the way up to the industrial drive intersection. Viewing something over the tree tops makes it look huge but its not on huge stilts - its on top of a clif!

The lighting will be interesting.

The southbound sign near the Turnpike is also in place - low to the ground their only issue with that will be when the snow banks show up (which didn't happen last year!) I expect it will quickly not be visible from the road.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby JMac1000 » Wed May 30, 2012 8:09 am

Brian McCarthy wrote:The sign must be huge if you are at its base. From old Rt 3 its visible as you come into sight of the BAE building and pretty much all the way up to the industrial drive intersection. Viewing something over the tree tops makes it look huge but its not on huge stilts - its on top of a clif!

The lighting will be interesting.

The southbound sign near the Turnpike is also in place - low to the ground their only issue with that will be when the snow banks show up (which didn't happen last year!) I expect it will quickly not be visible from the road.



Brian,

From what I understand the entire sign will not be lit, and this is not going to give you a neon look. I believe the letters will be lit up only, if I am not mistaken, and if this is the case, it should not be too bad. I thought the purpose of the sign was to create visbility form the FET. I cannot see this sign from the Turnpike at all, until I get off exit 10. Its good that the TM was able to work with the state to have temporary electrnic signs on the Turnpike. However, its unfortunate these would not be in place. However, I suppose if the shoppers just "follow the cars" they will get there.....Eventually.

One another note, Is it true the 650k negotiated in the development agreement for the Fire/Safety has never showed up?
Last edited by JMac1000 on Wed May 30, 2012 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby Tom Mahon » Wed May 30, 2012 9:53 am

Jamie,
It is NOT true that the $650K has never shown up. There was never a requirement that it be paid at the time of the signing of the management agreement. Per the management agreement, it is a condition of receiving the Occupancy Permit that the money be transferred to the town. Simon properties is processing the check through their accounting system as I write this. Once all of the OP punch list items are complete, all that is left is the receipt of the money. Simon is quite aware of the condition and they will meet the requirement.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby JMac1000 » Wed May 30, 2012 10:25 am

Tom Mahon wrote:Jamie,
It is NOT true that the $650K has never shown up. There was never a requirement that it be paid at the time of the signing of the management agreement. Per the management agreement, it is a condition of receiving the Occupancy Permit that the money be transferred to the town. Simon properties is processing the check through their accounting system as I write this. Once all of the OP punch list items are complete, all that is left is the receipt of the money. Simon is quite aware of the condition and they will meet the requirement.


Tom,

You started by telling me it was "Not True that the 650k has never shown up", and then you went on by telling me it has not shown up.....This is not a false statement, but you attempted to make it appear as such. .I only brought it up because I saw that several of the members on the Planning Board discussed this durinng their meeting of 05/15, and mentioned there were 21 punch list items. and the 650k was questioned. They were questioning it, not me, and I am sure it will come in. However, to date it has not.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby Brian McCarthy » Thu May 31, 2012 7:07 am

...back to the sign...

visibility from FE heading north.... I have to agree - exit 8 was not an option last night so I headed to 10 and I could not see the sign at all until I was on the exit ramp for 10 - not sure about exit 11 - and all that means is more people having to loop around.

Someone commented to me last night that they are surprised there has not been a lot more PR relating to the opening.

Heck, i have not seen a ribfest sign yet either.
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Re: Mall Sign

Postby Debra Huffman » Thu May 31, 2012 8:18 am

In Mass, there's a big billboard sign that announces the opening day. Heading north on Rt 3/Ev Turnpike, it's a few exits before the NH border. Perhaps they're focusing their advertising dollars on Mass shoppers.
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