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Dollar Tree Distribution Center Proves Massive as Building Takes Shape

As the walls of Dollar Tree's 1-million-square-foot distribution center off of Rainbow Road go up, it has become crystal clear exactly how big a 1-million-square-foot building is.

One million square feet of concrete sound large when presented as a blue print, but the materialization of such a building has changed the landscape of Windsor's Rainbow section as Dollar Tree's distribution center looks to impress in size and revenue to the town.

By comparison, Dollar Tree's distribution center is larger than some of the most-widely known buildings in the region.

When complete, the distribution center will encompass 1 million square feet (not including space needed for parking) of space and will tower roughly 40 feet tall.

Fenway Park's green monster stands just over 37 feet tall.

Rentschler Field, the football home of the UConn Huskies, comes in at just under 600,000 square feet, including the field and seats in the stadium.

What do you think of the distribution center's size? Is it bigger than you imagined?

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Mike Wright October 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM
I would say some bread and very little butter. I work for a non-profit corporation that tears down some truly awful urban public housing put up 50-60 years ago to warehouse poor folks and we redevelop the properties into medium density mixed use buildings for those same folks that are necessarily simple, but valued. It's through this work that I've become familiar with the planning processes around the country. I know you feel that the P&Z regs here in Windsor let you down, but after reading them, they are actually quite well written. The issue of size that you folks are struggling with is due to the extraordinary size of the property which is controls the maximum permitted size of the building. Again, this is Monday morning quarterbacking, but when the landowner applied for rezoning with the town, that would have been the time to insist on subdividing the property. You might have seen the same area of building on the property, but it would at least be spread out over a number of separate buildings, more akin to the buildings on Rainbow road.
Bob Wallick October 24, 2012 at 12:39 AM
This massive structure violates the Windsor Plan of Conservation and Development that was published in November of 2011. The POCD states "Improve Windsor's existing housing as well as the pattern and quality of new development to maintain housing diversity; bring housing values into balance with regional values; create more livable neighborhoods; and enhance the quality of life for all Windsor residents." I don't see how this could possibly enhance the quality of life for any Windsor residents or bring the neighboring house values into balance with regional values. The POCD also states under the heading Guide Housing and Residential Development "Eliminate Zoning Conflicts" and illustrates it with an image of this site. This is a 23 acre building...let me say this again...23 acres. How does putting up a building this size Elliminate a Zoning Conflict. Did anyone on the TPZ really think about the size or the impact on the residents? Have they seen it? Would they want it in their backyard or in their neighborhood?
Mike Wright October 24, 2012 at 12:43 AM
You raise a valid issue with your first point. That is likely to be a problem. As for keeping employees from using Winterwood, if it's a public street, i.e. the town trucks plow it in the winter, then you can't.
Catherine & Dennis October 24, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Good points Bob. And no, they wouldnt have it in their front yard, side yard or backyard -they live in the CENTER of town. That is the problem -there is no concern for those that do have to live with it because it does not affect them.Just words of wisdom that we didnt want any building there. I do not recall any of the residents here ever saying that at one single meeting. THIS building is too large for the site and does not belong on the edge of residential-even if edge means inbetween homes and with homes across a narrow RESIDENTIAL street. That is the sad fact. Any one that watches the meetings on line that brought us to this would likely have the same thoughts I have had- it would make a good comedy to sell to the networks. Just send them copies of the meetings for the script. You just can't make that stuff up. There are plenty of others that will yet be victims in Windsor and those are the ones that should learn from this debacle and speak out now. The agricultural area Bill speaks of, that is likely going to be sold for more industry. It is interesting to review who owns the residential plot that is currently land locked in that area. As for being too late to assist those in the area with a decent buffer....not true, trees could be planted more densly on either side of the street. Tax dollars after all, $90k of them, went to enhance our lives via horseshoes!
Catherine & Dennis October 24, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Another issue Mike brings up is if there is no required screening from homes as close as this structure, it would seem very hard to enforce it on anyone else in the future. ie -the limo guy that wanted to have a business on Day Hill Road -he was told he had to screen his limos from other businesses...he should not have to ....or as I suggested at the time, take his clients to weddings in tractor trailers and he would be all set.

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