Chelsea leaders review results of retail connectivity study

CHELSEA – Chelsea boasts a variety of businesses along the U.S. 280 corridor, and as the city grows in population, its leaders are considering how to better connect the different retail areas to each other.

Representatives from architecture and engineering firm Goodwyn Mills Cawood gave a presentation during the Chelsea City Council’s Feb. 2 precouncil meeting regarding the Chesser Drive APPLE Study, which looked at connectivity among three retail clusters in the city through the lens of current and future infrastructure.

“The challenge of going from one cluster to another is 280,” said Keith Strickland, a project manager with Goodwyn Mills Cawood. “Our overall goal is to get connectivity off 280 among these three clusters.”

Strickland said the main retail cluster is located off Chesser Drive and includes Tractor Supply, while the other two clusters include Walmart and Publix.

Regarding the main retail cluster, Strickland said the study focused on an eastern connector starting on Chesser Drive and extending to Walgreens and Advance Auto Parts before eventually connecting to Old Highway 280, along with a western connector running in front of Tractor Supply.

The eastern connector presents more challenges with factors such as terrain and utilities than the western connector and is expected to be more expensive, according to Strickland.

“Part of this study is designed to help us understand: Is this a good candidate for federal funds?” he said, noting the project is currently estimated to cost about $3 million.

The City Council has not set a specific time frame for when a final decision will be made regarding the project, including whether federal funding, state funding or both will be pursued.