Business and Growth Greater Gardner MA Local News
Business-Growth Around Greater Gardner MA
- Keep Gardner Beautiful (10/1/2022)
Dianne “Neon” Leblanc in TV Interview with Gardner Magazine on Successful Event October 1, 2022
Dianne Leblanc and many volunteers helped Keep Gardner MA Beautiful on October 1, 2022. Weather cooperated for the annual event which once again attracted civic-minded individuals to do their part in cleaning up the Chair City. Gardner Magazine interviewed Dianne in an uplifting Go Forward with Gardner interview on the event and Gardner’s future. Watch the video by clicking play or listen to the AUDIO on any device.
- Community Center (9/29/2022)
Gardner Community Center Moves Closer to Reality in Gardner MA
From a Press Release from Gardner City Hall, we learned that “Gardner Mayor Mike Nicholson, City Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas, State Representative Jonathan Zlotnik, and the leaders of community organizations will meet at the front doors of Waterford Street School to announce the future plans for the building on MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2022, at 10:00am. The City will be converting the school into a new Community Center to house different service organizations that currently serve the City’s residents. This new move will allow all organizations to grow their services they provide to the City and collaborate in new ways among each other.”
The building became available because students who would have gone there this year are going to the new Gardner Elementary School. Approval of the Gardner City Council is still required.
Complete Press Release, CLICK HERE
- Public Safety Committee 9-28-22 (9/28/2022)
Watch the meeting on YouTube or listen to it here, playable on any device.
This is an important meeting to listen to as there are several issues discussed which concern Gardner Citizens.
Gardner MA Public Safety Committee Hears From Building, Police, and Health Departments at September 28, 2022 Meeting
In an information-packed session, the Gardner Public Safety Committee consisting of Councilors James Boone, Karen Hardern, and Chairman Craig Cormier heard from Building Commissioner Roland Jean, Police Chief McAvene, and Public Health Director Lauren Saunders.
Building Commissioner Roland Jean: He stated that 841 building permits have been issued this year. He spoke of the threat of a recession and rising interest rates. Jean stated that the search to fill a local inspector’s job continues as first applicant was not deemed qualified and 2nd applicant withdrew upon hearing salary amount. The Building Department is also looking for a custodian. Jean reported that they were at School Street School again yesterday for another break-in and stated he hopes the bid goes out for that building soon. The Courts have sent the issue of Park Street Development back to the Zoning Board who will hear the matter on October 20, 2022.
Police Chief Eric McAvene: The Chief spoke of staffing issues and about the training of new officers. Currently the Department has a shortage of 5 officers which will be up to 7 by February. With respect to donations for K-9 Rocky, “the generosity of the community has been flabbergasting, truthfully.” Animal Control also has staffing issues due to injury and illness. Councilor Karen Hardern spoke of speeders being a problem since the Pleasant Street Bridge has been open, stating that “Greenwood Street is like a racetrack.” .
Public Health Director Lauren Saunders: The Director gave a Prevention update speaking of September being Recovery Month. A Prevention Conference will be held at City Hall this year on October 21, 2022. Saunders went on to discuss issues with the pumps at the landfill. A company was out there in the past week and looked at all the pumps. The inspector called it the cadillac of pump systems, however he concluded that the system has been neglected and the maintenance has been shoddy. According to Saunders, “It’s kind of a mess.” The Director stated she will be asking for a maintenance line in her budget which she says does not currently exist. Saunders will be asking for some free cash to take care of the problem as soon as possible and says she has already spoken of the problem with the Mayor. Cost: $100,000 to $200,000 to bring in to full compliance. “This is a big need….We can’t ignore it.” The Director spoke of housing issues, litter enforcement, and the upcoming textile ban. Keep Gardner Beautiful Cleanup is this Saturday, October 1st. Covid cases are up again, Gardner’s positivity rate is higher than the State average, and FREE test kits are still available.
Councilor Karen Harden Comments Regarding Public’s reaction to first-day traffic at Elementary School.
“You go on the internet and you see everybody complaining. …the first day…I just want to say you did a fabulous job, and a lot of times, people, if they’re not complaining, I’m so sorry, they’re not happy.”
Listen to meeting on any device. Just click Play.
- GHS Construction (9/28/2022)
Chips, Soda, and Convenient Potty on Their Way to Gardner MA.
Mayor Nicholson posted a photo and stated, “The construction of the concession stand and bathroom building at Watkins Field at Gardner High School has begun. “
- Conservation (9/27/2022)
- Molina in Gardner (9/27/2022)
Tony Molina of Molina Realty Group Investing in Gardner MA
Tony Molina says he bought the Gardner News Building just under a year ago and recently has begun to undertake renovation of the building and going through the permitting process. He expects to close on the Bank of America Building by the end of October. He also recently purchased the land on which the restaurant Gabby’s Place is located.
- Successful Festival (9/24/2022)
Gardner MA Fabulous Fall Festival – Oktoberfest Success in Photos
Hundreds upon hundreds of people attended the September 24, 2022 event in Gardner Massachusetts. Complete Gallery of over 110 photos, CLICK HERE.
The Chair Luge
Gardner Ale House Owner Rick Walton stated that the Chair Luge crowd was the largest ever in its history. There were over a dozen contestants racing their various versions of a Chair Luge. First place: Gene’s Green Mean Machine Second Place: The Knievels Third Place: Gardner Ten Pins
The entire day’s Festival/Oktoberfest event ran from 10am to about 9pm.
The Oktoberfest taking place at the Gardner Ale House included the Moonlighter challenge in which the contestant is challenged with a device and attempts to maneuver the beer to be able to get at least a sip, thus claiming a free beer. More photos in the Complete Gallery, CLICK HERE
The Beer Tent and various other vendors are seen in the Complete Gallery.
The Food Trucks were busy including the Ice Cream Lady at Pops Sweet-Harts, Tata’s Fonda, and Simmy’s Polish Express. People seemed to enjoy the food. And of course, lots more food was to be had at the German Beer Garden at Gardner Ale House.
Hundreds and hundreds enjoyed the food in Downtown Gardner MA.
Merchants will now be getting ready for Gardner’s 100th Christmas Season as a City – Make It a Downtown Christmas coming soon….
One of the popular businesses frequented by Fabulous Fall Festival goers was Dot Line Curve Creations on Parker Street, a relatively new Gardner MA business. Other popular spots were the Velvet Goose and John’s Sport Shop. More photos in the Complete Gallery, CLICK HERE.
The Music Entertainment Ranged from a Bavarian Orchestra at the Oktoberfest to a One Man Singing Ensemble of Favorites on Main Street
Hundreds turned out to hear the music in Gardner on September 24, 2022.
An unfortunate incident did occur. Around 1pm, a vehicle accident occurred due to a medical issue. In our photo gallery, you’ll see the quick response from Gardner, Fire, Police, and Ambulance personnel. The driver was taken to Heywood Hospital. Driver is not shown in photos, just the vehicle and Public Safety Response. It has been reported that the driver is deceased. Our condolences to the family.
- Mayor’s Update 9-23-22 (9/24/2022)
Watch the Mayor’s Update on the City of Gardner’s YouTube page or on our Mayor’s Update page, CLICK HERE. Or, listen right here, playable on any device.
A Celebratory Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Addresses the Chair City
The Mayor was full of thanks, congratulations, and reflection on a successful couple of years. However, he began by thanking those who came out to the Hispanic Heritage Event this past week and said he looks “forward to seeing how we can continue to grow that event year after year.”
Mayor Nicholson congratulated the organizations which have had ribbon cuttings. He mentioned the ground breaking ceremony for the new Surgical Pavilion at Heywood Hospital and the dedication of Yavorsky Way.
Nicholson reminded everyone about the Fabulous Fall Festival and Oktoberfest Saturday, September 24, 2022 in Downtown Gardner, and thanked those involved in the event’s organization. See other article, CLICK HERE. New this year will be a segment called New Kids on the Block to recognize all the new businesses which have opened up and the Mayor went through a big list of the new businesses and of the buildings which have been purchased for renovation.
The Mayor also mentioned the Recovery Event taking place Friday, September 23, 2022 at 5pm in Perry Auditorium at Gardner City Hall featuring guest speaker Brandon Novak and told of the Domestic Violence Vigil taking place October 3rd at 6pm on the front steps of City Hall.
Mayor Nicholson spoke of the pulverizing of Kendall Street and Warwick Street and the continuing paving work in the Douglas and Robillard Street area.
Listen to the update on any device by clicking Play.
Interested in coming to Gardner? Contact the helpful folks at Economic Development. CLICK HERE.
- Win… Win.. (9/23/2022)
Gardner Magazine Releases Downtown Gardner Win Win Song and Narrative to celebrate the Fabulous Fall Festival and Oktoberfest. Play on any device.
- Downtown (9/23/2022)
Saturday, October 24, 2022 is it! The Fabulous Fall Festival and Oktoberfest in Downtown Gardner MA.
Combined Event Flyer/Brochure pdf CLICK HERE
Fabulous Fall Festival and Oktoberfest
It is slated to be one of the biggest and most fun events of the year! Dozens of businesses and organizations are participating. It’s an opportunity to shop Downtown Shops and Restaurants, peruse the wares of various Street Vendors, enjoy the cuisine of Food Trucks, contribute pasta to the Gardner CAC’s Macaroni Mile, view creatures from Reptiles Shows of New England, partake in Sidewalk Art, Crafts, and Super Heroes, attend a paint party, rock painting, and crafts, take a chance on the Lions Club Raffle, use the Selfie Station on Central Street, View a Pottery Making Demonstration, meet Rocky the Police K-9, enjoy the German Beer Garden at the Gardner Ale House, listen to the GHS/GMS Band and Chorus, enjoy DJ Ryan Hood, participate in the Chair Luge, and hear LIVE MUSIC on stage. An event like this only comes up every once in a while. Don’t miss it.
Event Schedule provides details on all participants and the times of every single event: Complete Event Schedule/Brochure, CLICK HERE
All the Happy Trails lead to Downtown Gardner MA this Saturday September 24, 2022
The merchants of Downtown Gardner are ready to welcome you this Saturday, September 24th for the Fabulous Fall Festival and Oktoberfest. Happy Trails has been in Downtown for decades, and visibly has great looking merchandise.
Dozens of shops with friendly store owners are waiting to greet you on Saturday. Don’t miss this great event for everyone in your family!
Event Schedule provides details on all participants and the times of every single event: Complete Event Schedule/Brochure, CLICK HERE
The friendly folks from Valley Florist and Greenhouses were in Downtown Gardner putting out these fabulous flower pots for the Fabulous Fall Festival. Their smiles are contagious aren’t they?
Schedule of Events Saturday, September 24, 2022 – Festival/Oktoberfest
Highlights of Events at specific times include: 10:30 am – New Kids on the Block! hosted by Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson with a chance to meet the newest Downtown Business owners and Property owners, 10:45 am – GHS Cheer! and SAS All Stars Cheer! 11:00 am until 9:00 pm – German Beer Garden at the Ale House 11:00 am GHS Band Concert 11:20 am GMS Chorus Concert 12 noon to 2pm Ryan Hood plays all your favorites from the 1950’s to today. 11:30 am -Tapping of the Oktoberfest Keg 1:00pm – Men & Women’s Stein holding Competition 2:00 pm Gardner Chair Luge – on Parker Street in front of Gardner Ale House. 3:30 pm – Live Music on the Stage begins – 3:30pm – Headliner Gino Matteo, 5:15pm – Matt Swanton Band, 6:30pm New Pond Fondle. And it all wraps up by 9:00pm.
Food Trucks expected include Pops Sweet-Harts, Tata’s Fonda, and Simmy’s Polish Express.
Event Schedule provides details on all participants and the times of every single event. Printable Info: Combined Event Flyer pdf, CLICK HERE
Fresh Paving & Sidewalks – Easy Shopping and Dining – Exciting Fabulous Fall Festival and Oktoberfest Saturday Sept. 24, 2022. … Don’t Miss It! Click on any photo for larger view.
Decanted Wine Truck was granted a special one day Liquor license at a special meeting of the Gardner License Commission on 9-22-22.
Don’t Miss the Gardner MA Fabulous Fall Festival and Oktoberfest – All Events: Combined Event Flyer pdf, CLICK HERE
Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson made a statement about the combined event including traffic considerations: Click Play.
The Mayor has another reason to celebrate on 9-24-22. It’s his 28th Birthday! Happy Birthday, Mayor Nicholson. We wish you many more!
- Heywood Construction (9/20/2022)
Heywood Construction Making Progress in Gardner MA
Sometime in the next year or so, Heywood Hospital will have a new Surgical Wing. During the past months, employees, patients, and visitors to the Hospital would hear announcements about upcoming blasting which was to be done. Operating Rooms would receive special warnings 30 seconds before a blast to avoid costly mistakes in ongoing surgeries or procedures. Now, the next phase has begun and we have a complete Photo Gallery, CLICK HERE.
UPDATE: 9-22-22 – Heywood Hospital has held the ground breaking for the Surgical Pavilion and dedicated a new access road. We obtained these photos from a Social Media post of Mayor Nicholson. Click on any photo for larger view.
- Double Event (9/19/2022)
Gardner MA Fall Festival and “Oktoberfest” Octoberfest Saturday, September 24, 2022 starting at 10am Flyer
Gardner MA Having Two Events in One on Saturday September 24, 2022 – The Fabulous Fall Festival and the “Oktoberfest.” Octoberfest. Event is FREE.
UPDATE 9-19-22: Gardner Square Two says “Show up and Be Fabulous” while revealing exciting news about what you’ll see at the Fabulous Fall Festival. For details, visit their Facebook page. CLICK HERE.
Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson made a statement about the combined event including traffic considerations: Click Play.
Downtown Gardner is in the process of looking even better before the event on Sat. 9-24. Up to 100 Flower Pots will be deployed in Downtown Gardner. Downtown has been spruced up since Spring.
Businesses, individuals, or organizations can sponsor one for $75 until around Thanksgiving in November. Also available in South Gardner Center.
According to City Hall : “Sponsorships cover the cost of the flowers, the city will maintain them. Sponsorship signs will be placed in the flower pots shortly. There are 100 flower pots being installed downtown and 25 in South Gardner. For information on how to sponsor, contact Jessica DeRoy at firstname.lastname@example.org”
- Community Center? (9/19/2022)
News of possible Gardner MA Community Center shared at Council on Aging Meeting
At the Gardner Council on Aging Meeting of 9-12-22, Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson and State Representative Zlotnik spoke about the possibility of Waterford Street School becoming a Community Center for Gardner Residents as well as a place to relocate a much roomier Senior Center.
View the entire meeting on YouTube, CLICK HERE, or listen on any device by clicking Play.
- SK Pierce Mansion (9/16/2022)
Reportedly Haunted 150 Year-old SK Pierce Mansion Renovated and Open for Tours
Built in 1875, the SK Pierce Mansion was purchased on July 22, 2015 by Robert J. and Allison M. Conti of Manalapan, New Jersey for the purpose of eventually opening it as a Bed and Breakfast while also offering Historical/Haunted tours. While many original features of the property were intact, it has taken 7 years of renovation to restore the place.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on September 15, 2022, and now the SK Pierce Mansion is now open for tours which cost $25. According to Robert Conti, “The Pierce Mansion is considered the most haunted house in Massachusetts and the 9th most haunted house in America.” The Mansion employs caretaker Marion Luoma, Curator Ken Watson, resident psychic Memie Watson, and a recently hired staff of 11 tour guides. Bookings can be made through the website, CLICK HERE.
- Gardner – People are Back (9/13/2022)
Gardner MA Population Highest in History: 21,499, but still more open space than elsewhere.
Annual Growth rate now .5%: 100 years ago, Gardner’s population was about 17,000, rising to over 19,000 by 1930. Population was up and down over the years, rising to over 20,000 by 1940 and back to just under 18,000 by 1980. By 1990, the number of people in Gardner was back over 20,000 again, 50 years after it first had that distinction. Over the next 20 years, numbers rose gradually, with a consistent annual growth rate of .5% since 2011. It is estimated that Gardner added just over 100 residents per year in the last decade. With a land area of 22.1 square miles, Gardner’s population density is 974 per square mile. In contrast, Fitchburg has 1519 per square mile, Leominster 1540 per square mile, Worcester 5,664 per square mile, Springfield 4,910 per square mile and Boston 14,217 per square mile. Gardner has more open space and more breathing room than any nearby City.
Labor Force: Over 90 percent of Gardner residents were born in the U.S. and more than ¾ were born in Massachusetts. Just under 3% of Gardner residents are not U.S. citizens. Just under 60 percent participate in the Labor Force with an Unemployment rate of about 5 percent – highest among youths 16-19, young adults 20-24, and those 60-64.
Veterans: Gardner has 1,266 veterans: Vietnam -448, Second Gulf War-211, First Gulf War-188, Korea-149, and World War II-70
Languages: 86% of Gardner residents speak only English, while 14% speak other languages. Spanish is spoken by just under 7% of the population.
Data source: World Population Review
- Go Forward Gardner (9/12/2022)
Listen to this interview and discover the greatness of the Chair City and why Gardner is drawing so much interest from prospective residents, businesses, and industry. Read the entire interview and article, CLICK HERE. Or, Listen on any device.
Go Forward with Gardner MA – An Interview with Mayor Michael Nicholson
In an interview with Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson conducted by Publisher Werner Poegel on Monday September 12, 2022, the Mayor spoke candidly about how Gardner is meeting the challenges in its present and why the Chair City has become so attractive to individuals wishing to relocate, businesses interested in a place for success, and industries desiring a good place to make things. While in the process of evolving from its past, Gardner has inadvertently drawn a huge amount of attention and has even become a model to some for how a small City should operate. Our interview is with one of the City of Gardner’s greatest cheerleaders, Mayor Michael Nicholson. Entire interview and article text, CLICK HERE.
We asked the Mayor about apartments, jobs, family safety, open spaces and parks, culture including music and the arts, highway access, public transportation, restaurants, roads and bridges, infrastructure, schools, libraries, wellness/exercise, and even raising a family. We spoke about the increasing draw Gardner is having to bring in business and industry. And we spoke about Gardner’s future. Read the entire interview and article, CLICK HERE. Or, Listen on any device. Just click Play.
- GES Open (9/12/2022)
Gardner’s new Elementary School is now filled with students, ready to learn. Click on any image for larger view, also view complete Gallery.
Gardner Elementary Opens to Enthusiastic Students, Staff, and Faculty
On the day before the opening, Gardner Public Schools posted, “Are you ready?! We are! The last few weeks have seen construction, inspections, moving, cleaning, planning, furniture building; it’s been a nerve-wracking time for our team, but it will all be worth it tomorrow. Will there still be dirt and construction equipment? Yes. But will there be smiling students and teachers as well? Also yes, and we couldn’t be more excited. As an aside, thank you to everyone on our team who has worked overtime, going above and beyond to get this done. We wouldn’t be here without your passion and willingness to pitch in.”
View the complete Image Gallery, CLICK HERE
From Nothing to a Beautiful School in 14 months!
- Blue Moon (9/11/2022)
It’s the next phase of the Blue Moon in Gardner MA: New owners take over
Kathleen and Robert Wright of Orange purchased the popular Blue Moon Diner from Jamie Floyd, who ran the business for 22 years. What’s on the menu? Stop in an find out.
- Balance Staffing (9/11/2022)
Balance Staffing Opening Soon at 40 Main Street, Gardner MA
The company had been in Gardner, moved to Orange, and now will be back in the Chair City. Mayor Nicholson posted, “Great to see all the new businesses opening up downtown, especially ones like these filling up storefronts….” Click on the photo for a large version and you’ll see Patti Bergstrom taking the picture amidst a very nice-looking part of Downtown Gardner.
- Opening Soon (9/11/2022)
New Gardner MA Breakfast – Lunch Eatery Close to Opening
Shown is a mockup of a sign presented at a recent ZBA meeting for the new Chair City Cafe. With plans to open around Columbus Day, staffing is reportedly up to 85% of what is needed. The diner will be operated by the Chair City Church and will be located on Lynde Street at the site of the former Sacred Heart School.
- You’ve Got This (9/9/2022)
Gardner Magazine Publishes Gardner Elementary – You’ve Got This Video – WATCH IT!
Sure, there’s construction and maybe even just a few challenges to go. But, You Got This Gardner! Enjoy the song in our new video, play out of the page or CLICK HERE for full screen.
- Octoberfest in September (9/7/2022)
Gardner MA Ale House Getting Ready for Octoberfest Happening September 24th
The renowned local restaurant and brewery is participating in Gardner’s Fabulous Fall Festival on September 24, 2022 with an Octoberfest. Complete information, CLICK HERE. The Chair Luge is also back this year. – Details, CLICK HERE.
Meanwhile, Gardner Square Two is lining up Vendors, Food Trucks, Crafters, and Non-profits for what is projected to be one of the most Fabulous Fall Festivals in a long time. Deadline to book your participation is September 5th. Previous article with all details, CLICK HERE.
- Two Buildings Sold (9/6/2022)
Shirley Company Purchases Two Downtown Gardner Buildings – Tied to over a Dozen LLCs
Two Buildings almost side by side on Central Street in Gardner (280-302 and 310-320) have been sold to a real estate holding and development company for a reported $2.3 million. It was not announced what plans, if any, the company has for the property.
Door Fund Central Street, LLC was formed on August 18, 2022 for the purpose of acquiring two Downtown Gardner Buildings located at 280-302 and 310-320 Central Street. It is listed as a real estate holding and development company. Under different LLCs, the same individuals own other buildings in Gardner including 101-105 Baker Street, Gardner and 68 Graham Street, Gardner, and did own 45 Greenwood Street, Gardner until selling it to Gardner Real Estate Holding Group, LLC managed by Jonathan Bombaci of Candor Realty.
Managers of the company include Michael Marchetti and Damon Amato, both of 6 Oakes Landing, Shirley, MA. Other parties to the company include Realtor Yun Rhee of Shirley and Ryan Corcoran of Warren, Rhode Island. Resident agent is Attorney Jay R. Peabody of Boston.
Other Companies Owned by the Principals
This is not the first venture for these individuals in real estate. According to the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office, there are a number of LLC’s involving Michael Marchetti of Shirley MA. 1002-1008A Main St LLC (for an apartment building complex in Worcester) formed May 2021 -Marchetti and Amato, 101-105 Baker Avenue LLC (5 unit building 101-105 Baker St., Gardner) – formed August 2019 – Marchetti and Rhee, 147 Oak Street LLC – formed October 2018 – Marchetti only , 16 Harvard Road Shirley LLC – (5 unit building in Shirley) formed September 2019- Michael and Samantha Marchetti , 21-23-25 Cottage Street LLC, (multi-unit Leominster property) – formed May 2018 -Michael and Samantha Marchetti, 45 Greenwood Street LLC – formed May 2019 – Samantha Marchetti, Michael Marchetti, Yun Rhee and Matthew Swierk , 46-48 E Main Street Ayer LLC – formed June 2020 – Michael and Samantha Marchetti, – Frontier Property Management LLC – Formed December 2017 -Marchetti, Anthony Lavalley , Hilltop Estate Door Fund Manager LLC – formed March 2022 – Marchetti and Rhee, Lakes Region MSR Management, LLC – formed February 2022 – Marchetti, Rhee, and Swierk, Marchetti Industries LLC – formed February 2019 – Marchetti, Marchetti PG Gardner 1 LLC – formed April 2020 – Marchetti, Marchetti Property Group, LLC – formed August 2017, MSR 3 Main Shirley LLC – formed March 2020 – Marchetti, MSR Monadnock Street LLC – formed August 2019 – Marchetti, MSRC Gardner Portfolio LLC (68 Graham St. Gardner)– formed October 2021 – Marchetti, New England Property Acquisitions Inc. -formed May 2020, See You Ayer LLC – formed April 2018 – Samantha and Michael Marchetti, Transcend Wellness Inc. – formed December 2019 – Samantha and Michael Marchetti, dissolved December 31, 2021.
According to a listing on the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, one of their companies defines exactly what they do “Frontier Property Management, LLC is a professional property management company based in the small town of Shirley, Massachusetts. It was started by a couple of best friends who call this area home, and are truly determined to improve not only the residents experience, but also the landlords. We service mostly central Massachusetts, with locations ranging from Gardner to Chelmsford, and everywhere in-between. With professional maintenance, apartment renovation, reliable resident-relations, or helping you find your next investment property, Frontier is your local gold-standard management team. “
- Home Sales (9/3/2022)
With home prices and interest rates up, monthly payments are up. Here’s a link to an online mortgage payment calculator. CLICK HERE.
Prices Up, Home Sales Cooling, Interest Rates Double for Greater Gardner MA
In the City of Gardner MA, the median home price was just over 289k as of July 2021 and is up 14% to just under 330k as of July 2022. Interest rates have doubled since last summer.
The numbers: With a 10% down payment and 30 year fixed mortgage at 3%, that median-priced home had a payment of $1098. A year later, with interest rates doubling to 6%, the same home would have a payment of $1779, allowing for both the increase in home price and interest rate. That’s a payment increase of 62%. Payments do not include mortgage insurance for less than 20% down, real estate taxes, or insurance.
The Cooling: According to the Warren Group, “Increases in wages and salaries are not keeping pace with inflation that is now running at 8.5%. Plus, homebuyers face a very low inventory of homes for sale. All this leads to a cooler real estate market.”
In the State of Massachusetts, the median home price was 540K as of July 2021 and is up 8.3% to 585k as of July 2022. With same down payments and rates as quoted above, the monthly payment is up 42%.
Rents up as well. Local craigslist ads on September 3, 2022 show that a 1 bedroom can easily go for $1200/month, 2 bedroom $1400/month, and 3 bedroom $1600/month. However, the latest listing was on August 30th. Social Media posts frequently show people frustrated over availability when trying to find an apartment.
- Two Worlds (8/31/2022)
Two Worlds Operating Simultaneously at new Gardner Elementary School
While construction continues at the Gardner Elementary School, staff development and classroom preparation is underway for the School Staff including teachers.
. The City of Gardner spared no expense as you can see to direct staff to the appropriate parking lot, wisely using a leftover piece of wood and paint from somewhere. It seems somebody has to go to the bathroom outside as there’s a huge line of 11 outhouses. Electric vehicles are welcome with dedicated charging stations provided. All the photos, CLICK HERE.
- Gardner Magazine (8/28/2022)
Gardner Magazine Says Thank You!
We love info from any group having events in the area and any info from local government. Also, something you think we should cover? Let us know. Email: News@GardnerMagazine.com
- Photos Update (8/27/2022)
- Vendors Wanted (8/26/2022)
In the spirit of Downtown Gardner Construction and Revitalization, Gardner Square Two completely bulldozed its website and is rebuilding it to be bigger and better than ever before. Website, CLICK HERE
Gardner MA Fall Festival Open to More Vendors
Gardner Square Two is lining up Vendors, Food Trucks, Crafters, and Non-profits for what is projected to be one of the most Fabulous Fall Festivals in a long time. The date is September 24, 2022 and runs 10am to 4pm.
Businesses and non-profits are welcome. Space is approximately 10 x 16 and is considered a great way to feature products and services to an excited public. Other ways to support the event include sponsoring a specific entertainment event, coming up with your own unique idea and getting it approved, or making a donation to the overall event to show your support. Deadline: September 5th so book your spot today!
Gardner Square Two Mission: “Gardner Square Two, Inc. was founded to help rebuild our City’s heart and soul. Our success is instrumental in returning the Downtown to an economically vital business, cultural, and residential district. Square Two’s goal is to provide Gardner’s citizens with a safe, accessible, and diverse resource that will further enhance economic development.” Website, CLICK HERE.
Gardner Square Two also plans to sign up new members to the organization every day. Membership is open to individual citizens of Gardner, businesses, and non-profits. The website is expected to have a full membership sign up section in the coming days.
- Parker Paving (8/26/2022)
Newly Paved Parker Street Gardner MA Looking Beautiful
The long-awaited paving delayed earlier in the week by the weather has been completed. And along with a beautiful Parker Street, Gardner MA gets some very nice looking trash cans. They didn’t come cheap, but they sure look nice.
Our article in April 2022 reported on an additional $10,000 being appropriated for the trash cans because of price increases. CLICK HERE.
- GES Update 8-26-22 (8/26/2022)
“We turn the school over in 1-2 weeks” says Construction Super at New Gardner MA Elementary School -8-29-22 Update – and he was wrong!
UPDATE: August 29, 2022: Construction Supervisor gave us bogus information as teachers were moving in on August 29, 2022.
The following information in our original story turned out to be incorrect: “It’s going to be close as the NEW Gardner Elementary School will get formally turned over to the School District just days before students are projected to start attendance. The construction company has allowed the District to move in some things ahead of time so starting things up may be a marathon, but should still be possible.”
Taking photos was complicated on August 26, 2022 as paving was underway at the school. There was a sign at the High School entrance saying to use the Pearl Street entrance. When we went there, we were redirected back to High School entrance and took photos of the various employee vehicles parked along the road, paving occurring around the new school, all the way to the Pearl Street entrance.
Gardner Public Schools has released a draft of bus routes (subject to change) CLICK HERE.
We wrote a previous article showcasing the Zippy construction taking place CLICK HERE
- Warren Visit (8/23/2022)
Community Leaders Meet in Gardner MA August 22, 2022
According to Mayor Nicholson: “Yesterday, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren visited Gardner to meet with representatives of our business community, educational institutions, and our state and local officials to discuss issues facing local businesses, revitalizing our economy, the lingering effects of the pandemic, and how the City can take advantage of the several federal grant programs that have recently been created. Thank you to Senator Warren and everyone who participated for taking the time to talk about all the work being done in Gardner.”
Mayor Nicholson went on to say, “We continue to advocate for our city with officials at every level to make sure Gardner has a seat at the table and a part in these conversations moving forward.”
The meeting took place at the GFA Federal Credit Union in Gardner MA.
- The Zone (8/22/2022)
Gardner MA Is in The Zone
The Green Circle is 25 miles from Gardner MA and somewhat defines “The Zone.” Gardner is uniquely positioned for success because of its center position within The Zone. The Chair City is accessible via major transportation routes including Route 2 – West of Fitchburg/Leominster, Northwest of Worcester, Southwest of Nashua, Southeast of Keene, Northeast of Amherst, and so on.
Anyone with an existing business desiring an additional location would snatch up a spot in Gardner MA in a very quick minute, because Gardner is in “The Zone.” Did you know that Gardner MA has 2 designated “Opportunity Zones” which can save investors big bucks. CLICK HERE.
- Weekly Update 8-19-22 (8/19/2022)
Gardner Magazine Updates City – Mayor Without Update Due to Staffing
Note: Last week’s Mayor’s Update has received 73 views on YouTube and as of yesterday 2,354 listens on Gardner Magazine. However, our offer to record an AUDIO update was not accepted. So we’ll provide one instead. Click Play.
Chair City Update August 19, 2022
Paving Week of August 22nd
Parker Street and Connors Street will be paved on Monday August 22, 2022 beginning at 4am. Parker Street will be paved from Lafayette Square to Main Street. Connors Street will be paved from City Hall Avenue to Parker Street. This is the final coat of pavement needed for these streets as part of the Downtown Infrastructure Improvement Project.
Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic
On Wednesday, August 24th, there will be a Covid 19 Vaccine Clinic from 3pm to 6pm at the Bethany Baptist Church, 72 Ryan Street, Gardner. All doses of the 3 different brands of Vaccine will be available. Ages 5 and over are welcome via walk-in, but registration is encouraged. Please bring vaccine card and health insurance card if you have one.
On Saturday August 20th, the Elvis Tribute Band, Fellowship of the King will play at Monument Park at the 45th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. Concert begins at 5pm. See article
On Sunday August 21st, Gardner Massachusetts churches are joining forces for a Community Worship Sunday starting at 10am at Monument Park, featuring music, message, food, and fun. All are welcome. See article.
On Sunday August 21st, The P.A.C.C. at 171 Kendall Pond Road West in Gardner is holding a Polish Drive-Thru on Sunday August 21, 2022 from 11am to 3pm. See article
On Sunday, August 21st, the Tenth Annual Ride of Your Life takes place at Heywood Hospital, 242 Green Street, Gardner. Riders and passengers pay a registration fee and take a 3 hour ride through North Central Massachusetts with stops at area motorcycle shops. Proceeds benefit suicide prevention efforts in the North Central and North Quabbin regions. See article
Gardner Has a New Police Chief
Lieutenant Eric McAvene is officially Chief McAvene on Monday August 22nd. Having served the past two decades on the Gardner force, he was appointed by Mayor Nicholson and accepted the position. Formal City Council confirmation to follow. See article
Construction in the Chair City
Gardner Elementary: The week of August 22, 2022 will be the 4th extended week of construction at the New Gardner Elementary School. Mayor Nicholson has advised the main goal is to get an occupancy permit for the building so school can start even if the grounds still need some work. Meanwhile, Gardner Public Schools has released its projected School Calendar reflecting the delayed start of school. See article
Candor Realty continues work on 25 Main Street, recently completing some badly needed roof repairs. The company has also stated it is interested in purchasing additional properties in Gardner.
Work also continues at 42 to 52 Parker Street. The walls have gone up this week following Gardner Planning Board approval of their complete plan for the building.
Community Health Connections has made significant progress on their new Health Center building off Route 68 near Walmart.
Enforcement with fines and possible water shut-offs for violators of the outdoor water use ban will begin after a Code Red call reminding people of the drought.
Pleasant Street open again
Following meetings with staff, community leaders, and business owners, a decision was made to once again open up Pleasant Street. For just under two months, the street was closed off in order to create a plaza with outdoor seating. The idea had been proposed for years, but never tried. A comment from Mayor Nicholson in our article.
Gardner High Athletics
Gardner High Athletics has announced key dates for the upcoming fall season. There are youth nights, alumni nights, recreation nights, senior nights, and there will be a game on Thanksgiving morning against Quabbin. See article.
- Questions Answered 8-17-22 (8/18/2022)
Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson Answers Questions on Pending Matters in the Chair City
New Gardner MA Elementary School
Question: “School Construction is now in week 3 of the contemplated “two more weeks.” How much longer realistically? And when does the school have to be done to be in line with the already contemplated delay?”
Mayor Nicholson, “The two weeks was the delay for the start of the school year (if I am understanding your question correctly). In order to get people into the school building, the working in the building would have to be completed about a week before teachers move in, which for the Elementary School would be on September 6th. The exterior work, such as landscaping and final playground work, will likely be done the week or two after school starts. For now our priority is to finish the items necessary for the school to receive its temporary occupancy certificate so that we can begin school in the building, even if the grounds need a little work still at that point.”
Question: “In light of the drought, does the City of Gardner intend to enforce the local ordinance which provides potential penalties and possible water shutoff for offenders?”
Mayor Nicholson, “We are meeting on this to discuss how best to move forward with the City’s DPW Director and City Engineer as well as representatives from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. A Code-Red call reminding people of the drought will likely go out this week as a final reminder to people of the current critical drought status, and then enforcement will begin if people are still not abiding by the restrictions.”
Question: “What led to the sudden shutdown of Pleasant Plaza without notice to the public? To date, nothing mentioned on City of Gardner website.”
Mayor Nicholson: “We (Colin, Jess DeRoy, Trevor Beauregard, Roland Jean, and myself) met again with the business owners and Parker House of Pizza, Turks Barbershop, and Priscilla’s voiced concerns over the impacts of the plaza on their business. Taco Rey and Prestige Barbershop, all had positives, and Hope and Vibe Studios had mixed feelings on it. With the paving of Parker Street next week and the concerns that were taken into account, we opened the road up to ensure we were supporting the business community as much as possible for the last month of the summer with construction coming back to the area soon.”
- Pleasant Street Reopens (8/16/2022)
Pleasant Plaza Now History and Street open again in Gardner MA
The experiment lasted less than 2 months and at least one Downtown Business owner is happy the street is open again. Parker House of Pizza posted, “We’re so excited that Pleasant Street is reopened. Thank you Mayor and his staff for listening to all the small businesses in Downtown that have been affected from the closure of Pleasant Street.” Parker House of Pizza website, CLICK HERE.
The change happened abruptly and without notice to the public sometime between August 15 and the morning of August 16, 2022. We have reached out to Mayor Nicholson for comment.
What Changed Since Saturday?
On WGAW’s Hotline Radio on Saturday August 13, 2022, Mayor Nicholson stated, “You know we had a meeting with the Business owners this past week to just feel out their thoughts and ideas on it, see what’s working, see what’s not, So I met with my team on Friday. We’ll be meeting again on Monday, seeing how we can make improvements to the area to best help the businesses there, so I do want to thank the businesses for meeting with us too, they’re the ones who are there so it’s always good to get their perspective …” Host Steve Wendell then asked, “But the Pleasant Park will continue til at least October.” and the Mayor responded saying, “Yeah, it’ll be reevaluated every 30 days. So the original plan was October 1st., taking the feedback that we get from the businesses and we’ll see how we can keep it going.” However, less than 3 days after this interview, Pleasant Plaza disappeared without explanation.
- View from Above (8/15/2022)
Note: Almost every day we have good news relating to Downtown Gardner. Here’s a previous article on 42-52 Parker Street, Gardner. CLICK HERE.
Candor Realty May Not Be Done Buying Buildings in Gardner MA
The company released this photo on Social Media on August 15, 2022 along with stating, “Some members of the Millennium Holding Group LLC and Candor Realty Team were in Gardner MA today checking in on projects and walking potential acquisitions. The building in the center of the picture is 25 Main Street, a commercial building we plan to make a cornerstone of the Downtown area.”
Patti Bergstrom, President of Gardner Square Two stated, “Love this photo and love our Downtown. We are excited about your investment in Gardner. Thank you!”
Candor Realty has already been fixing up 25 Main Street and has several rentals available within the building. It also purchased another building on Main Street which it is still renovating. There is one building on Parker Street still owned by Dean Marcus and the City has expressed an interest in facilitating a sale of that location so that a new owner could positively transform that building as well. Meanwhile, construction continues at 42 to 52 Parker Street on a building purchased by another company.
- Zippy Pace (8/15/2022)
New Gardner MA Elementary School Construction at Zippy Pace
Meanwhile, Gardner Public Schools released some photos and this statement, “A few more photos from today, as the moving starts! These truly show how many different types of work are going on all at once.”
School District Moving In as Construction Completes at new Gardner MA Elementary School.
- West Lynde (8/14/2022)
Extraordinary means taken to Shop the Merchants of West Lynde Street, Downtown Gardner MA
Whether you travel through a portal from another universe or just get in your car, you’ll find 4 great businesses waiting for you on West Lynde Street in Gardner MA. (1) Studio 4 Potters and Gallery “is a collaborative ceramics shop…tucked just below the stairs at 4 West Lynde: 5.0, 4 Google Reviews Website. —– (2) Bruce’s Watch and Jewelry, jewelry and watch store and watch repair shop at 6 West Lynde: 4.2, 28 Google Reviews Website. —- (3) Synergy Hair Salon, a professional hair salon at 10 West Lynde 4.3, 10 Google Reviews. —-(4) Hometown Barbers, centrally located classic-feel barbershop at right corner of West Lynde: 4.9, 77 Google Reviews Website. —–More Downtown…
Rediscover Downtown Gardner MA for a multi-generational experience. Improving Every Day!
- Ongoing Construction (8/13/2022)
Gardner MA NEW Gardner Elementary School Construction Continues – Deadline Missed
There’s no official word on whether the continued construction delay will further delay the opening of Gardner Public Schools, but Gardner Mayor Nicholson on Saturday August 13, 2022 was still quoting the previously stated timeline. In an email to the Gardner School Committee on August 1, 2022,. SEE ARTICLE. , Gardner Superintendent of Schools Mark Pellegrino stated that Bacon Construction “will need two more weeks to finish the project. I have been assured that it will ONLY BE TWO WEEKS.” Email PDF That assurance was in a scheduled check-in meeting on Friday July 29th. With the construction signs still up at the entrances, the work continues in what will now be week 3.
A closeup photo taken with a zoom lens shows an active construction site still exists at the new Gardner Elementary School. According to the Superintendent’s email to the School Committee on 8/1/22, ” 1. The elementary school will be delayed two weeks (8 school days) with a new start date of 9/15 for grades 1-4, 9/15 for kindergarten, and 9/19 for preschool. (All of these dates are two weeks later. I will be requesting a waiver for 4 of the 8 days. 2. The middle school, high school and Gardner Academy will only be starting one week late (9/6).” In letter to parents, start date for grade 1-4 is 9/12. See letter.
It is unclear what duration of further construction delay it will take to precipitate a further delay in school start times. Two storage containers sit outside the construction entrance. Pearl Street has been paved and lined and awaits the traffic of school opening.
Exterior Photo Gallery of School 8/10/22. CLICK HERE.
- Tax Free Weekend (8/13/2022)
The Massachusetts Sales Tax is suspended for Saturday August 13 and Sunday August 14, 2022. It’s like a BIG SALE built in to almost everything you buy!
The Sales Tax Holiday in Greater Gardner MA will give you just a little bit more money in your pocket for those school supplies, that brand new toaster, or even a TV!
- Planning Board (8/11/2022)
Gardner MA Planning Board Approves Plans for 42-52 Parker
Gary Lorden appeared before the Board on August 9, 2022 and explained the Project in great detail. You can watch the meeting on YouTube, CLICK HERE or Listen to it here by clicking Play.
The project still awaits full approval from the Gardner Zoning Board of Appeals which holds another meeting on August 16, 2022 —Read Agenda, CLICK HERE.
- Genuine Pizza (8/11/2022)
West Broadway Pizza and Seafood is Genuine Gardner MA.
West Broadway and Seafood actually delivers to Gardner, Hubbardston, Westminster, and parts of Templeton MA spreading the joy of Gardner.
Genuine Gardner Series
Our Genuine Gardner Series showcases positive businesses, people, places, and things in Gardner MA.
West Broadway Pizza and Seafood, 15 West Broadway, Gardner is “Genuine Gardner.”
According to the signage posted at West Broadway and Seafood, the popular eatery features “Deliciousness Jumping Into the Mouth”.
Food Served includes Pizza, Wings, Salads, Subs, Chicken, Pasta, and Seafood.
- Storefronts (8/11/2022)
Storefronts Successful in Gardner MA and some Available Spots
Businesses can be very successful in Gardner MA and there’s choice storefronts available in Downtown Gardner, Timpany Plaza, and Timpany Crossroads. What kind of business are you bringing to the popular Chair City?
Successful Storefronts and Newly Opened Stores
Timpany Crossroads is also home to the 99 Restaurant whose lot is often filled with cars.
Available Storefronts in Gardner Massachusetts
Get some of your costs covered: About a month ago, we published an article on the Storefront Revitalization Program. CLICK HERE.
- Fall Festival (8/10/2022)
Gardner MA Getting Ready for Fabulous Fall Festival and Octoberfest
2 Events in One
The Fabulous Fall Festival and Octoberfest is taking place Saturday, September 24, 2022 in Downtown Gardner MA. Fall Festival is 10am to 4pm and Octoberfest is 11am to 8pm. The famous Gardner Chair Luge is back this year!
Beautiful Flower Pots on their way
As part of the sprucing up of Downtown Gardner prior to the Fall Festival, Gardner is expecting over 100 24 inch Flower pots. The problem: The current drought regulations only allows watering the plants in them with hand watering cans, so only some may be put out. Mayor Nicholson stated in an email, “They are arriving from the manufacturer this week. I don’t expect them to be fully out until Parker Street is paved right before the Fall Festival/Oktoberfest and hopefully the drought has been lifted by then, but we will continue to monitor the situation and play it by ear for sure.” According to Jessica DeRoy, there are 100 for Downtown Gardner and another 25 for South Gardner.
Building Work Continues
It will still take some time for all Downtown Buildings to be 100 percent, but the substantial progress is being noticed by everyone. We wrote a previous article on Fix It Fever. CLICK HERE.
Paving Work Downtown
As detailed in another article, CLICK HERE, paving work is taking place in Downtown Gardner with paving on Parker Street and Connors Street to be completed the week of August 22nd.
We’ll provide you with more details on the Fabulous Fall Festival and Octoberfest as we get them.
- Gardner Business (8/8/2022)
Businesses are Opening in Gardner MA, and There’s room for you too in 2022!
September 2nd: Chris Guerra Production Studio – website – 215 School Street, Suite 115, Gardner, September 7th: Grand Opening Celebration Wireless Zone – website – 308 West Broadway Unit 5. September 21st: Edward Jones – 380 West Broadway Unit2 – Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening.
Chamber Event September 14th: Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce – website – Business After Hours at Southside Margarita Factory.
Locations for Your Business
Just a Sampling of great spots for your business. Contact your Realtor for info or they are always helpful at Gardner Community Development and Planning, CLICK HERE.
- Building Inspector (8/8/2022)
- No Tax (8/4/2022)
No Sales Tax in Greater Gardner MA on Saturday August 13 and Sunday August 14
The Massachusetts State Legislature approved the break from state sales tax on most retail items less than $2,500. If you can wait for that $200 air conditioner, you save $12.50. If you can wait to buy that $1500 washer/dryer combo, you’ll save close to a hundred bucks! Schedule a purchase of that furniture you’ve been wanting which costs 2 grand, and you’ll save a whopping $125. Wait a few days to buy that $500 laptop for school, and you save over 30 bucks.
The Sales Tax Holiday in Greater Gardner MA will give you just a little bit more money in your pocket for those school supplies, that brand new toaster, or even a TV!
- School Delay (8/1/2022)
Summer Vacation Extended as Supply Chain Issues Delay NEW Gardner MA Elementary School Opening
Two weeks ago on July 15, 2022 Gardner Magazine published an article quoting the Project Supervisor at the NEW Gardner Elementary School. At the time he stated that “They hoped to be ready for the start of school with 6 weeks left to go.”, implying that the start of school might be delayed. Our 7/15 story. Today, August 1, 2022 apparently Bacon Construction assured the Gardner School System that they can get everything done in just 2 more weeks. As a result, the opening of Gardner Schools will be delayed according to the timeline at left. (CLICK IMAGE for larger view.)
Update: 8/2/22: 9:10am – We are awaiting a call from Superintendent Pellegrino regarding the timeline, AND a call back from Project Manager Joe McDonald of Agostini/Bacon Construction regarding the reality of the timeline. We’ll update you as we have further information.
Superintendent Dr. Mark Pellegrino wrote the following to the Gardner School Committee in an email 8/1/22: “Hi folks, Bacon Construction has said they will need two more weeks to finish the project. I have been assured that it will ONLY BE TWO WEEKS. I explained that I am willing to break the bad news of the delay ONCE, but they cannot come back and asked for more time. I have been assured that it won’t happen. The attached letter explains the reasons for the delay. So three things: 1. The elementary school will be delayed two weeks (8 school days) with a new start date of 9/15 for grades 1-4, 9/15 for kindergarten, and 9/19 for preschool. (All of these dates are two weeks later. I will be requesting a waiver for 4 of the 8 days. 2. The middle school, high school and Gardner Academy will only be starting one week late (9/6). 3. We will need to vote on a new calendar at our first meeting. Call or email me if you have any questions or concerns. Mark.” pdf
Dr. Pellegrino provided the following for the Media. 8/1/22 “Here is a quote from me about the delay: ‘We are disappointed that the construction was delayed due to incomplete deliveries resulting from the same supply-chain issues that have plagued the entire nation, and understand how difficult this is for families. However, this decision balanced the importance of getting students in school right away, with the challenge of unpacking, starting the school year in our old schools, repacking, and moving to the new school. This seems to be the best option considering all factors.
I have been assured that this delay will only be two weeks, and no more. Although this poses a great difficulty for my families and staff, I am thrilled that children will be able to start school in our brand new facility!’”
A letter was prepared for Gardner School Families. 8/1/22 Read the entire letter in PDF Format. CLICK HERE.
The letter to Gardner Public School Families contains the following information: Since we began construction of our new school, the building committee, business office, maintenance department, and outside contractors have overcome many obstacles to keep us on-time and on-budget while COVID continues to impact staffing and our supply-chain significantly. This past Friday, during our weekly scheduled check-in meeting, we learned that two supply-chain issues will require us to delay the opening of Gardner Elementary School by two weeks. This change requires that we also delay the opening of Gardner Middle School, Gardner High School, and Gardner Academy by only one week. Specifically: The elevator team had to stop work because part of a shipment of electrical fuses, elevator buttons, and some electrical panel boards was incomplete, and Our order of electrical panel boards (part of the main power distribution equipment) did not contain all of the necessary panels to power the building. Both of these recent issues were a direct result of supply-chain issues and caused subsequent delays in the project’s overall timeline. Until Friday, our expectation was to move in on time. Fortunately, we have been proactively planning for this situation. The following schedule considered: ● Balancing the importance of getting students in as soon as possible and providing teachers with the time they need to prepare for the opening of a new school; ● The impact on our sports programs and MCAS curriculum timelines; and ● Allowing the bus company to settle issues caused by having entirely new bus routes and start times. We apologize for this significant inconvenience. Please contact your school if you have questions or concerns. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we finish the lengthy, exciting process of building a new school for our children. Sincerely, Mark J. Pellegrino, Superintendent of Schools. PDF format, CLICK HERE.
Publisher’s Note: Parents should have a contingency plan for a longer delay, just in case it is necessary. As we stated in the opening to the story, we were advised on July 15, 2022 that 6 more weeks was needed as of that date and we fully expected to publish a story such as this at some point. While it is believed that both the construction company and School District are acting in good faith, neither has complete control over the Supply Chain which they both hope will cooperate with their needed timeline.
- Gardner Magazine (8/1/2022)
Thank you for your readership to GardnerMagazine.com for Greater Gardner MA
As promised, we are releasing Statistics related to GardnerMagazine.com for July 2022. Unique households (Circulation) 16,538. Pageviews 131,783. Files served (Hits) 534,794. Gardner Magazine has consistently averaged 12,000 unique households. June jumped to 14,000. July jumped to over 16,000. We thank you for your readership and we will continue to cover as much as we can. Gardner Magazine is unique in that we try to provide additional resources in our articles such as web links, document links, and even AUDIO. We are pleased these efforts have been well received.
The addition of AUDIO
After the July 6, 2022 Projects Interview with Mayor Nicholson, we posted the entire interview in mp3 format so all could listen to it. It has thus far received in July 2022, 3,245 listeners. On July 22, 2022 we made all Mayor’s Updates, City Council Meetings, School Committee Meetings, and various Special Events available in mp3 format: Here are the listener totals for the Mayor’s Updates: 7/29/22: 523, 7/22/22: 3,385, 7/15/22: 2,064, 7/8/22: 43. All of the updates from 12/24/21 to date have been published and the older updates have received between 41 to 50 listeners.
Here are the total July 2022 listeners for other Meetings: Public Safety 7/29/22: 373, Zoning Board of Appeals 7/19/22: 1,163, City Council Meeting 7/5/22: 65, most other older City Council meetings in single or low 2 digits, School Committee 6-16-22: 50, most other older School Committee meetings in single digits.
Other Items and July Numbers
Pizza Polka (put on site 7/31/22): 94, We Have No Bananas: 870, Bye Bye Blackbird: 892, Gardner Spring Yard Sale PSA: 309, Poem, Sentient Soul of American Freedom: 1,419, Gardner Brand intro: 90, Abbott and Costello; 58. Dozens of other audio files have from single to low double digit listeners.
July 2022 Handout Standouts in pdf format: Gardner Food Truck Festival: 1013, Annual School Calendar: 104, Vacant Storefronts: 82, Monument Park Concerts: 123. Dozens of other handouts in pdf format have double digit downloads.
on AUDIO: Gardner Magazine will continue to publish AUDIO files of Mayor’s Updates, City Council Meetings, School Committee meetings, various events, and topical novelty items. Listenership is obviously greatest when the event is current, however we will maintain the archive in the public interest. We have begun to add Winchendon meetings – their AUDIO is OK, but they have significant challenges with the quality of their video and have negligible viewership. Let us know if there are meetings from your community you would like to listen to and we’ll see if we can make AUDIO available. If there’s a YouTube file, our software can make an easy conversion. Otherwise, it depends if the community has made a recording and will release it to us. on Documents: Gardner Magazine will continue to publish Agendas, complete Press Releases, booklets, publications, photos, and links to as many resources as possible to make your readership of our publication valuable. Reach us at anytime via News@GardnerMagazine.com or use our News tip line at (978) 632-6324.
- Pizza Polka (7/31/2022)
Parker House of Pizza of Gardner MA Reopens in time for Polka, offers $3 Discount on every order….
On Thursday, August 4, 2022 the Parker House of Pizza may just be the most popular pizza place in town. That’s the day they reopen after vacation. In a radio ad run on WGAW, the restaurant is offering a $3 discount on any order for a whole week. That’s just in time for the Monument Park Polka Concert on Saturday August 6, 2022 at 6pm so patrons can literally have pizza and polka.
To put you in the Pizza and Polka spirit, we are featuring the Pizza Polka right here. Just click play. And so you can take advantage of getting your pizza whether you take out or eat at the outdoor dining area at Pleasant Plaza, here’s a link to their site. CLICK HERE. FREE Concert info here.
- Mayor’s Update 7-29-22 (7/29/2022)
Watch the Mayor’s Update on the City of Gardner YouTube page or on our Mayor’s Update page, CLICK HERE.
Listen to the Update on any device by clicking Play below. (Audio starts after 8 second delay)
Listen to previous Mayor’s Updates on our AUDIO page. CLICK HERE
Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Speaks Paw -sitively about the Chair City from Gardner Dog Park
Nicholson speaks Paw-sitively about a busy week in the City of Gardner and about growth in the Chair City in general.
He spoke about a letter taxpayers should have received explaining recent real estate tax bills. The Mayor spoke about Paving Updates including the expectation that Parker Street should be paved sometime within the next 3 weeks as the concrete sidewalks have been fully poured. Nicholson spoke of the opportunity of open storefronts and the increased amount of apartment units.
The Mayor talked about the critical drought condition in Gardner and Worcester County. Stated Crystal Lake and Snake Pond are doing quite well. Advised residents to do their part to conserve water.
National Night out is coming Tuesday August 2, 2022 at Gardner High School. Wachusett Mountain has agreed to sponsor bus transportation from Monument Park. Event 5:30pm to 9:00pm.
Mayor Nicholson announced that the update was being done from Gardner Dog Park and spoke of the mulch at the Dog Park which was made by DPW from trees and of the construction of concrete pads which will soon be covered. He referenced that the puddling situation had been fully resolved. However, Dog Park users report that a dangerous situation still exists on the large dog side with standing water and mud. Despite repeated requests to DPW, the issue has not been resolved even though dog owners have reported illnesses and resulting vet bills over the past two years. Update 7/29/22 5pm: Issue worse than first thought, warranted a separate article. CLICK HERE.
- Progress (7/28/2022)
Ideas > Concepts > Planning > Construction > Successful Conclusions in Gardner MA
There’s pent-up impatience in Gardner MA for approved projects to be completed. At left we show the results of a completed construction project started in 2021 at the Gardner/Templeton line. First, there was land, which was subsequently cleared. Now, there are families living in these homes, adding to Gardner’s “New Growth.” All projects take time and when successful, they are a beautiful thing. Patience is too.
In the next couple of years, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised as already approved projects get underway or reach completed status, additional projects get approved, and new project ideas are revealed for the very first time. It’s an exciting time for PROGRESS in the Chair City and its citizens are living witnesses to it. Note that in an interview with Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson on July 6, 2022, he told us that he has 5 to 6 ideas in his head he hasn’t told anybody about – we’ll keep you posted…
Want to hear exactly what the Mayor said about projects? Drag the slider to 45 minutes in. Click the Play Button.
- Housing Market (7/26/2022)
Housing Market Stats Show Wide Appeal of Gardner MA
According to Redfin: “In June 2022, Gardner home prices were up 12.4% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $340K. On average, homes in Gardner sell after 20 days on the market compared to 11 days last year. There were 33 homes sold in June this year, up from 26 last year.”
Redfin rated the Gardner Housing Market as 85/100 or Very Competitive, a higher score than Fitchburg and just 1 point behind Leominster. Here’s why: Many homes get multiple offers, some with waived contingencies. The average homes sell for about 8% above list price and go pending in around 18 days. Hot homes can sell for about 13% above list price and go pending in around 8 days.
Gardner is hotter than Fitchburg, with Fitchburg home prices up 7.7% in June 2022, selling for a median price a little lower than Gardner at $334k. 50 homes sold in Fitchburg this June, down from 51 last year. Score 81/100. Gardner home prices went up slightly more than Leominster with Leominster home prices up 12.1% compared to last year. However, the Leominster median home price is higher at $380k. Score 86/100
Nearby Communities: Winchendon, up 1%, Ashburnham up 0%, Templeton up 9.1% with a median home price of $450k, Westminster up 24.2% with a median price of $655k, Hubbardston up 27% with a median price of $463k. Athol, up 2% with a median price of $260k. In Phillipston with a total of 5 homes sold, the home prices were down 15.9% with a median price of $290k, however it’s still considered very competitive with a score of 81/100.
Future Not as Rosy
However, not all is rosy when it comes to the future housing market, due to market uncertainty. Business Insider reports that since mortgage interest rates began rising, the nation’s largest homebuilder. D.R. Horton says more buyers are cancelling deals amid growing real-estate market pessimism. The builder says a growing number of would-be homebuyers are backing out of deals for newly constructed homes as they confront higher mortgage rates and an uncertain future for the housing market, stating that in its recent quarter, 24% of its contracts fell through – up 7 percentage points from a year prior.
Mortgage Rates Up
According to Freddie Mac, the average US fixed rate for a 30 year mortgage came in at 5.54% this week, notably higher than the pandemic low of 2.68% in December 2020. See our graphic of today’s mortgage rates. June’s inflation report shows 9.1% inflation, the highest level in 40 years. The Federal Reserve increased its benchmark short-term interest rate by 50 basis points in May, 75 basis points in June, and is expected to raise them again by 75 basis points in late July. Mortgage rates went up as a result.
- Circulation (7/24/2022)
Gardner Magazine was first established as GreaterGardner.net August, 4, 2000.
Gardner Magazine Circulation at All time High in Gardner MA
In the first 23 days of July, Gardner Magazine eclipsed its Unique Households record achieved in June 2022 which was 14,000 unique households. We will report this month’s total when the month is concluded. We also report that our readers like to use the new AUDIO features. Total downloads so far in July up to July 23, 2022 are: Mayor Nicholson Projects Interview – 2,586 —- Weekly Mayor’s Update July 15, 2022: 1,241 —- Gardner Zoning Board of Appeals July 19, 2022: 229 —- Weekly Mayor’s Update July 22, 2022: 632 —- City Council Meeting July 5, 2022: 30 —-Many early Mayor’s updates have gotten 20 or more downloads. We have separate pages of AUDIO for Mayor’s Updates, City Council Meetings, School Committee Meetings, and Special Events.
- Gardner Fix It (7/23/2022)
I CAUGHT FIX IT Fever Gardner MA printable pdf.
Gardner MA Hit with “Fix It Fever”
The condition is highly contagious and is prevalent throughout the Chair City. Grant money, Investor money, Taxpayer City money – it’s being spent. First it’s the roads and the sidewalks. Then entire buildings are getting complete overhauls. New buildings are being built. Parks are being constructed. Lighting is being enhanced. Even fire hydrants are being repurposed. Building Permit Applications – setting records. It’s all at a fever pitch. What’s happening in Gardner? Everybody’s noticing it and everybody likes it. Gardner MA doesn’t need a cure for “Fix it Fever.” This contagion is actually a blessing.
- AUDIO – Meetings – Updates – Events (7/22/2022)
Gardner Magazine Publishing AUDIO of Gardner MA Meetings, Updates, and Events.
Now you can listen to AUDIO on any device.
Gardner City Council Meetings – all 2022 Meetings available, CLICK HERE. (links to articles too.)
Gardner Mayor’s Updates – all 2022 Meetings available, CLICK HERE. (links to articles too)
Gardner School Committee Meetings – all 2022 Meetings available, CLICK HERE. (links to articles too)
Special Events and Special Occasions – AUDIO available for 2020, 2021, and 2022, CLICK HERE.
- Chair City Café (7/21/2022)
New Restaurant Coming to Gardner MA
The Chair City Café is under construction at this moment. On the Chair City Church website, it says “Coming Summer 2022” Location is at the site of the former Sacred Heart School on Lynde Street in Gardner. There is plenty of parking at the site available for the purpose.
Chair City Church is asking for donations towards the project stating, “Thank you so much for supporting the Chair City Cafe project. The cafe will provide us with a unique opportunity to connect with our community in a personal way. Jesus is doing amazing things here and we are so thankful that you have chosen to be a part of it through your giving. We now offer the ability to give safely and securely online.”
Gardner Magazine has reached out to Chair City Church and will provide more information as it is provided to us. Visit the church website. CLICK HERE.
- Promise Kept (7/21/2022)
In 36 Hrs., Lorden Keeps Promise of Removing Dangerous Plate Glass
At a Zoning Board of Appeals Hearing on July 19, 2022, Gary Lorden of Mass. Ave. Realty stated he noticed the dangerous plate glass on the 2nd floor of the building on Parker Street and vowed to get rid of the hazard ASAP. Not 36 hours, later, it’s gone and already safely out of the way. Gardner Magazine spoke with Lorden’s 25 year old son shortly before noon on July 21, 2022 and he was all smiles with enthusiasm for the project. When asked about the glass, he said, “We took it out this morning and it’s already in the dumpster.”
We inquired of City Hall regarding this and Mayor Nicholson released this quote, “I’m excited to see the ongoing construction on the Ryan Building and eager to see how it will improve the look of our City.”
UPDATE July 22, 2022: Mayor Nicholson released photos of the construction work (shown below) on Social Media and stated, “Approximately 8 buildings in the downtown have changed owners in the last 6-12 months- closer to 12 new owners by the end of the year. This opens up opportunities for 34 storefronts, 40 office/commercial spaces, and approximately existing 100 housing units (not including the 30 new ones in these buildings) to be renovated and bring new life to the area.”
- Beautiful Building (7/20/2022)
Beautiful Building Coming to Downtown Gardner MA and an offer of up to 2 Years FREE Retail Rent at another.
In September of last year, the City of Gardner was notified that it would be awarded $900,000 from the Underutilized Property Grant Program for 42-50 and 52 Parker Street. This was made public at the end of November. Mass Ave. Realty was awarded the sale and provided a full plan to renovate both buildings on Parker Street commonly known as the Ryan Block and Temptations. They are also required to put in $4.2 million dollars of their own money into the project, which Gary Lorden stated at Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting on July 19, 2022, they would be amortizing over 30 years to make the math work out.
Gary Lorden Impressed with City of Gardner
At the hearing on July 19th, Lorden indicated that upon Zoning Board of Appeals approval of his plan, the construction would take one year. He related how he originally got involved in Gardner with the Goodnow Pearson’s Building project, praising former Mayor Hawke and Planner Bob Hubbard for their welcoming style. He also stated Trevor Beauregard and Mayor Nicholson are great to work with: “did this project not because of economics, but because it’ll mean something.” Building Commissioner Roland Jean and Gardner Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Trevor Beauregard spoke in favor of the project. A 6 page joint letter of support was submitted by Mayor Nicholson/Council President Kazinskas.
Board to Make Site Visit
Lorden spoke of the various quality materials to be used in the building and was very clear he wanted the building to look good describing the various construction proposed in detail. The Board will make a site visit, keep the public hearing open, and may grant approval at its next meeting on August 16th.
Lorden also made it clear that his previous Gardner investment, the Goodnow Pearson’s Building has not been a huge moneymaker for him. He stated that he has a completely refurbished spot suitable for retail or a restaurant which has remained vacant since the building was renovated. However, during his time speaking before the Board, Lorden praised all of the positive projects the City of Gardner is undertaking, even mentioning how good the sidewalks look.
Generous FREE Retail Rent Offer
Gary Lorden of Mass. Ave. Realty made a very generous public offer regarding the open spot in the Goodnow Pearson Building: 1 year FREE rent for a retail establishment or 2 years FREE rent for a restaurant. Watch the complete meeting on YouTube. CLICK HERE.
- Satellite Internet (7/19/2022)
Unlimited Satellite Internet now available in Gardner MA and some area towns
Elon Musk’s venture Starlink Satellite Internet is available to Gardner residents, and other area towns such as Winchendon, Phillipston, and Templeton. Currently, the price is $110 per month for residential plus the cost of equipment. Other satellite services are available to Gardner, but here is the difference: the bandwidth limit and latency. Starlink offers unlimited internet while others have considerable limits, making the use of streaming apps not feasible in the past. With Starlink, you can do whatever you did before with Cable internet. Cost is not cheap, but it is a viable alternative, and a great backup for any business relying on the World Wide Web. Note that Fitchburg and Leominster still have to wait. There is more information on their website and you can check your exact address for availability. CLICK HERE.
We checked out exact cost. You’ll pay a total of $686.44 upfront for equipment and then billing will start within about 2 weeks of shipping out to you. Currently $110 monthly.
- Elementary Gallery (7/15/2022)
Today was the day, but there’s maybe 6 weeks to go for New Gardner MA Elementary School.
We have a complete Photo Gallery taken July 15, 2022
Project Supervisor we spoke with on 7-15-22 stated that both inside and outside work needs to be done as well as substantial site work. He states they hope to be ready for the start of school with about 6 weeks of work left to go. The Official Gardner MA School Calendar shows a first day of school of August 29, 2022. CLICK HERE.
- Nicholson Super Heroes (7/15/2022)
Watch the Mayor’s Update on the City of Gardner’s YouTube page or on our Mayor’s Update page, CLICK HERE.
Or listen to the audio – short 8 second delay before it starts:
Play Audio File of any 2022 Mayor’s Update. CLICK HERE
Gardner MA Michael Nicholson Reveals Community Super Heroes in Weekly Update July 15, 2022
He didn’t say those words, but he revealed the Best of the Gardner Community in this week’s Uplifting Update just the same. Mayor Nicholson complimented his Super Hero Aide Colin Smith who organized this year’s successful Gardner Food Truck Festival. The Chair City Mayor also thanked all those who helped make it possible.
Mayor Nicholson spoke of the Phoenix Cross Fit Class held Tuesday Nights at 7:30pm this summer at Fitness Concepts for “those who are in recovery, those who want to support those in recovery, or those who just want to live a sober lifestyle.” Nicholson was invited this past Tuesday by the Alyssa’s Place Recovery Center (Super Heroes).
Nicholson told of the Heywood Surgical Pavilion Progress. He also mentioned a Super Effort, the new island in place at the intersection of Woodland Avenue and Green Street to help cut down on accidents. (by DPW Super Heroes)
NoWoCo Pride held an event at Gardner City Hall attracting dozens of people. (NoWoCo Super Heroes)
Mayor Nicholson explained that several Eagle Scout projects have made a difference in Gardner this summer including from newest Eagle Scout Quinton Lemmick (Scout Super Heroes)
Turns out the DPW has some Super Heroes of their own. We call them the “Mulch Makers”, turning trees they’ve had to take down into wood chips to be used at the Dog Park and at the Golf Course, saving the City lots of money by not having to purchase them.
The DPW has also been instrumental in other Super Hero work including starting construction of 2 new Shade Pavilions at the Gardner Dog Park, replacing 4 dead ash trees at Monument Park with new trees, and replacing Downtown Gardner sidewalks. However, the City was faced with a Super Villain who went under the caution tape to walk on the wet concrete. The Villain was promptly arrested by Gardner PD Super Heroes and will be held financially responsible for the repairs which needed to be made.
Many in the community who serve Gardner are Super Heroes, don’t you think?
Let us showcase your Gardner MA Super Hero. Email News@GardnerMagazine.com
- MART (7/14/2022)
Press Release: MART expanding services and Bus stops in Gardner MA
In a Press Release dated July 13, 2022, the City of Gardner is formally announcing the expansion of services and bus stops in Gardner. View Press Release
According to the Press Release, the shelter above was only the first of several to be added in Gardner. Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson is currently the Chair of MART’s Advisory Board. City Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas stated, “…The new bus stops will support our current residents and visitors, and the expected growth from residential and commercial development happening throughout the City.” According to the Press Release, MART will use grant funds to install 20 more shelters along their lines this year and next, with 4 to 10 of them to be placed in Gardner.
- Local Treasures (7/13/2022)
The Heart and Soul of Gardner MA: Independent, Locally-owned Small Businesses
According to IndependentWeStand.org, a number of things happen when you decide to Shop Local. $68 of every $100 spent at locally owned businesses stays in the community helping to create local jobs. Local business owners know you and you know them, and local business owners tend to support community causes. See example below: Greater Gardner MA residents can take advantage of the expertise at a locally owned business by letting one of your friends or neighbors serve your needs.
Gardner Square Two Recognizes Positivity
Patti Bergstrom, President of Gardner Square Two and owner of the Velvet Goose stated, “I do feel as if there has been a positive change in the energy and attitudes in our community. As a small business owner, I have met so many new people in the past few months…people who live locally and are just now discovering some of the local treasures. Grateful for the support of our community. I have spent 35 years at The Velvet Goose and it is definitely My Happy Place. You are all invited!” Want to take Patti up on her invite? Here’s the Facebook page. — Directions
Local Business Owner Gives Back
Anne LeBlanc of John’s Sport Shop recently won a big prize in a contest – a kayak full of goodies. Boys & Girls Club of Gardner had a Fundraising Gala last month raising over $224,000, $7000 of which was from the Summer Fun Raffle with the Kayak and merchandise worth $1500. But, guess what Anne did? Anne donated most of her win to Cancer Support Fund of Central Mass. Inc. so that more people could benefit by yet another charity drawing. Patti Bergstrom stated on July 13, 2022, “So grateful that I live and work in this kind and generous community.” John’s Sport Shop website. — Directions
Gardner Loves its Local Businesses
- Twiddling Thumbs (7/12/2022)
Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson: We’re not Twiddling our Thumbs
The Chair City Mayor speaks on how Gardner is setting an example to bring in business and relates numerous examples of success in making Gardner better. Complete article, CLICK HERE.
- Municipal FM (7/10/2022)
Because of the relatively low power involved, cost would not be a huge factor as the transmitter and antenna would be fairly inexpensive. Engineering is relatively simple and the F.C.C. engineers in Washington D.C. could help for FREE. Gardner already has a television studio at the High School on Catherine Street. Gardner MA produces high quality video of City Council, School Committee, and other Municipal Meetings, and a weekly Mayor’s update. Visit the City of Gardner YouTube page here.
Gardner MA may consider its own Low Power Municipal Radio Station
Last year, an F.C.C. window closed on applications for regular licenses on the non-commercial band. Sometime soon, a window will open for additional low power FM applications on the 92 -108 part of the band. That’s where the interests of Gardner come in. Does Gardner want to have a station like the City of Leominster has had since January 26, 2017, which is licensed for 21 watts with an antenna 210 feet above average terrain? See what Leominster is doing with it. Website.
How Far would it Transmit?
If the license was granted, Gardner High School on Catherine Street could serve as a transmitter site as it’s roughly in the middle of Gardner geographically. Gardner City Hall might also cover the City. According to the Federal Communications Commission, Low power FM has a radius of about 3.5 miles. Gardner is only 23 square miles which in this case presents an advantage – less square footage to cover with a transmitter. The calculated coverage area would be A=πr2=π·3.52≈38.48451mi² using 3.5 as the radius of a circle and calculating the area of the circle. The math shows much of the Chair City could be covered, perfect for emergencies or whatever Gardner would deem to be in its interests. Due to the low power, the coverage might have dead spots due to terrain. That is why commercial stations which cover more than one community operate with substantially more power.
We asked the Mayor in an interview on many subjects July 6th:
Poegel: “Mayor, so sometime soon, an FCC window is going to open, allowing the City of Gardner to apply for a low power FM license, similar to what the City of Leominster already has. Does the Chair City have an interest in pursuing this to protect its interests?”
Nicholson: “I know we’ve talked about that with our Emergency Management Director Paul Topolski, because we do have a radio transmitter that we can use when we have larger events, but we don’t have a signal that is our own. So it is something we preliminarily looked at, but it’s not something we’ve had on the radar until we just heard the rumblings that the F.C.C. might be opening up a little more, so it’s a very recent conversation that we don’t have any details on yet on our end, but it is something that did spark a conversation.” Listen to the entire interview.
What frequency would it be?
Low power FM is between 92 and 108 on the FM dial. You find out what’s available by doing a search on the FCC website. You need to know the latitude and longitude of the proposed transmitter location. Finding a frequency is as simple as going on the F.C.C. site, inputting latitude and longitude specs, and doing a search. Gardner City Hall at 95 Pleasant Street is at 42 34 26, -71 59 45 and Gardner High School is at 42 34 39, -71 58 45. Both searches yield the same available frequencies, 97.3 and 102.9. However, Steve Wendell, owner of WGAW has a construction permit for a commercial station at the 97.3 frequency for Orange MA, so our bet is the City would pick 102.9 if it’s interested in pursuing the project.
As the Crow Flies
If we each had a flying car, we could make it to work much quicker because the distance “As the Crow Flies” is always shorter. There’s an online tool to calculate the straight line distance between two locations. CLICK HERE.
- Food Truck Festival Held (7/9/2022)
Gardner MA Holds Its Largest Food Truck Festival Ever
The Gardner Food Truck Festival on Saturday July 9, 2022 brought out many people from Gardner and surrounding communities to enjoy a wide variety of cuisine. The weather was almost perfect for the event. The Moon Hill Brewery Beer Garden delighted folks with some of their local beers produced in the Chair City. BootHill Express provided an enjoyable sound at the steps of Gardner City Hall. And the appetites of many were satisfied by the huge selection from more than two dozen Food Trucks. Gardner Magazine thanks Claude Vautour for taking photographs of the Food Truck Festival so we could share them with you.
Food Trucks expected were Travelin’ Bones, The Grub Guru, Smokin Food Truck 51,Uncle E’s BBQ Express, Nom Nom Hut LLC, Wacky Candy Shack, Sun Kim Bop, Minuteman Kettle Corn, Inc., Sabor Latino, Pops Sweet Harts Ice Cream Truck, Kona Ice of Shrewsbury, Moe’s Sweet Eats, Grill Daddy, The Dogfather, Jackson Effie Coffee Cabin, Say Cheese!, Potato Potato, Boston Coffee Rescue Corp, Birds Nest Italian Street Food, Shishkaberrys of New England, Trolley Dogs, Shane’s Hot Dogs, Sammy’s Polish Express, Tu Antojo Boricua, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, and Clyde’s Cupcakes.
The streets were blocked off as Food Trucks lined up on Pleasant Street and City Hall Avenue with convenient Restroom locations at 3 different spots. It was a bring your own chair event, but there was seating and tables in the new Pleasant Plaza. See Previous article on Gardner Food Truck Festival with menu descriptions.
The next big event in Gardner is Retro Stew, scheduled to play at Monument Park in Gardner on Saturday July 16, 2022. We interviewed one of the band members about the planned classic rock music selections. CLICK HERE
For the complete Monument Park Concert Schedule, CLICK HERE.
Enjoy more photos of the Gardner Food Truck Festival below.
- WGAW Spirit of 76 (7/6/2022)
In the Spirit of 76 on 7/6/22, We Honor Gardner’s Iconic WGAW Radio
Heard on AM 1340, 98.1FM, and everywhere on the internet, LISTEN LIVE LINK, WGAW is celebrating a 75 year history and entrance into its 76th year. Complete History from the station’s website., CLICK HERE.
More on the Spirit of 76 , CLICK HERE.
- Projects (7/6/2022)
Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson – The Projects Interview – July 6, 2022
Gardner Magazine Publisher Werner Poegel interviews Mayor Nicholson. The Chair City Mayor speaks about the new Gardner Elementary School, taxes, projects, and paving. In the complete article, we now have in writing the complete section on the New School explaining how your bills won’t go up because of it, how your higher preliminary real estate bills will get adjusted in the end, and how the City will work with those needing help in paying.
Gardner MA School Excellence and Safety
The Mayor cites numerous examples of excellence, going above and beyond, and School Safety.
For complete article, CLICK HERE.
To listen to the complete interview, just click the play button below:
- Storefront Revitalization (7/1/2022)
State Approves Gardner MA Application for Storefront Revitalization Districts
In an announcement dated June 30, 2022 but sent out on the first day of the new fiscal year, Mayor Nicholson announced that the Chair City has been approved for two new Vacant Storefront Revitalization Districts, covering both the Timpany Boulevard Corridor and another which covers the majority of the City’s Downtown. Complete Press Release in pdf form. CLICK HERE.
An Avalanche of Government and Community Leaders Respond Positively
Mayor Nicholson, “…these programs just continue to make Gardner a more marketable place to do business.” State Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik, “…this program will help further revitalize two important commercial areas.” State Senator Anne Gobi, “The City of Gardner continues to put out the welcome mat to new businesses….” Jonathan Bombaci of Candor Realty, ” We have a number of businesses interested in coming into the downtown and this program will help them with the fit-out costs which are necessary for them to be successful…” Patti Bergstrom of Gardner Square Two, “….This program should go a long way toward helping….” Amy Fantoni, owner of Timpany Crossroads, “…We are excited to grow with the city….” Gardner City Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas, “….The program both compliments and encourages growth in our city moving forward.” Congresswoman Lori Trahan, “…I applaud Mayor Nicholson for his commitment to making Gardner an even better place to live, work, and do business.” Mayor Nicholson, “…the fact that we were able to get both applications approved is quite an accomplishment for the City.” Read all the comments in the Press Release.
Program applies to all storefronts that have been vacant for a period of 12 months or more. There’s a total of 42 eligible locations. For all the complete comments, please read the Press Release.
The Two Vacant Storefront Districts Recently Approved for Funding by the State.
- Downtown Progress (6/30/2022)
Gardner Square Two Recognizes Downtown Gardner MA Progress
Gardner Square Two Inc. posted some photos of progress happening right before our eyes in Downtown Gardner stating in a Facebook post, “Wow! There is so much happening in our Downtown. And we are very excited about all the revitalization going on. Temporary inconveniences for an amazing future. YES!”
From Gardner Square Two Inc.”Our success is instrumental in returning the Downtown to an economically vital business, cultural, and residential district. Square Two’s goal is to provide Gardner’s (Gardner MA) citizens with a safe, accessible, and diverse resource that will further enhance economic development.”
Gardner Magazine loves to showcase positivity. Email News@GardnerMagazine.com
Gardner Magazine created a page called “Share the Chair” to profile Downtown Gardner Businesses. There’s even a 9 minute reenactment of positive reviews. For the page, CLICK HERE. We will be continuing to chronicle more of Gardner’s successes as they occur.
If you see something we should cover, please email News@GardnerMagazine.com. Thank you.
- Community Health (6/29/2022)
Community Health Connections new building closer to completion
The sign states an opening date in December 2022 and construction progress to date puts the project right on track. Gardner Magazine was granted access to take these photos on June 28, 2022 of a great facility in the making. The construction foreman told us, “Just wait another 2 weeks and see what we have done.”
Community Health Connections currently has a facility on Connors Street in Gardner. This building will add additional service capabilities. Here’s a link to their website.
- Gardner Plan (6/27/2022)
Gardner MA City Centennial marks halfway point in Urban Renewal
Often Social Media posts reflect the impatience of Gardner residents. Whether it’s paving, rundown buildings, or desired improvements, the comments are numerous. So Gardner Magazine thought it would be a great time to remind our readers that there is a 25 year plan. Over a decade ago, in 2011, a 143 page Urban Renewal Plan for Gardner Massachusetts was published. In the background section it stated, “Gardner is poised to promote revitalization opportunities within a significant portion of the Downtown area, including areas of commercial/retail, office, residential, manufacturing, and public space land uses.” It went on to describe the past history of Gardner including the steady decline of the Downtown area after the 1950s, the decline of furniture manufacturing, and Gardner’s slow growth rate compared to the rest of the region, including population. Fast forward to 2022: Significant progress has been made in revitalization of Downtown Gardner with various projects underway. Manufacturing is coming back to Gardner with some significant success stories. A number of businesses have come to the Chair City in the past couple of years, even with the challenges of the pandemic. The population of Gardner is the highest in its history.
Gardner Challenges Were Identified
The plan identified various challenges including, “88 percent of the structures predating World War II” and “approximately 39 percent of the properties with buildings in the URA were found to be in moderate or severe disrepair.” A significant number of successes have already been documented, but in short, progress takes time. The National Grid substation on Park Street was identified as something to redevelop as recreational open green space. This was recently approved by the Gardner City Council with an appropriation of $260,000 from free cash. It was also desired to upgrade the Greenwood Memorial Bath House. However, since that time, the huge cost involved has precluded progress on that front and various other plans have been discussed with nothing finalized as of yet. Redevelopment of the Goodnow-Pearson Building was identified as a goal and was completed. Redevelopment of the Maki Building was identified, however, the building was instead torn down and will soon be Maki Park as $180,000 was recently approved by the City Council. A park has replaced the former theater on Parker Street. Rear Main Street was specifically mentioned and now a huge project is in the works. The plan was to construct a new Police Station and Gardner has a beautiful building today. The goal of redeveloping Heywood Wakefield III and IV into residential and assisted living was achieved.
Goals and Successes
One of the goals of the URP is to ““set forth a series of public improvements that together with private investment will transform Gardner into a thriving 21st century City.” Just look at the 99 Restaurant and surrounding buildings, the new Health Center being constructed near Walmart, and the various construction projects either completed or currently underway at Heywood Hospital. Various buildings in Downtown Gardner have recently changed hands with plans for renovation into modern structures with some renovation currently underway. Manufacturing employers in Gardner are thriving and are hiring. The Urban Renewal Plan contains various maps, charts, and property lists. If all of the goals in the 25 year plan are achieved, the results for Gardner will be truly transformative. In any case, there can be no dispute – Gardner MA is on a positive, upward trajectory. Read the 2011 plan for yourself. Here’s the pdf.
- Gardner Celebrates (6/26/2022)
More Event Photos, CLICK HERE.
Gardner MA Residents and Visitors Share FUN on Gardner’s Birthday Saturday June 25, 2022.
It was a super day in Gardner MA with perfect weather. The food was abundant throughout the Chair City. Smiles were to be found on many a face as residents and visitors enjoyed the FUN in Downtown Gardner and elsewhere in the City. The Greenwood Swim Club had Swim Meets. Retailers forgot about inflation and discounted prices to the delight of savvy shoppers. It was another Small Business Saturday in Downtown Gardner from 10am to 4pm with sales, demonstrations, performances, giveaways, games, and activities. It was FUN! The formal opening of Pleasant Plaza was held. Popular host Steve Wendell of WGAW did a LIVE Man-on-the-Street broadcast LISTEN to it. The Gardner PD set up a popular safety demonstration which simulated the effects of impaired driving. Monument Park and the Lithuanian Club had FREE concerts and FIREWORKS were enjoyed by hundreds at Kendall Pond. Gardner MA is a Great Place to Live, Work, Play, and Visit. View our complete list of June 25, 2022 events.
Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson and others get Dunked for Charity
Pythons Played in Public
Downtown Stores Held Sales
Popular Downtown Gardner Merchants such as the Velvet Goose and John’s Sport Shop delighted shoppers with merchandise specials. Attracted to Downtown were customers of all ages. People could be heard cheering at the time of the Fireworks Grand Finale.
Fireworks Brought in Hundreds of People to the Chair City
Fireworks were held at Kendall Pond about 9:30pm and lasted for about 15 minutes in celebration of Independence Day and Gardner’s 237th birthday.
Downtown Gardner MA has been the recent subject of many positive announcements including upcoming building renovations and projects, new sidewalks, fresh paving, storefront grants, the just-approved new Maki Park to be across from the Gardner Ale House, and so many more ideas becoming reality. Today may have been the start of Downtown Gardner’s new found positive trajectory towards the future. More June 25, 2022 Photos, CLICK HERE.
- Just Dance Approved (6/23/2022)
Just Dance Owner Rebecca Wilson with a Big Smile as Special Permit is Approved for new location in Gardner MA
The Gardner Zoning Board of Appeals on June 21, 2022 approved a SPECIAL PERMIT for 69 Lincoln Street, Gardner, which will soon house the new location of Just Dance Performing Arts Center. During the hearing, Rebecca Wilson presented letters of support from the Mayor, Council President, a City Councilor, and even former Mayor Hawke. There were 35 letters of support from abutters and interested people. The Special Permit details parking and changes to the building which will house 2 dance studios. The ZBA was satisfied with parking available not only on the property, but also nearby parking. After a round of questions and answering member questions to their satisfaction, approval was given. Gardner Magazine will inform you when we hear of the Grand Opening date.
- Share the Birthday (6/23/2022)
A Chair City of Gardner MA Awesome Birthday Celebration!
Share the Birthday during the Gardner MA Celebration June 25, 2022
What does Sharing the Birthday mean? It means sharing for yourself and your family what the Chair City has to offer from retail stores, restaurants, and recreation, and more. And what a great day to do it with so many events on June 25, 2022. Complete listing, CLICK HERE. For more about businesses in the Chair City including reviews, ,CLICK HERE.
Jump to Retail Stores – — Restaurants – Recreation – June 25, 2022 Events — Shopping Elsewhere in City —- See Keri the Wonder Dog —- Pleasant Plaza Ribbon Cutting —- WGAW Live —- Kids Safety Day —- Downtown Dunk Tank —- Gardner Museum Craft Fair —- Monument Park —- Whiskey Johnson Concert —- Fireworks at PACC —-
The Greenwood Swim Club is having a swim meet at Greenwood Pool this weekend. This is the first one since the passing of Don LeMieux
Saturday, June 25, 2022 : 1. Morning session begins at 9:15. Swimmers and parents will be rolling in around 8:30. It will end at 12:45. 2. Afternoon session begins at 1:15. Swimmers and parents will be rolling in around 12:45. It will end at 4:15. There are also meets at Greenwood Pool on Sunday.
Retail Shopping in Downtown Gardner and the entire Chair City
Popular John’s Sport Shop with nearly 60 years in business. Anne Leblanc says John’s will have “racks of licensed goods, running shoes, and various shirts including the Grateful Dead.” There will be various racks and tables. Save up to 25 to 50% off. Website
With nearly 200 5 star reviews on Google, Last Minute Gifts and Flowers has a popular variety of gifts, and of course, beautiful plants and flowers. Website
The Gardner Thrift Store has favorable reviews including this one from Rachael, “This is a very good thrift store. With many options for collectors. They have anywhere from clothes, household items, furniture and collectibles. Highly recommend”
O’Neil’s Bicycle Shop is a long-time Downtown Gardner business with plenty of wheels for those desiring a great bike to pedal around town or around the neighborhood. Jordan says this about them, “Very kind, polite, and knowledgeable! Good service for any bike related work you need.”
On Saturday June 25, 2022 Gardner will also have some exciting outdoor vendors selling interesting merchandise in Downtown Gardner MA.
Shopping Elsewhere in the Chair City on Saturday June 25, 2022
Other stores in Gardner having a draw for shoppers this Saturday include: Ocean State Job Lot will be open from 8am to 8pm and feature plenty of air conditioners, beach chairs and towels, patio furniture, and shock for pools. Shoppers are also welcome to sign up for insider exclusive deals. Staples is open Saturday from 10am to 7pm and will be having a FREE PC Tuneup event featuring a free scan. Total $30 value FREE. Just need a computer with windows 7 or later. Big Lots will be open Saturday from 9am to 9pm and is featuring a 4th of July flyer. Get copy online. A paper copy is available in store. Walmart is open Saturday 6am to 11pm and will still be doing grocery deliveries on Saturday. Dollar Tree will be open Saturday from 8am to 10pm and has a flyer you can see online. Tractor Supply will be open Saturday from 8am to 9pm. Dog wash open until about 8pm. It’s $9.99 shampoo, conditioner, and towels are provided. Family Dollar is open Saturday from 8am to 10pm. So shop Downtown Gardner MA, eat at one of over 30 Restaurants (see below), and then do some more shopping. Scroll down for more activities.
Kerri the Wonder Dog at Anthony’s Liquor Mart, Gardner MA
Chance to see Keri The Wonder Dog in Gardner MA
Keri the Wonder Dog will be at Anthony’s Liquor Mart on Saturday June 25, 2022 from 1pm to 6pm. Anthony’s also will be featuring displays of some of the world’s most noted and appreciated wines and spirits. If you would like to see an $1,800 bottle of Pappy Van Winkle Rye, Anthony’s will have one on display. The store states, “We have the largest selection of Microbrews, Seltzers, Hard Teas, and Hard Cider of any store from Leominster to Springfield. And, Anthony’s is a lucky lottery location, having a $1.5 million dollar ticket last year.
Restaurants in Downtown Gardner and The Chair City
The Chair City of Gardner has an abundance of almost 3 dozen restaurants to welcome you on any day including Saturday , June 25, 2022. We have a previous article on Gardner MA Restaurants, including reviews. CLICK HERE.
Recreation in the Chair City of Gardner MA
Gardner Massachusetts offers some great places to enjoy the Great Outdoors featuring hiking trails, scenic picnic areas and more. Here’s a link to the Parks, Open Space, and Trails map with complete information. — – Gardner offers playgrounds and recreation sites and even a map to all of them. CLICK HERE.
Gardner MA June 25, 2022 Public Events
Small Business Saturday in Downtown Gardner MA from 10am to 4pm with terrific sales, demonstrations, performances, giveaways, games and activities. FREE Birthday cupcakes! Complete schedule from Gardner Square Two, CLICK HERE.
Formal Grand Opening of Pleasant Plaza – It’s open now for outdoor dining with an official ribbon cutting on Saturday June 25th. Enjoy food from local restaurants or visiting food trucks!
Man on the Street with Steve Wendell
The popular host of Gardner’s hit radio show, Hotline Radio, Steve Wendell, will be in Downtown Gardner starting sometime mid-morning and continuing through mid-afternoon. Steve will be stopping by various booths, talking to people, and letting listeners know about the fun going on. WGAW is heard 24/7 on AM 1340, 98.1FM, and live online at this link to Listen Live.
Kids Safety Day at the Gardner Elks Lodge from 11am to 12:30pm featuring FREE Hot dogs, ice cream, chips and water. With door prizes, FREE bicycle helmets and various demonstrations including a live K9 demonstration. Printable flyer pdf click here.
The Downtown Dunk Tank will be set up by the Gardner PD on Parker Street from noon to 3pm. Proceeds benefit the Gardner CAC Food Pantry. Here’s the line-up of dunkees: 12:00 – Von Smith, 12:30 – Mayor Michael Nicholson, 1:00 – Officer Willis, 1:30- Lt. Maroni, 2:00 – John Lawrence, 2:30pm – Lt. Maroni. Come and support the Gardner CAC and DUNK your favorite!
Gardner Museum Craft Fair from 10am to 4pm. Craft vendors, raffles, refreshments,and a food truck in the museum parking lot. FREE ADMISSION. The Gift Shop will also be open. Website
Whiskey Johnson Concert at Lithuanian Club from 7pm to 11pm. NO COVER CHARGE. Whiskey Johnson on Facebook
Fireworks at Kendall Pond -The Fireworks at dusk is in observance of Independence Day and Gardner’s 237th birthday and will take place at the Polish American Citizens Club. FREE ADMISSION.
With exciting outdoor dining opportunities in Downtown Gardner MA, fantastic Sidewalk Sales by Downtown Retail Stores, offerings by service providers, and superb food from Downtown Gardner restaurants, it is sure to be a hugely popular event. Gardner is a great place to Live, Work, Play,and Visit. Make it a date, June 25, 2022 Downtown Gardner MA. Happy 237th Birthday, Gardner Massachusetts! Complete Events page.
- Seaman Paper (6/20/2022)
From left to right in above photo: Mike Wright, Global Chief Operating Officer, Seaman Paper —- Jo Pagnotta, Corporate Human Resources Director, Seaman Paper —- Dana Heath, Gardner City Councilor —- Jessica DeRoy, Gardner Economic Development Coordinator —- Michael Nicholson, Mayor, City of Gardner MA —- Zack Lawrence, Mayor’s Intern —- Glen Welsh, Plant Manager, Specialized, Seaman Paper —- Ryan Lichwell, Chief Administrative Officer, Seaman Paper —- Mike Gerry, Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce Interim Executive Director —- Scott Percifull, North Central MassHire Career Center Business Services Representative —- Rob Anderson, MassDevelopment Vice President, Business Development —- Rebecca Beaton, North Central Mass Development Corporation Vice President of Lending —- Elizabeth Conner, Assistant Plant Manager, Specialized, Seaman Paper —- Trevor Beauregard, City of Gardner Community Development & Planning Director
Successful Seaman Paper Toured in Gardner MA
City and state officials recently took an in-depth tour of the 75,000 square foot Specialized Paper Converting Facility. According to Seaman Paper, it’s “an important part of Gardner’s manufacturing industry and Seaman Paper’s primary production plant for food service converted products. “I saw a lot of excitement in their faces for all of the amazing activity on the floor. I feel they appreciated what we were doing, the success of our business, and for providing great jobs for the greater Gardner area,” said Specialized Plant Manager Glen Welsh.
Jessica DeRoy, Gardner Economic Development Coordinator said, “I am in awe of what you can do daily, and how all the machinery operates. Your sustainability packaging and plans are impressive. You told me ahead of time that you made the Super Bowl confetti and the Hershey Kiss plumes, but it was amazing to add the restaurant paper to the mix and be able to watch the process. As a consumer, I never really took the time to question where tissue paper and these other items come from, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to see the process.”
The Seaman Paper Company has its Corporate Headquarters at 35 Wilkins Road in Gardner, Massachusetts. The successful Chair City manufacturer has nearby locations in Gardner, Baldwinville, and Orange, MA. What some don’t know is Seaman Paper is in Fujian, China, Hong Kong, Dongguan, China, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam, Rastatt, Germany, and Carpi, Italy. Seaman Paper website.
The City of Gardner is interested in showcasing its history of manufacturing success to other companies who might want to locate in the Chair City and also become successful around the globe. Gardner is a City of Success and a great place to Live, Work, Play, and Visit.
- Outdoor Dining (6/20/2022)
Outdoor Dining Initiative Begins in Downtown Gardner MA
The Street was closed at both ends. Signage went up. The planters are there and soon will showcase beautiful plants. Crews put up the lights. And tables started to hold customers enjoying outdoor eating. Official grand opening is during Gardner’s Birthday Celebration on June 25, 2022. Complete Article, CLICK HERE.
Lights are ON! Outdoor Dining has started!
Mayor Nicholson released the photo at left and also stated, “Still more tables to be added, flowers to be planted on the barriers, flower beds from Aubuchon Hardware to be laid out throughout the area, and new trash cans from Masscor but the Pleasant Plaza Outdoor Seating Area is open! “
“Thank you to Gilbert Gravel from the Gardner DPW for putting it all together today and Jon Bombaci of Candor Realty for letting us string the lights from their building! Already a few people out eating at the tables.”
- Pleasant Plaza (6/19/2022)
Pleasant Plaza is Born in Downtown Gardner MA
Monday, June 20, 2022 is the official date of birth which will be shown on the BIRTH CERTIFICATE for Pleasant Plaza on Pleasant Street, Gardner MA as the street is closed off after 5am and a new Outdoor Dining area is BORN. The idea was hatched by Gardner Business and Government leaders, gestated by the Mayor and City Council, born into reality by the efforts of many and named by the spontaneous utterances of local business people.
The timing is perfect as Gardner celebrates its 237th Birthday on June 25th and hopes to draw thousands of people to the Chair City on that day to enjoy all that Gardner has to offer. Complete list of Events, CLICK HERE.
- Goose Goodies (6/19/2022)
The Velvet Goose has been a business in Downtown Gardner MA for over 3 decades and carries clothing, accessories, jewelry, and gifts. Visit their Facebook page.
The Velvet Goose in Gardner MA Having Massive 6 hour sale on Saturday June, 25, 2022
Patti Bergstrom announced on her store’s Facebook page: “Check out our SALE Racks. Discounts up to 90% off. $5, $10, $20 Deals. Enter to win Goose Goodies!” It was also posted, “Join us on Saturday, June 25! We are celebrating Small Business Saturday (because 1 Small Business Saturday in November is not enough) and we are celebrating Gardner’s 237th birthday.” For Gardner Magazine’s complete article on all of the day’s events, CLICK HERE.
Patti Bergstrom, the President of Downtown organization Gardner Square Two has been a supporter of the Chair City and Downtown and recently stated this at a Grant Event in April 22: “It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood, made more beautiful by Congresswoman Trahan coming with all this grant funding.” … “We have so much positivity in Downtown, it is just a beautiful day every day in our Downtown.” Some would say that Patti herself has brought just a little more Sunshine to Gardner all these years, just like the sunflower she posted on her own page.
- Witches’ Wardrobe (6/19/2022)
Bringing the Magic of local artisans to Downtown Gardner MA with the new store, the Witches’ Wardrobe
Kate Saab has brought some magic to Downtown Gardner with the Witches’ Wardrobe at 314 Central Street, Gardner as she has given a place for local artists to showcase their handmade items such as jewelry, stained glass mobiles, silk paintings, bath & beauty products, and candles.
Kate is enthusiastic about the Sidewalk Sale event taking place on Saturday June 25, 2022 in Downtown Gardner. hosting a Witch Dance group and featuring a hula hoop station for kids to play with. The store will have deeply discounted clothing and other items on sale.
When you’re in Downtown Gardner MA, plan a visit to the Witches’ Wardrobe for a unique shopping experience in the Chair City!
- Square Two (6/17/2022)
Gardner Square Two says June 25, 2022 in Gardner MA will be so much fun for the whole family!
Gardner Square Two has put out some more info about the awesome day about to happen in Downtown Gardner on Small Business Saturday, June 25, 2022 from 10am to 4pm. (with other events throughout the evening elsewhere in the City) See our Complete Article. Gardner Square Two encourages residents and visitors to Shop! Eat! And Play! and advises ”Downtown merchants and restaurants will be offering specials. Local organizations and vendors will be displaying their merchandise and conducting demonstrations. Meet Superheroes and Princesses. Participate in the games, sidewalk art, and other fun activities. Join the Mayor at the big ribbon cutting and celebrate Gardner’s 237th birthday celebration at Pleasant Plaza. So much fun for the whole family!”
- Moving Day (6/16/2022)
Packing starts in earnest at Elm Street and Waterford Street Schools in Gardner MA
Chairing the School Building Committee Mark Hawke stated that packing started in earnest on June 15, 2022. “At Elm Street School we filled 2 dumpsters. Waterford filled 2 dumpsters. They will both be emptied tomorrow and/or Friday, so we can continue cleaning out.
I was somewhat surprised at the success we had in cleaning out all the classrooms and packing, and I’m gonna say, somewhere in the vicinity of 80 to 85 percent of the classrooms are clean, green, ready to go. All in all, things went fairly well. “
Christina Thomas stated, “I want to send a huge thank you to the high school and middle school faculty and staff who came to our aid today. It was very touching to have them come in and help move. And pack, and carry. “ It is reported that even the Superintendent of Schools Mark Pellegrino assisted in the moving.
To watch the entire meeting, CLICK HERE.
Mark Hawke said, “Everyone who wasn’t at Elm Street or Waterford street which included Cathy and Joyce and Mark Pellegrino, myself, and everyone at Central Office, and the High School and the Middle school were dispersed and sent to all the other classrooms to assist in any way possible. So we got a great deal done in one day., a surprising amount done.”
Earl Martin, “I should second all that, it showed the character of the School District as one that values team and helping each other out. Thanks to the Central Office and all the schools for helping out.”
- Gardner’s Birthday (6/13/2022)
Gardner MA Birthday Celebration Planning in Full Swing
Saturday June, 25, 2022 is just around the corner and so is the 237th Birthday of the City of Gardner MA. There’s a huge amount of Downtown Gardner events beginning at 10am including those sponsored by the Gardner Recreation Department, Chair City Church, Gardner Square Two, Gardner PD and Fire,and various Gardner Businesses. And with the official opening of the Outdoor Dining on Pleasant Street, it’s even more special! There are various events around the City of Gardner including a Craft Fair at the Gardner Museum, Boothill Express playing a FREE CONCERT at Monument Park, Fireworks at dusk at the P.A.C.C., and the Whiskey Johnson Concert at the Lithuanian Club. Visiting food trucks at many City locations add to the appeal. For a detailed listing of events, here’s our complete article. CLICK HERE.
- Crane at Flat Iron (6/12/2022)
Flat Iron Work Closes Part of Pleasant Street in Gardner MA
Pleasant Street, Gardner MA was closed for a period on Saturday June 11, 2022 and again on Monday June 12, 2022 as work was done on the Flat Iron Building. The building recently changed owners, and from the looks of things, the new owners are getting right down to business in fixing up the structure.
Work on Main Street Building
Just around the corner from the Flat Iron Building, some type of building work is taking place on Main Street with the outside showing scaffolding and a blue covering material. For those wondering when Downtown Gardner is going to look better, it’s happening one building at a time. Sometimes there’s a delay between the announcement of a building sale and the completion of the rehab.
- Gardner’s Birthday (6/10/2022)
- Just Dance Approval (6/8/2022)
Just Dance Center Awaits Approval of Plans for New Dance Studio in Gardner MA
Contractor Robert Ouellet has submitted an application for a variance at 69 Lincoln Street in Gardner, seeking permission to convert the premises to a Dance Studio. If approved at the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing on June 21, 2022, 69 Lincoln Street would be the new home of Just Dance Center which formally left its Downtown Gardner location on May 31,2022. The application was submitted prior to the middle of May 2022 and before being marked complete included a Copy of DEED, photographs, and plans. Gardner officials have publicly spoken in favor of keeping the Just Dance Center in Gardner.
Just Dance Fan Base
The public Facebook page of Just Dance! Performing Arts Center demonstrates many parents are eager for the business to reopen. Here are some of the comments. “Thank you for creating so many amazing years, and memories in this building. I’m hopeful the new space can happen soon. We are so lucky to be a part of the Just Dance family.”, Hoping there will still be summer classes…. The family you have created for these kids is truly inspirational. Once you can re open there will be joy, happiness and the most beautiful welcome back messages ever! We will see you soon!…. So much love for this place and business you created, thank you for all that you do for these kiddos and including me as well. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for your love and dedication for dance…. Bigger and better things are coming. You will probably be happy you have moved forward to bigger and better things. … So many memories there. We are so thankful to be a part of the Just Dance family! Hope that the new space is approved soon!”
City of Gardner Support
The City of Gardner has been extraordinarily supportive of the business as well, as chronicled in a previous article. Just Dance received almost $200,000 in expenses support over the past 5 years from GRA, various Micro Enterprise funds, a relocation specialist, and even a check for $69,500 to assist in the move. Gardner Magazine will let you know the progress of the new location of this beloved local business.
About the Gardner MA Zoning Board of Appeals
The Gardner Zoning Board of Appeals consists of 3 members and 2 alternate members: Raymond F. LaFond, Chairperson, Randall Heglin, Third Member, and Michael Gerry, Clerk. Alternate members include Melory Cornett and David Antaya. June 21,2022 Agenda —- Schedule of Fees —- 2022 Meeting Dates —- Instructions. (Note that the Deadline to Apply for a variance is one month before the scheduled meeting) Copy of DEED, Photographs, plans, and a complete application must be submitted with the application. The application must be reviewed and marked complete by the Zoning Board of Appeals Administrative staff prior to being submitted and time stamped at the City Clerk’s Office. The fee to apply for a variance is $350, and if the applicant requests a continuance, that is subject to a $150 fee.
- Heywood Construction (6/4/2022)
Gardner MA Heywood Hospital Limits Plant Growth During Construction Through Signage
In signage seemingly directed towards these beautiful blooming plants at Heywood Hospital, speed of growth is limited to 5 miles per hour. Just in case, vehicles are advised to slow down as well during construction. The periodic explosions heard throughout the day don’t seem to have affected these plants at all, although occasional announcements are made on the Hospital-wide PA system when explosives are used.
Heywood Hospital has been undergoing construction and now anticipates its new upcoming Surgical Pavillion to replace the current surgical area which was built over 50 years ago.
Construction is ongoing at Heywood Hospital. Construction crews have encountered sections of bedrock and precise explosives have been used.
After construction, the Surgical Pavilion will contain 6 operating rooms, 2 minor procedure rooms, 2 endoscopy rooms, and other areas. Projected cost of project to be completed by 2023 is over $30 million.
- Just Dance (6/1/2022)
The Entire Just Dance Center Story
The picture at left shows the 52 Parker Street, Gardner building just prior to Just Dance becoming a Downtown tenant, which they did become in 2010. However, in August of 2017, the Gardner Redevelopment Authority purchased the properties at 42-50 and 52 Parker Street and Just Dance was informed that the property was acquired for the purpose of being marketed for redevelopment and that a sale could occur at any time. That was the day Just Dance knew they would eventually be moving. When the recent sale was announced, Mayor Nicholson met personally at his office with Just Dance owner Rebecca Wilson on November 15, 2021 and informed her how the City would be providing a relocation specialist.
Documents Show the Timeline
The following documents are provided to show the actual timeline involved, to demonstrate the huge amount of support provided by the City of Gardner to Just Dance Center, and to refute statements made by the Just Dance owner and family members which conflict with the facts set forth here. We are publishing various documents including the following: Entire 6-1-22 Press Release from Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson in which the Mayor details the tremendous amount of support the City of Gardner has given to Just Dance. —— Email from R Wilson dated September 15, 2021 in which Rebecca Wilson expressed a desire to own the Parker Street building. —— –Email from R Wilson dated October 29, 2021 in which Rebecca Wilson asks the Mayor and Trevor Beauregard how much longer she has in her space. (Obviously she knew then that at some point she would have to move) —— A claim form signed by Rebecca Wilson on May 4, 2022 in which she acknowledges that she will be receiving $69,500 in moving expenses ——– The order of free cash of $80,000 providing a relocation specialist for Just Dance —— Just Dance Microenterprise Agreement to receive just under $20,000 ——- Just Dance Microenterprise Agreement to receive just over $5,000 ——-Documentation of Dance Studio searches from Realtor ——- Dance Studio Property Suggestions from Economic Development Department documenting locations suggested to or visited by Just Dance.
Thank you to Mayor Nicholson and all in the City of Gardner who have provided such wonderful support to the Just Dance Center. We wish the Just Dance Center well in their upcoming new location and we will let you know when we have more information.
From Mayor Nicholson, “Just Dance is reportedly looking at the property located at 69 Lincoln Street but first needs a variance for the parking requirements from the Zoning Board of Appeals and there are some questions as to whether or not such a use of the property would require that the building have a sprinkler system installed pursuant to the Commonwealth’s Fire and Building Codes. These actions and questions are still ongoing.”
Just Dance Performing Arts Center Gardner MA to get New Home
Just Dance Center is out of the location on Parker Street in Downtown Gardner where it has been for 12 years. But it’s not leaving without controversy.
Just Dance owner Rebecca Wilson states she has paid rent every single month. Actual numbers show that from August 2017 to May 2022, the GRA expended $261,688.92 on the property with Just Dance paying a total of $73,000. Just Dance paid electricity, but GRA paid for gas, water, sewer, trash, property maintenance, insurance, and others, without extra charge to Just Dance. Just Dance received almost a $200,000 benefit over a period just under 5 years.
Despite a claim made that the City provided no support, the Free Cash approved by the Gardner City Council on December 20, 2021 for $80,000 was to be used to hire a relocation specialist. Since then, close to 30 properties were shown to Rebecca Wilson. The business also received Microenterprise funds totaling $25,000 and PPP loans as shown below.
Despite the issue of Just Dance Center moving being discussed in the media for the past few years, owner Rebecca Wilson today claimed she didn’t know about the need to move until December 2021. It is very clear from Mayor Nicholson’s Press Release that she knew in August 2017 that eventually she would have to move, nearly 5 years ago.
Despite receiving a recent check from the City of Gardner of $69,500 to assist in relocation and fit out costs for their new location, Social Media posts on June 1, 2022 continued to challenge whether the City had provided any support. Unfair public outrage was created towards the City and this publication until the actual facts could be publicized in their entirety and the matter laid to rest.
Just as other businesses did during the pandemic, Just Dance also received a PPP loan to help with payroll in the amount of $20,833.00. Complete PPP data for all Gardner businesses, click here.
With all of the financial support provided by the City of Gardner and with all the positive public sentiment expressed, Just Dance should have no problem succeeding in its new location. A social media post showed goodbye messages from dancers on the walls and a statement saying, “Looking forward to bigger and better things to come. Hoping to get our new space passed through the Gardner Zoning Board in June. More info in an email to come.” Website, CLICK HERE. The Just Dance Center website shows Rebecca Wilson as the owner and lists 4 other employees.
Gardner Magazine reached out to Rebecca Wilson who stated she did not want to be interviewed. We informed her that the invitation was open and that we would be happy to promote their new location when announced.
The building in which the business was located had been sold by the Gardner Redevelopment Authority to a new owner who will be renovating it, a positive outcome for one of Gardner’s long-standing blighted buildings. The transfer will not be a giveaway as there is a $900,000 grant covering some expenses, but Mass Ave. Realty is putting $4.2 million dollars of their own money into the project. Note however, that the City of Gardner records do not yet show that an actual sale has taken place. 52 Parker Street — Property Record Card. , but still show ownership by the Gardner Redevelopment Authority. Regarding the transfer, according to Mayor Nicholson, “However, to help make it so Just Dance! Had enough time to figure everything out, the GRA informed Mass Ave Realty that they would delay closing on the property until June 1st, in order to make sure Just Dance! Had until May 31st to find a new location. This is why the deed has not been recorded on the property yet….”
Gardner Magazine will keep you informed as to the progress of the new Just Dance location.
Back in November 2021: Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and other officials showed up in Gardner on Giving Tuesday to formally announce the $4.1 million MassWorks Grant, plus an award of over $900,000 for the NEW Underutilized Properties Program Grant. The look of Downtown Gardner will improve again as some funds will be used to rehab the Temptations and Ryan Block Buildings at the corner of Parker and Connors Streets.
Mayor Nicholson has a stated goal of renovating buildings when feasible. When this solid building is put back into service it will enhance the look of Downtown. At the time in November 2021, some citizens expressed concerns about the direct support of more retail store fronts by the City. Recent announcements about buildings sold to developers eager to renovate should easily lead to more available storefronts in Downtown Gardner.
- Mobile Repair (6/1/2022)
- Crossroads Plaza (5/30/2022)
Prime Retail Space Available in Gardner MA
Looking for a place for your retail store, medical clinic, or company office? According to the sign in the window on May 29, 2022, Crossroads Plaza in Gardner MA has up to 4,300 square feet available. According to the website, 308 and 320 West Broadway are still up for grabs with a total building size of 9,800 square feet. Website, CLICK HERE:
- Gardner City-Wide Yard Sale (5/21/2022)
The City of Gardner welcomed many to its Spring 2022 Yard Sale. We’ll advise you of Fall 2022 plans as they are announced.
It Happened and people came! Gardner MA City-Wide Yard Sale had 133 participating homes May 21, 2022 from 8am to 2pm
On some roads in Gardner Saturday May 21, 2022, a parade of cars could be seen traveling to Yard Sales in the Chair City. With a total of at least 133 participating homes who appeared on the map, many items were up for sale. As of the end of the sale, the online map showed 4,240 views. The City-wide Yard Sale took place this Saturday May 21, 2022 from 8am to 2pm. Cars could be seen with out-of-town and even out-of-state license plates.
Ways to view the list: Complete map on Google.
Click any image for larger view.
Super Computer Utilized to Plot Route to all Gardner MA Yard Sale Stops
With 133 Homes having Yard Sales in Gardner on Saturday May 21, 2022 from 8am to 2pm, we needed to find a way for you to see them all.
The route plotted by computer starts at the Blue Moon Diner (thought you might like breakfast before shopping) and then plots out all the stops which are completed in less than 4 hours. Printable in pdf format, Directions only. 41 pages of Turn by turn maps.
- Wednesday Afternoon (5/19/2022)
Simultaneous events in Gardner MA, the Chair City are chronicled for one Wednesday afternoon.
It was a Great Wednesday Afternoon in Gardner MA
On the afternoon of Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in Gardner Massachusetts, Gardner was quietly being a Great place to Live, Work, Play, and Visit. People were going about their business on City Hall Avenue. Shoppers were enjoying stores on Main Street. The Lion made it to a new location on Parker Street. The Downtown Garage was being used for vehicles, but there were plenty of easy spaces for more Downtown Shoppers to enjoy.
The DPW was sprucing up the Dog Park and the dogs were having a good time. A Downtown park was green with life. Senior Center Director Mike Ellis met people at the job fair. Priscilla’s Candy Shop looked inviting from outside. Across the City at the Uptown Rotary, the flowers were blooming. People were shopping at Walmart, Timpany Plaza, and the Gardner Plaza. People were enjoying food at their favorite eating places. The construction site at the new Gardner Elementary School was quiet, with the outhouses resting after a long day of use and construction had completed for the day. Gardner High School was active with many students enjoying the outdoors.
It was an ordinary afternoon, but there wasn’t really anything ordinary about it. It was actually pretty great. People just weren’t thinking about how awesome it was! Enjoy Gardner, the Chair City. All Wednesday afternoon photos in the Chair City, click here.
- Gardner Yard Sale (5/15/2022)
Gardner MA is poised to get a huge influx of visitors on Saturday May 21, 2022 as bargain hunters will have many homes to visit for Yard Sale items!
Gardner MA City-Wide Yard Sale on May 21, 2022 from 8am to 2pm headed for huge participation success!
Event organizer Julie Mazza reports that the definite number is 126 houses who have signed up. Gardner Magazine registered GardnerYardSale.com to help and it has a link to Julie’s latest map and even posters you can use at your house to advertise your participation. If you’re thinking of having a yard sale in Gardner this year, don’t miss this event.
The deadline to sign up was Wednesday, May 18, 2022 – all you had to do was email your home address to email@example.com and get a free Yard sale permit from the City of Gardner. CLICK HERE Note that Mayor Nicholson has stated that even though the City Code only allows yard sales to start after 9am, the City is making an exception and allowing this sale to start at 8am and the City Council just sent a corrected ordinance to First Printing.
Yard Sale supplies. If you need some pricing stickers or sign materials we suggest the Dollar Tree in the Timpany Plaza, Walmart, Staples, Ocean State Job Lot, or Big Lots.
As of 8pm on May 19 2022, the Gardner Yard Sale Map showed 126 participants and the online Gardner Yard Sale Map had been viewed about 2200 times. Gardner Businesses should be prepared for a large influx of people to the Chair City this Saturday.
- Mayor’s Update 5-13-22 (5/13/2022)
Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson Updates City with either Secret Service Detail OR Attentive Aide.
Captured just to the left of Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson is what appears to be a scene out of the movies. Given that the Mayor is still too young to run for President, we believe the individual is hard-working aide Colin Smith. This appears to prove what has been suspected – The entire team at the Mayor’s office is highly committed to working for the betterment of the City. Watch the video update yourself on the City’s YouTube page or on our Mayor’s Update page and see if you can identify the mystery man in the reflection.
At the Building: One of the matters discussed by the Mayor is the very building he is standing in front of – the Flat Iron Building by Bull Nose Park which was recently sold to Candor Realty by Dean Marcus and which will soon be rehabbed and returned to its full potential. The Mayor announced that Candor Realty’s other property purchase on 88-98 Main Street will soon feature a Candor Realty office in one of the open storefronts. The City has been involved in facilitating several transactions recently which will result in former blighted buildings in Downtown Gardner becoming productive again, with either business or residential space. The Mayor stated,, “this building has officially been sold.”… “The City Council will vote on my proposal to close a small section of Pleasant Street to increase outdoor seating options.” View Mayor’s complete Press Release, CLICK HERE.
Fire Safety: Mayor Nicholson stated, “We had a notice from the Gardner Fire Department asking us to remind people that as the weather gets warmer, do remember to be careful with grilles….or where you are depositing your cigarettes…. We had 4 different fires this past week, 2 of which happened because there were grilles on 2nd or 3rd floor portions that were enclosed, That is actually illegal here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In both of those instances, the grille started a fire on the porch, and in one case causing upwards of $20,000 in damage to the building. Two other locations, we had a mulch fire in which an individual threw a cigarette into some mulch over at Old English Village….or another one left a cigarette on a railing near a building and that caused a fire as well.” Here are some Grille Safety tips from the State of MA. CLICK HERE.
Thanked Nurses: Mayor Nicholson thanked nurses at Heywood Hospital and noted that this week was Nurses Appreciation Week. “We really do owe our nurses a great deal of thanks.” The Mayor also congratulated various other individuals. Here is some more information on Nurse’s Week from Nursing World. CLICK HERE.
Art Shows: “Gardner High School and Middle School joined together this past week to host an Art Show for our students, just like we had the Gardner Elementary School Art Show that took place this past Thursday.” At the Gardner MA School Committee Meeting of 5-9-22, several members commented on students and the Art Show. View article.
- Orange Water Tank Funding (5/6/2022)
The Town of Orange has secured MA Grant Funding for Water Tank Project
The $1 million in MassWorks grant funding for the Orange Industrial Park Water Tank Project is designed to help protect employees, preserve business, and prepare for growth. The award will be used to build a new water town for fire suppression serviced at the Orange Industrial Park. There’s more information in the press release. CLICK HERE.
- Gardner Brand (5/5/2022)
Gardner Magazine launches Gardner MA Branding Initiative
We’re asking for input from the greatest minds of Gardner MA for details on Vision, Successful Projects, Successful Startups, Active Development, Infrastructure Improvements, Government Transparency, Sound Fiscal Management, Cooperative Relationships, Community Amenities, Quality Education, Quality Health Care, and Resident Pride. Visit the page in progress, CLICK HERE
The Plan is to also create Written Content espousing Gardner’s assets, Companion Audio, and High Definition video emphasizing the Gardner Brand and Gardner as a great place to Live, Work, Play, and Visit. Gardner MA is a quality brand. Thinking of coming to Gardner? Good Choice.
- Gears of Industry (5/4/2022)
The State of Massachusetts most recent data as of March 2022 shows the Gardner Labor Force at 9.842 with 9,391 employed and 451 unemployed. Unemployment rate 4.6% vs. the MA rate of 3.8%.
Gears of Gardner MA Industry Turning as Manufacturers Look for Workers
A brief look at online postings for manufacturing HELP WANTED in Gardner MA turned up a number of positions as of 5-4-22. Molding Technician at Mack Prototype pays up to $49.7k/yr. Injection Molding, Mold Technician at Advanced Cable Ties pays up to $55.2k/yr.. Expert Staffing advertises Picker/Packer/Assembler jobs at up to $35k/yr. First Mate Printing and Converting is seeking a Press Assistant at up to $40.5k/yr.
Companies advertising jobs with hourly rates including Garlock Printing & Converting which even offers a retention bonus, Standard Chair, NEWW Packaging and Display, Balance Staffing, Employer Solutions, Monroe Staffing, Expert Staffing, Continental Feed Screw Inc., , and Wood You Build It. Hourly rates range from about $15 to about $30/hr.
Gardner Spring Job Fair
The Gardner MA Spring Job Fair will take place on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 from 2pm to 6pm at the Gardner Senior Center, 294 Pleasant Street, Gardner. Directions. You can Pre-register with a MassHire Career Counselor Website or register at the event. Event is free. Up to 2 dozen employers or more will meet job seekers and conduct on-the-spot interviews. More Information.
- Update 4-29-22 (4/29/2022)
For the Mayor’s weekly update, visit the City of Gardner YouTube page or our Mayor’s update page. CLICK HERE.
Gardner MA Finances Get a Perfect Score, First time at least in Decades
This week, Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson delivered his weekly update from the site of the new Community Health Connections medical building on Timpany Boulevard. While the Mayor maintained his composure, his pride in the City’s Finance Team was evident: Here’s why. Gardner received its annual independent outside audit this week as required by Mass. General Laws.
This is the first known year in the City’s history that not only were there no findings found, but also no suggestions of how things could go better. It’s the best audit result Gardner could possibly have received and objectively shows that the Chair City is well-managed. Mayor Nicholson said, “Big congratulations to our City Auditor John Richard and to the other Department Heads who are part of our Finance Team. It will help improve our bond rating as we move forward as well.”
Gardner PD Investigation Executive Summary released. Nicholson stated, “As things are finalized, we’ll be sure to let the public know.” Gardner Magazine has 2 stories on the matter if you scroll down.
Other items included in the weekly update were: At airport: The Mayor related the excitement of the plane which noticed it had a bullet on the wing near its gas cap. Gardner was closest airport. Airport is actually located within the Town of Templeton and that’s why Templeton PD responded. Paving: Mayor Nicholson went over various paving updates. Pearson Boulevard to be milled on May 3rd. Pearl Street to be milled on May 9th. Congratulations: Congratulations to Isaac Knight and his family on the ribbon cutting for Knight’s Nutrition in Downtown Gardner. Congratulations to Gardner’s own Dawn George who works for the Department of Corrections, who was recently inducted into the Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame. Light the Town Purple: Light the Town Purple Event coming to Gardner this coming Monday right before the City Council meeting at Gardner City Hall at 7pm. This is the kick-off event for the Gardner Relay for Life event to be taking place in June. Keep Gardner Beautiful: Keep Gardner Beautiful Nip Hunt and litter cleanup event taking place Saturday May 7th beginning at 9am. Register through Keep Gardner Beautiful Facebook page.
- Mayor Nicholson 4-22-22 (4/22/2022)
Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson updates City from Grant Event
Once again not addressing the Gardner Police Investigation at all, Mayor Nicholson opened his update by speaking about growth in the Chair City, releasing that 300 Building permits have been pulled so far in 2022, a faster clip than 2021, which was a record-breaking year. He thanked residents and businesses for continuing to invest in the City and spoke about progress regarding blighted properties.
Among his announcements: The Gardner Dog Park will get a 10 foot by 12 foot shade pavilion with grading issues and water improvement addressed. Various road projects were detailed. A new MART bus stop with be available soon in South Gardner in front of the old Prospect Street School. Knight’s Nutrition smoothie and tea shop in Downtown Gardner will have its ribbon cutting Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 1pm.
Mayor Nicholson stated that he was doing the update from in front of William’s Restaurant because Congresswoman Lori Trahan was there for an event with various Grant announcements. 3 different programs offer funding for business impacted by Covid 19 from April 1, 2020 to the end of 2021. Details on the Economic Development page.
Lori Trahan recognized the various individual leaders she works with stating, “small businesses are the the heart of any community.”
Representative Zlotnik spoke on State Resources which have been available to the City of Gardner. He praised the Federal Government’s response to the Covid crisis is helping make funding available.
Council President Elizabeth Kazinskas spoke and praised those who have worked on behalf of the City. She specifically spoke about outdoor restaurant seating. Restaurants had showed interest and an ordinance was passed by the City Council. Permitting process is now live.
Gardner Square Two President Patti Bergstrom spoke and stated she has had her shop (the Velvet Goose) for 35 years. She opened by stating, “It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood, made more beautiful by Congresswoman Trahan coming with all this grant funding.” She stated there are 9 businesses in Downtown Gardner with agreements for changes in ownership, 6 businesses have opened since the start of the pandemic, “we have so much positivity in Downtown, it is just a beautiful day every day in our downtown.”
Mayor Nicholson closed by stating that “this is how government should work. A group of people at the local, state, and federal level coming together …our theme through all of this has been coming together to grow Gardner, and that’s really what this is. It’s all of us coming together to build a place that people are proud to call their home, proud to open a business in, and proud to stay in.”
Nicholson spoke on the number of businesses which have come to Gardner in the past 2 years and the opportunities coming with building renovations happening at various Downtown Gardner buildings. “There’s never been this much opportunity in the City to grow what we have here, to build on what we have here, and just put our next foot forward and set us forward into the next decade let alone generation and beyond here.” View the Mayor’s weekly update on the City of Gardner YouTube channel or on our Mayor’s update page. CLICK HERE.
- Time Travel (4/18/2022)
Fictional Time Traveler Journeys to Gardner MA Past and Future
1900: Our time traveler is on a mission to find the perfect time in Downtown Gardner, Massachusetts. Journeying incognito to the Center of Gardner 100 years ago, he finds commerce in full swing. Some of the buildings exist to this day, some have been replaced.
1950/60: Turning the crank of his time machine, our Time Traveler finds himself viewing a Gardner police officer directing traffic over 60 years ago, near the intersection people have been fussing about. Traffic existed then as it does now, but ideas of how to handle it have evolved and changed over time. Notice a thriving business district in Downtown Gardner.
2020s: Our Time Traveler journeys to present day and finds an attractive Downtown Gardner MA with a different traffic pattern and different businesses. The future of Gardner MA is only limited by the imagination and fortitude of its residents, community leaders, and government officials. With the recent progress made and additional projects announced, who knows what the future could hold for Gardner MA.
2200: Our Time Traveler ends up in the year 2200. History shows that a forwarding-looking Gardner Mayor, City Council, and Business Community in 2022 continued to foster a period of positive growth in the Chair City. By the way, it is said that in the year 2200, Gardner MA is once again the undisputed Furniture Capital of the World.
Residents of Gardner MA have every reason to believe the future of the Chair City is going to be bright as the community works together.
- Furniture Turnings (4/13/2022)
- Zoe’s on the Green (4/6/2022)
Watch this 5 minute meeting on YouTube. CLICK HERE.
The Gardner MA License Commission held a special meeting on 4-5-22
Discussed was the seasonal alcohol license for Zoe’s on the Green to operate at the Gardner Municipal Golf Course. It was approved subject to a facility inspection. Angela DiPrima commented that it shouldn’t be a problem as the facility is City-owned and assumed to be in compliance.
- Rietta Opening 2022 (4/4/2022)
Rietta Flea Market opens for another season
Rietta Flea Market of Hubbardston MA opened for the 2022 season on 4-3-22. Even around noon time the parking lot was busy. Admission to the flea market is FREE. Vendors pay $35 for a space. Rietta celebrated its official 50 year anniversary in 2016. It started as a small music venue in 1966. Later, the flea market was added and has operated for well over 5 decades.
Thousands of people visit Rietta Flea Market every week. There are usually hundreds of dealers offering a wide range of merchandise. People go to Rietta for “pleasure or treasure.” Rietta is also known for the quality food at its concession stand where you can get Fried Dough, Hot dogs, Burgers, French fries, and more.
ALERT 4-4-22: Rietta Flea Market management has reached out to us to report that online crooks are attempting to sell Online Rietta Gift Cards. Please do not purchase as this is a SCAM. Rietta does not honor online gift cards. If you encounter any of these scams, please report to POLICE. Thank you.
For the official Rietta Flea Market website, CLICK HERE
- Construction (4/4/2022)
The facility is just to the right of the Gardner Walmart.
Construction Season is Well Underway in Greater Gardner MA
Community Health Connections anticipates December 2022 opening.
Home construction is humming along on Route 2A at the Gardner/Templeton line. Some of the homes are in Gardner and others are in Templeton. Groundbreaking happened last fall, but construction continued over the winter. Some of the properties are already noted as under agreement.
- South Gardner (4/3/2022)
Growth in South Gardner MA
South Gardner MA is experiencing growth and revitalization. At left is the soon-to-open Gardner Spirits location. Below are photos of the South Gardner Laundromat and the South Gardner Fire Station.