Give ‘Grange’ a chance

Published 1:20 pm Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Recent letters concerning the proposed development “The Grange at 10Main” have generated a variety of views from residents.

As a resident of Smithfield, I have a genuine interest in its growth and future. I was delighted to learn that Joe Luter has bought the site and is interested in fostering the beauty and utility for future generations.

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The opposition to this project seems to be focused on zoning and addition of residential and business within the town limits. I acknowledge both the economic and nostalgic changes that are often swallowed up by big business that neglects the historic picture and imposes additional taxes on residents. However, the growth already looming around this town calls for action that will resist “add-on” projects that neglect the beauty and essence of Smithfield.

Joe’s plan calls for expanding and relocating the farmers market, providing a footprint for housing and small business, as well as providing a mixture of pathways winding in and around residences and business. This kind of growth is missing in small towns; instead growth outside often diminishes the growth inside.

Joe’s vision is holistic and practical. Previous projects constructed by Joe appeal to children, adults and entrepreneurs: Windsor Castle Park; Smithfield Center; headquarters for Smithfield Foods (Fortune 500 company); Clontz Park; Luter Sports Complex; YMCA; and the recent boat launching platform. These projects have paved the way for smaller businesses such as kayaking, wedding and entertaining/selling events, family entertainment, and add-on services for the general public. The cost is minimal compared to the pleasure they generate for everyone.

The Luters’ entrepreneurship and philanthropy come from a genuine love for this town and a desire to retain its character for decades to come. I appeal to the town and its citizens to seriously consider the worthy and great possibilities of “The Grange at 10 Main.”


Patricia Frech