It’s official: Home Depot is coming to Windham.

This week, the nation’s largest home improvement store chain received final approval from the Windham Planning Board to build a new store on Franklin Drive in North Windham.

The approval was contingent upon a number of conditions put forth by the Planning Board. Home Depot had to contribute $100,000 to the Department of Transportation to improve traffic signals at both the Franklin Drive and Route 302 intersections and what will be the proposed entrance to the store. The remaining money will be used for future traffic signalization.

Not included in the $100,000 contribution are improvements to Landing Road with a right-of-way to provide access to Chaffin Pond. A flush concrete island must also be added at the Route 302 intersection to act as an indicator so motorists file into the correct lane and allow room for Home Depot’s delivery trucks to make the turn.

Home Depot still needs a site location permit from the Department of Environment Protection in order to begin construction on the new home-improvement supply store. The one-story retail store will be 140,880 square feet with a 27,988 square-foot garden center attached to it. If built, the Home Depot would be competition for the Lowe’s under construction behind Wal-Mart on Route 302. Lowe’s is set to open in fall, 2005. Home Depot is slated for groundbreaking “as soon as possible once it’s completed its permitting,” Town Planner George Dycio said.

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