Gas station at closed Bedford Stop & Shop to be demolished
BEDFORD — Many people in town have been disappointed over the loss of the Stop & Shop supermarket on Kilton Road, which provided one-stop shopping for gas and groceries. Now, there seems no hope that another company will take over the facility and help fill the tank.
The store closed in September, but the gas station has remained vacant and unattended. In December, Hannaford Bros. supermarket acquired the lease of the former Stop & Shop building, but did not announce plans for that location.
The fate of the building is still unknown, but recently town Planning Director Rick Sawyer was contacted by the both companies seeking permission to demolish the gas station.
“The current site owner is still the Stop & Shop Corp. Hannaford has now taken over the lease for that facility, and between the two parties they don’t want to maintain the gas-fueling facility at this point,” said Sawyer.
He brought the matter to the Jan. 27 Planning Board meeting to confirm he has the authority to deal with the matter directly, of which the board agreed.
“Sometimes when there’s something public like this or a building’s being removed or even additions, I bring it to either the chairman to make sure it’s the intent of the board, or to the board themselves,” he said.
The owner’s intent is to demolish the gas station and pave the parking lot to provide additional parking for the existing businesses. However, there may be an environmental issue.
“There is some leakage even though they are new tanks, so they have some environmental mitigation they have to do. I believe it travels somewhat toward the landscape island,” he said. “You may see some work and digging being done, and they have to work with our staff to do that.”
Sawyer said this is the first time he’s been in contact with either the Stop & Shop or Hannaford regarding the site, and there is still no word on the future of the former supermarket building or the site.
“I tried to convince those I can that it would be a shame to lose that facility, but the owner or future owners have no interest at this point in maintaining it,” he said. “I did ask them, as strongly as I could, to give us an update on the principal building, but they could not do that at this time. They are still doing their evaluations.”
Planning Board members commented that the gas station was convenient for the community.
“There will be a lot of people who will miss that station,” said Harold Newberry, adding that removing the gas station is better than leaving it unattended.
Sawyer said the company’s biggest concerned is about the aesthetics of the location.
“They see it as a liability,” he said.