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More redevelopment planned for Nashua's Amherst Street

Union Leader Correspondent

June 16. 2014 8:45PM

NASHUA - Several new development projects are about to take shape on Amherst Street, including the proposed construction of a new car wash, oil and lube shop, grocery store and retail center.

This week, city planners will review preliminary plans for each of the renovation projects, which will take place at 635, 647 and 270 Amherst St.
Key Auto Sales took over the property at 635 and 647 Amherst St. last year when the Nashua Planning Board granted an application to build a pre-owned car dealership at the site.

Now, several months later, Key Auto Group is returning to the board asking for a conditional use permit to allow a 6,670 square feet vehicle service center and car wash to operate on the parcel.

The former Mikata Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar will be demolished to allow for the construction of the seven bay oil and lube center, according to plans on file at Nashua City Hall.

The site has been used for vehicle sales and repair for almost 40 years, according to Linda Panny, a city planner. In a memo to the planning board, Panny said the property once operated Demers Truck Sales and Service, and more recently a Saturn car dealership.

A separate project for a large retail development at 270 Amherst St. will also be introduced to the planning board this week.

The contaminated parcel that once housed Nashua Motor Express is being proposed for a 40,000 square feet retail center with a grocery store, which includes four potential storefronts with undisclosed tenants. A separate, 4,500-square-feet pizzeria restaurant — Papa Gino’s, which closed a few months ago just across the street — is also being suggested for the property.

“I think this will be a good retail use that is permitted along the Amherst Street corridor, and will bring some activity and possibly some jobs to the area,” Carter Falk, deputy planning manager, said recently.

The design of the new buildings will most likely improve the appearance of the site, agreed Matt Taylor, deputy planning manager. In a memo to the planning board, Taylor said that preliminary plans include cultured stone, accent bricks, cornices and awnings.

“Gasoline compounds, volatile organic compounds and buried asbestos have been discovered (on the site), and the applicant is working with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to develop a remediation plan to address all of these issues,” says the application on file at Nashua City Hall.

Plans for the car wash, oil lube shop and retail center with a grocery store will be reviewed by the board at 7 p.m. Thursday at Nashua City Hall.

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