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Bakery and CrossFit heading to Bedford warehouse

Union Leader Correspondent

December 11. 2017 12:39AM
Conceptual plans have been filed to convert the former Grenon Trading Co. site in Bedford into a bakery, CrossFit gym and potential martial arts facility. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT/FILE PHOTO)

BEDFORD — A local couple is moving forward with plans to renovate a vacant warehouse building along Route 101.

Pinhan and Muge Cakir of Beaver Lane approached the planning board last week with conceptual plans for the building that was previously occupied by Grenon Trading Co.

A 75-seat bakery will occupy the front portion of the building, and a CrossFit gym will occupy a separate area of the structure at 276 Route 101, according to the preliminary plans. A martial arts facility may use another portion of the building, and the rest will be used for office and retail space.

“It is going to be a Turkish bakery, which the Cakirs are going to run and operate,” said Kurt Lauer of Lauer Architects in Goffstown.

Pinhan Cakir, who has several degrees and prior careers as a sports agent, jeweler and college instructor, previously owned and operated a restaurant in Turkey for about five years.

He and his wife purchased the 6-acre property in Bedford for more than $1 million about a year ago.

“I think all of us can agree the existing building isn’t overly attractive,” said Doug Brodeur of Holden Engineering. His firm is helping the Cakirs redevelop the highly visible site.

Conceptual plans include a new building facade with a stone veneer, new roof and windows in the front of the structure.

Several interior mezzanines will be dismantled, while some will remain for storage. The new owners have already been granted a special exception by the zoning board to operate the CrossFit gym inside of the warehouse.

John McKay, owner of Wellness Empire, told planning officials that he will be running the CrossFit operations. CrossFit is expected to occupy nearly 5,000 square feet of the 17,800-square-feet building.

To reduce noise disturbances to the other tenants of the building, McKay said the facility will be equipped with high-quality rubber mats. In addition, plans include isolation panels and sound insulation.

According to Brodeur, some of the facade improvements are designed to make the building less industrial-looking, including upgrading a loading dock garage door to glass.

Although there are currently two entrances to the building from Route 101, several planning board members suggested the secondary entrance near the loading dock be eliminated. One neighbor expressed concerns about additional traffic once the facility is operating.

“I know there are many people in town looking forward to what you are bringing to this facility with the Turkish cafe,” Town Manager Rick Sawyer told the new owners, congratulating them for moving forward with the project.

A more formal site plan will still need to be reviewed by the planning board before any work progresses on the property.

The Cakirs moved from Istanbul, Turkey, to Manchester about 22 years ago — just two days after they were married. The couple and their two daughters relocated to Bedford in 2016.

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