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Merrimack Valley

September 23, 2013

Restaurant Depot proposed for Andover

Would fill empty building in new zoning district

ANDOVER — A Restaurant Depot off Dascomb Road would be the first redevelopment proposal in a new zoning district approved at last spring’s Town Meeting.

But it’s unclear if the business meets the requirements of the new industrial district.

New York based Restaurant Depot, which sells supplies to small- and medium-sized independent restaurants, wants to buy the old Brockway-Smith warehouse at 146 Dascomb Road for a reported $11 million.

The company would then convert 86,600 square feet of the 247,130-square-foot building into a new Restaurant Depot, according to plans filed with the Planning Board. The company is similar to a CostCo or Sam’s Club, but for restaurant owners instead of individuals.

The Planning Board is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposal Oct. 8.

Town Planner Jacki Byerley said the company is hoping to put in a new driveway to access the back of the building, which is where the Restaurant Depot would be located. She said that while delivery trucks would access the site, the main source of traffic would be small vehicles such as minivans driven by business owners.

“It’s mainly geared toward small restaurants,” she said, meaning the owners of those businesses will be mostly arriving in their personal or company vehicles to pick up the supplies they need.

It is focused on restaurants like Brasserie 28, Andolini’s and Palmers, she said. Chain restaurants such as 99 would not ordinarily use the facility because they have their own supply chains, she said.

The use is permitted under the new ID2 rezoning because it is considered a grocery store, even though it is more of a wholesale grocery use, Byerley said.

“It’s because of the sale of food,” she said. “It’s allowable under the new business zoning.”

The rezoning was approved for two areas of town — a triangular piece of property south of Dascomb Road bordering Interstate 93 and a larger tract of land north of River Road, bordering the Merrimack River.

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