PLAISTOW — The old Shaw's plaza at 9 Plaistow Road will have a new tenant, filling now-vacant 6,000 square feet.
Advance Auto Parts will be going into the former Blockbuster space, according to Peter Carbone, the managing partner for Taurus Real Estate, who is working to lease space in the plaza.
"Advance Auto Parts just signed the lease with us and has started building," he said. "They expect to move in by early spring."
The space has been empty since 2007 and is still surrounded by other empty spaces, including the former Shaw's and Petco.
Building inspector Mike Dorman said there hasn't been much the town could do to fill the empty spaces.
"It's up to the property owners and the business owners," he said. "It's been empty since the new Shaw's was built a couple of years ago. The town would love to see all the buildings full, but all we can do is hope they come to town."
Shaw's left because Stateline Plaza was completely redone and looked better than the 9 Plaistow Road location, Dorman said.
"Stateline Plaza is full except for one unit," he said. "They've done a very nice job of making it look good and drawing tenants. The old Shaw's plaza is planning on doing something similar, repaving and doing some landscaping. They want to do a facelift and maybe that will draw in more business."
Dorman said it's a great location on the northbound side of Route 125, just across the border with Massachusetts.
Jim Palmer, the owner of Live Free or Diner at 5 Plaistow Road, said the empty spaces have hurt his business.
"I just bought the diner in November, but it absolutely bothers me that it's empty," he said. "I don't understand why this mall is so empty. We're 50 yards from the Massachusetts border; you'd think we'd be packed with people not wanting to pay taxes."