EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 1, 2013

Plaistow plaza renovation being finalized

By Alex Lippa
alippa@eagletribune.com

---- — PLAISTOW — The plans for the revamped Plaistow Center Plaza have been submitted, but one of the anchor tenants remains a mystery.

Representatives from Taurus New England Investments, which owns the plaza, appeared before the Planning Board earlier this month.

“We will be splitting the old Shaw’s box into two retail locations,” Mike Malynowski said at the meeting on Sept. 18.

Malynowski is one of the engineers working on the project.

The shopping center has struggled since Shaw’s moved from 4 Plaistow Road across Route 125 in 2007, but new tenants could soon be coming.

Aldi’s Supermarket has signed a contract to fill one of the vacancies. Mark Donahoe, a consultant with Select Real Estate Consulting, said they are finalizing plans with another tenant.

“It’s still a mystery,” Donahoe said. “I can’t say much more than that.”

In April, Town Planner Leigh Komornick said HomeGoods had expressed interest in the space, but that may not be the case anymore.

“We were talking to them at one point,” Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said. “But I don’t think that’s it at this time.”

Instead, another business may be in the picture.

“We had a deal with another tenant that we thought was 90 percent there, but it blew up,” Donahoe said at the meeting. “We have another tenant now that feels right. It feels like it’s going to come together.”

Donahoe said it would be one to two months before he would be able to reveal that tenant’s identity.

As part of the plan, Dollar Tree will move from the north end of the plaza to a new 12,000-square-foot building, which will share a wall with Aldi. The 78,090-square-foot section between the current Dollar Tree location and Papa Gino’s would be demolished.

Taurus submitted its first application for the plan at the meeting and will appear again on Oct. 16.

“We’re doing our final paperwork right now,” Donahoe said. “We’re chasing the permit, hiring the contractor and trying to get started.”

Fitzgerald said once the businesses are in place, it will be a economic boom to Plaistow.

“Having occupied storefronts and having busy projects like this help creates jobs and it generate tax revenues,” he said. “We’re seeing signs of the economic recovery and are doing our best to play a strong role in coordinating this.”

Donahoe said at the meeting that Aldi’s could open by spring.