Town properties purchased, set for redevelopment

0
125
Pawtucket Credit Union purchased the property at 99 Chestnut St. By 2022, it is expected to become a new branch for the company, its second in Massachusetts. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

Two sites in town, both unused for years, will see new life in the near future.

The former ABC Vacuum site at 99 Chestnut St. was bought on June 26 by Pawtucket Credit Union. CEO George Charette said the company has completed an environmental study of the site and is applying for permits to raze the building. He said a concrete timetable has yet to be finalized, but the plan is to open a branch sometime in 2022. This would be the second Massachusetts facility that PCU has, the first being a loan office in Foxboro opened five years ago.

We do draw more than 20 percent from the Massachusetts towns contiguous to Rhode Island,” he said. “We have a fair amount of business in North Attleborough, Plainville, and Wrentham. It’s a natural extension of the RI footprint.”

Charette said the company has had its eye on the site for the last five years and made attempts to purchase it, though these proved unsuccessful. The .85-acre property will become a full-service branch with drive-thru capability. He said the access to the site and its location make it ideal for this use.

Economic Development Director Lyle Pirnie said the site began as a watch shop and has numerous uses over the years, though it has been empty for some time. Past tests of the site showed some potential carcinogens, but this would only be an issue if a residential use was intended.

The second site purchased is located at 72 Elm St., and was sold for approximately $3 million to Storage USA Realty MA LLC. Company records show one employee living on Uxbridge. Operations at the site, which used to be home to Handy & Harman Electronic Materials, were shut down in 2010 and the land was sold for $700,000 to 72 Elm St. LLC Trust, owned by First Hyundai.

Pirnie said that due to contamination on the site, the Department of Environmental Protection has placed a limitation on what the land can be used for. Residential development is not allowed.

It stands to reason that he [the new owner] will put storage units there,” said Pirnie. “Other self-storage companies had looked at it in the past. We’re not quite sure what’s going to happen next.”