A five-year-old plan for a wine/liquor shop in the former Robinson’s building downtown is still in the works but may end up in an adjacent location.
1527 Main Street Associates, LLC entered into a redevelopment agreement with the Redevelopment Agency in May 2007 (.pdf), with a proposal for a mixed commercial/residential use, which might include an upscale wine/liquor store with “a food element” and residential rental or condo units on the second floor.
Liquor stores are not permitted downtown and would require approval from the Redevelopment Agency, according to its attorney, Frank Regan. Paul Taylor, an attorney for 1527 Main Street Associates, LLC and owner Peter Scarperi, requested in an Aug. 10 letter that the agency consider amending the Redevelopment Plan to permit the wine/liquor shop at 1527-1529 Main St. and 1537 Main St. as well.
Regan reported to the agency at its meeting last week that the property owner has interest from the neighboring Sovereign Martial Arts academy to move into the space because it’s larger and more appropriate, adding that the agency could act on the request by September. He said that Scarperi, who also owns Witty’s Liquors on St. Georges Avenue, still plans to renovate the upper floors as residential units.
The liquor license for the site must be activated by June 2013 as the state will not grant any more extensions, Regan said. Scarperi is still interested in developing a wine shop, only in the adjacent space in 1537 Main St., he added.
“Please note that the plans for the adjacent space are in the early stages and that there are no formal agreements executed by any of the parties at this time. Before those agreements can be finalized, we need to confirm that…(the) proposed use of the adjacent premises would be acceptable to the agency,” Taylor said in his Aug. 10 letter.
The 2007 redevelopment agreement included certain restrictions on the liquor store/wine shop, including not advertising as being a “discount liquor store,” prohibiting sale of single-serving “airplane” bottles as well as the sale of individual cans or bottles of beer for consumption off-site, and not providing carts or baskets for transportation of quantities of alcohol off site.
The 1527 Main St. site (Block 320, Lot 7) has an annual tax bill of about $11,000 and last changed hands in January 2005 for $695,000, according to property records.