The move of North Reading's lone supermarket from one end of Route 28 to the other has left a significant parcel of retail space empty.
Stop & Shop moved to the former Shaw's in Atlantic Plaza at 265 Main St. on Nov. 19, ceasing operations at its former 97 Main St. location, with the exception of a store-run gas station that remains open. Town officials have not heard what the Quincy-based chain has planned for the 97 Main St. parcel, which it owns.
"Any type of high-quality retailer would be welcome in North Reading," said Town Administrator Greg Balukonis.
North Reading store officials referred inquiries to Stop & Shop's corporate offices. A spokeswoman did not respond to inquiries regarding the company's plans for 97 Main St.
Workers could be seen removing fixtures from inside and signage affixed to the old storefront on Nov. 19, hours after it closed for business.
According to an online search, Boston-based Atlantic Retail Properties is offering the former Stop & Shop store for lease. The Atlantic Retail Properties Web site notes that up to 70,747 square feet of retail space is available and may be subdivided.
According to records from the North Reading Assessor's Office, Stop & Shop owns the property at 97 Main St., through Rehold North Reading LLC. The 20-acre lot, including the building and the land, is assessed at $8.39 million, town records showed.
Federal Realty Investment Trust of Rockville, Md., owns Atlantic Plaza. According to the company Web site, the new Stop & Shop occupies 64,000 square feet of retail space. The entire plaza has a total of 124,000 square feet and 430 parking spaces, the Web site noted.
Other plaza tenants include Sears Hardware & Appliance, Carousel Cleaners, Supercuts, Play It Again Sports, Carr's Hallmark, One Stop Liquors, All Star Wireless, Sunrise Bagel and Winter Hill Bank. There are six vacancies in the plaza, according to the Federal Realty Investment Trust website.
Federal Realty Investment Trust did not immediately return requests for comment.