Question of the Week: The Old Stop and Shop

What would you like to see there?

Welcome to Question of the Week, a column where we ask you a question each week about anything at all. 


What would you like to see in the old Stop and Shop building? We haven't asked in a while and are wondering what you think. Tell us in the comments section below.

Update on the building: About a month ago, the lines were painted over in the parking lot, but Community Planning is still unsure about what will go in the building. It won't be because they are planning to .


Joe Veno November 08, 2011 at 05:11 PM
I would like to know who made this statment that is in the article. That said they will not because they are opening a store in Tewksbury. Was it Community Planning or Patch ? Update on the building: About a month ago, the lines were painted over in the parking lot, but Community Planning is still unsure about what will go in the building. It won't be Ocean State Job Lot because they are planning to open a store in Tewksbury.
Greg November 08, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Make the building into the Middle School - tear down the old school for open space.
Ashley Troutman November 08, 2011 at 07:38 PM
Hi Joe, That was us. Ocean State is opening a store in Tewksbury and has not contacted the town about the Stop & Shop site since then.
Joe Veno November 08, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Thank you Ashley. I did not think OSJL said " It won't be Ocean State Job Lot because they are planning to open a store in Tewksbury".
Nancy Wolfe November 08, 2011 at 10:10 PM
It would be a great place for a gym.
Joe Veno November 08, 2011 at 10:32 PM
Here we go again......................HA HA HA
John Intorcio November 08, 2011 at 11:14 PM
Maybe a drive-in theater?
Mel Webster November 08, 2011 at 11:41 PM
Hmmmm, a drive-in theater! Bring back the Starlight!
Eileen M. November 08, 2011 at 11:46 PM
Mix use retail/office/restaurant space; new town hall; basically anything to enhance the town that a good majority of the people in town will use. I think the people who built the new Ryers did an amazing job with the space and I would be interested to hear if they had any ideas as to how best to use the space. In a dream world, seeing as real estate is basically in the tank right now, wouldn't it be nice if S&S realized how they kicked us in the teeth by their legal but sleazy move and donated the space to the town. This would get them a nice write-off and probably win back some customers!
Nancy Wolfe November 09, 2011 at 01:26 AM
Be nice....
Jim Pothier November 09, 2011 at 12:01 PM
Something is up, because there are construction crews working in the building.
Joe Veno November 09, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Jim, I checked, I was correct. They are putting in rest rooms for the gas station employees.
Les Masterson (Editor) November 09, 2011 at 01:52 PM
The fact that they invested money in making restrooms for gas station employees tells me that there is not anyone interested in that location at this time.
melee November 09, 2011 at 03:21 PM
I would love to see this space turned into a town center type space with a mixture of small commercial shops, and greenery. this space is one of the few commercial spaces that does not look like a strip mall and where the building and parking lot actually blends into the neighborhood. north reading is seriously lacking a cohesive commerical district and this renovating this space could serve as the beginning to developing a townish appeal. driving down rte 28 is an eye sore currently. the signage is horrible and the strip of parking lots and dated buildings does nothing to show the beauty of the town. [seriously, the lights on the picadilly pub look like a landing strip]
Christine O'Leary November 09, 2011 at 04:11 PM
i would like to also see a nice shopping area, maybe something like church street in vermont but a smaller version obviously. no cars driving through, just parking and then little shops, and a healthy food option maybe like a fresh city?
Sophie Whitehouse November 09, 2011 at 06:19 PM
I like the idea of small shops, but please not another hair or nail salon... with open space / greenery and maybe a dog park on the side. I hope it looks nicer than some of the eye sores we see on route 28. Zosia
Susan November 09, 2011 at 11:35 PM
Even though S&S will never allow it, this is a perfect location for a Market Basket.
Joe Veno November 10, 2011 at 01:59 AM
Les, The plan was always to put bathrooms in for the gas employees no matter who rented it. Because if who ever rented it was not open on Sundays or what ever there would be no bathrooms aqvailable to the gas employees.
Norcam Rob November 11, 2011 at 09:47 PM
I miss the Starlight Drive-in, I saw Rocky and the first Star Wars there. A 70's Oldsmobile Delta 88 was a rolling family room back then. A movie theatre would be a great idea. Even a smaller one like the old Salem Tri in Salem, NH. Or, maybe a Cultural Center, Civic Center, or Auditorium for cultural happenings, concerts, theatre, etc...
Jackie November 12, 2011 at 11:21 PM
I would love to see a movie theater in that space...maybe a "Chunky's"-type place where you can eat and watch a movie. I, too, miss the old drive-in. It would be nice to have someplace right here in town for the kids to go (and the adults, too!).
Nancy Wolfe November 15, 2011 at 02:06 AM
How about an indoor playground?
Eileen M. November 16, 2011 at 01:27 AM
The problem with an indoor playground is that they always start off nice and clean and they get dumpy real fast. Also, they tend to have short life spans. There was an indoor playground in one of those warehouses in woburn, and it didn't last very long. We need something a bit more upscale, something that could be used as the "downtown" that we don't currently have. Someplace we could park, take our strollers, and walk around. Completely redevelop the site. I believe that there is another parcel adjacent to S&S that is for lease, perhaps there would be some way to incorporate that, and tie it into Heavenly Donuts and Papa Ginos as well.
Joe Veno November 16, 2011 at 01:36 AM
These are all great ideas, But in this economy I don't think it will happen.
John Carpenter March 28, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Thinking of stores that I drive a distance now to patronize (and would rather make the short drive to the S&S site): Christmas Tree Shop; Wegman's (high-end food store - S&S wouldn't like it); a good craft & stationery supply place; medical clinic (relocated from Rte 62, maybe with an emergency center), or a community college campus. All of these could keep the gas station on-site. All of these would generate regional "traffic" to benefit the other local businesses, and generate local jobs.
Joe Veno March 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM
John, If OSJL had gone in there it would of gerenrated regional traffic to the area to help all the other businesses. But as you know from reading the posts on the issue some people could not see beyond their nose and caused it not to happen FOR NOW Maybe when the store sits empty for a few more years they will feel different, but I doubt it..
Landrey January 29, 2013 at 06:18 PM
I realize this is an old thread...any updates on the space?
Joe Veno January 29, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Landrey, No, But I sure hope the do-gooders who drove Oean Sate Job Lot out of town like looking at that BIG EMPTY building because it may stay EMPTY for a long time. Not to mention the tax dollars we are losing. But if it had gone in it would of generated business traffic and may have helped other businesses in the area. I have no idea how the do-gooders feel about that or if they even care about it as long as they got what they wanted.
simple simon January 29, 2013 at 07:26 PM
North Reading has a single tax rate. So I might be a simpleton, but If I move out of my house I have to pay the same property tax if I still own it, whether I live there or not. Why would S&S pay less taxes now it is empty? The value of the property has not changed? Are you saying that as a business they get special treatment? Does the amount of property tax get tied to gross sales or something?
Joe Veno January 29, 2013 at 08:10 PM
When I said tax dollars I did not mean property tax dollars. When a business is operating in town they pay property tax dollars and they also pay a personal property tax on the equipment and fixtures within the building to run their business. This tax is called Personal Property Revenue. This Is the tax money we are losing with the building empty.


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