PITTSFIELD -- Big Y Foods Inc. intends to expand the parking area of its West Street supermarket by demolishing the building it bought next door.

The Springfield-based supermarket chain recently bought the 25,623-square-foot building on a half-acre parcel for $250,000 from Pittsfield resident Richard C. Kielman.

The building, vacant since December 2010, last housed a retail store for Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires. It had also been occupied by Reigning Love Church.

Big Y's vice president of corporate communications, Claire D'Amour-Daley, said the company has decided to raze the 51-year-old building based on its poor physical condition, combined with what she referred to as "unsavory activity" that takes place around it.

"Our intent is to level that building," she said. "From our perspective, it's a distressed property adjacent to our store. It's a haven for unsavory activity, so we can eliminate that as well. It will certainly enhance our own customer's safety."

The parcel will become part of the supermarket's parking area and delivery truck access for now, but D'Amour-Daley said Big Y hasn't determined its ultimate use.

When Big Y announced in 2008 that it planned to move its supermarket from West Street to West Housatonic Street, D'Amour-Daley said the West Street building was in bad shape and had been renovated several times since 1985. The company withdrew its plans to move to West Housatonic two years later.

On Thursday, D'Amour-Daley said Big Y had no immediate plans to expand its supermarket into the new parcel, but didn't rule out that possibility in the future.

"I suppose space is space," she said. "[But] that store is on a good run right now. It's doing very well."

"You know the old adage: location, location, location," she said. "We're constantly reviewing all the parcels that are adjacent to our stores."

She isn't sure when the building will come down.

"I would assume it will be down by the spring," D'Amour-Daley said.

One of New England's largest independently owned supermarket chains, Big Y has operated a market on West Street since 1984 when it purchased the former Adams Supermarket chain. The building that houses the supermarket itself was built in 1972.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6224.