Big Y buys truck stop

Friday October 1, 2010

LEE -- Big Y Foods Inc. has bought the former Diesel Dan's truck stop property on Route 102 for $4.25 million, and plans the construction of a 48,000-square-foot supermarket on the eight-acre parcel by the end of the year.

The new supermarket is expected to employ between 120 and 150 full- and part-time workers.

"As soon as we can, we will start," said Claire D'Amour Daley, Big Y's vice president of corporate communications. "And we will deal with the elements as they fall."

D'Amour Daley said construction is expected to take 12 months.

One of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England, Springfield-based Big Y announced in February that it was interested in building a new store on the parcel that was formerly owned by the F.L. Roberts Co. of Springfield.

The sale closed on Sept. 20, according to documents on file at the Middle Berkshire Registry of Deeds. The land is located off Exit 2 of the Massachusetts Turnpike.

"We are happy to own the site so that we can begin construction," D'Amour Daley said.

Steven Roberts, the president of the F.L. Roberts Co., could not be reached for comment.

Besides the supermarket, Big Y plans to build an additional 5,000 square feet that will accommodate one or two yet to be named retailers.

Preparing the site for construction, which includes the demolition of the former truck stop's buildings and the removal of the gasoline tanks, is expected to take six to eight weeks, D'Amour Daley said.

"It will take a little while to get the site ready for construction," she said. "We will be a little bit at the mercy of the weather. But we've constructed buildings in the winter before. It's just a little slower."

Big Y was required to obtain permits from both the state and the town of Lee before construction could begin, partly because the supermarket will be built near the flood plain of the Housatonic River.

"I'm told we're all set to go," D'Amour Daley said.

Now in its 75th year, Big Y currently operates Berkshire County stores in Adams, Great Barrington, North Adams, and Pittsfield, and has 58 total stores in Massachusetts and Connecticut that employ 9,200 people. The chain has had a presence in the Berkshires since 1984 when it purchased the Adams Supermarket chain.

In July, Big Y nixed plans to move its Pittsfield supermarket from West Street to the Pittsfield Shopping Plaza on West Housatonic Street.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:,
or (413) 496-6224.


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