Roof collapse issues shutter Elm Street Convenience store

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PITTSFIELD — City inspectors have shut down an Elm Street market after discovering its roof was collapsing.

The office of the city building commissioner notified owners of Elm Street Convenience in August of what inspectors say are unsafe conditions at their market at 155 Elm St.

Senior Sanitarian Andy Cambi said the city's Board of Health suspended the store's food, retail and tobacco permit Oct. 19, after repairs still hadn't been made.

Cambi said his department also ordered the business to close until repairs are made to the roof, which has fallen in inside the garage and exposed it to the elements.

"Even if only half of it fell, people would still get hurt just coming in," Cambi said of the compromised structure.

An owner, Saurin Shah, said his family intends to make the repairs, which could cost as much as $100,000, but doesn't yet have the means. He said margins are "very tight, especially with new competition."

"We'll need the cash flow to do the fixes," he said.

Shah said he is looking for an investor who could help the family expand the shop into a larger market. Currently, he said, most of their profits come from lottery and cigarette sales. The store, a former Getty gas station, also sells snacks, beverages, doughnuts and newspapers.

Shah said Getty forced his family to either buy the building from the corporation or close completely. He said he knew four years ago, when his family bought the building, that it needed extensive repairs, but they needed the income and so did what they had to do.

"We got put in an unexpected spot," he said.

Amanda Drane can be reached at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter and 413-496-6296.


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