Work on new Cumberland Farms in North Adams could begin this fall

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NORTH ADAMS — The city has sold its former Department of Public Works buildings and nearly 1 acre of property to Cumberland Farms, which intends to build a store there, according to Mayor Thomas Bernard.

The sale price was $575,000 for what many refer to as "the old city yard" at 227 Ashland St. The DPW relocated to a newer facility on Hodges Cross Road in 2017.

The mayor said Cumberland Farms has been seeking a location for a bigger store. The purchase-and-sale agreement was signed in October 2017. The sale closed July 1.

First, an environmental cleanup is needed. A review estimated the cost of that at about $263,000. Bernard said the sales contract agreed to by North Adams requires the city to pay half the cost of the cleanup, limited to a maximum of half the purchase price. As of now, half of the cleanup cost is estimated at $131,500.

Officials with Cumberland Farms declined to comment on the building project or the fate of the existing Cumberland Farms at 70 Ashland St. Bernard said he believes the company intends to start construction in the fall.

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"Their plan is to be building as soon as they can, with an opening coming in the late winter or spring," Bernard said.

Plans outlined by the company to the Planning Board in 2018 call for a 5,814-square-foot convenience store and eight-pump fueling station on the property.

The store would require the installation of two new 24,000-gallon underground storage tanks to service the eight fuel pumps, one of which would be dedicated to diesel fuel.

Lighting at the site would feature downward-facing LED bulbs designed to reduce light pollution on neighboring properties, some of which are residential. When finished, the lot will contain 30 parking spots. The store also will feature a small outdoor seating area.

The lot will have three curb cuts to allow for two-way access. Company representatives expressed interest in having a crosswalk installed from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts neighborhood.

A lawyer for the company told the board last year that, when it comes to reuse of its former properties, Cumberland Farms typically looks to sell or lease to a noncompetitor.


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