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Tractor Supply OK'd

Retailer a step closer to sharing storefront with Job Lot

September 08, 2010
STURBRIDGE — National Tractor Supply Co. cleared one more hurdle in its quest to fill a long vacant storefront in town.

During a public hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 7, the planning board voted unanimously to approve an application for Tractor Supply Co. to take up residence in the old Ames department store building at 178 Main St., Sturbridge in the Sturbridge Plaza. According to Town Planner Jean Bubon, the company must now apply for a building permit before beginning renovations to the facility. The store, if approved, will fill 20,000 square feet of the plaza building.

Founded in 1938 in Chicago, Ill, Tractor Supply Co. now operates more than 900 stores in 44 states. Locally, the company has stores in Southampton, Pittsfield and Belchertown in Massachusetts and in Enfield and Putnam, Conn. The company carries supplies for homeowners and farmers, including fencing, mowers, feed, tools and work clothing.

Ocean State Job Lot is also looking to move into the plaza, and will share the building with Tractor Supply Co. Bubon said, but did not need a hearing for special approval because the company is looking to simply move into an existing retail space. Tractor Supply Co., in contrast, is looking to set up a 14,000 square foot outside display area enclosed in a fence. The expansion will reduce the number of available parking spots at the plaza, which is a violation of zoning requirement. At the hearing, Edens & Avant, of Boston, the company managing the property, agreed to conditions to keep the project compliant with zoning.

"The parking spaces need to be replaced elsewhere in the plaza," Bubon said.

The company will also change its normal design for the outdoor display area, replacing the normal fence with a wrought-iron style black gate. The company will also improve the landscaping at the front of the plaza and along Fairview Park Road.

See Friday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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