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Renovations planned for vacant Peterborough building

  • Peterborough developers Stan Fry and Cy Gregg will be meeting with the Planning Board Monday to discuss plans to renovate 36 Grove Street, formerly the site of Fireplace Village.
  • A sketch shows what the back of 36 Grove Street -- the section facing Depot Square -- could look like it plans to renovate the former Fireplace Village building for mixed-use retail, office and residential space go forward
  • Grove Street builiding to get makeover<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

PETERBOROUGH — A currently vacant retail building in the heart of downtown could be getting a new look, with both residential and retail space — possibly including a bakery or a cafe — occupying its four floors next to the Nubanusit River.

On Monday, the Planning Board will review an application from Peterborough residents Stan Fry and Cy Gregg, who have submitted plans calling for mixed use at the former Fireplace Village building at 36 Grove Street. The building, which had been home to businesses that sold wood stoves and other heating systems for many years, has been empty for several months after Fireplace Village, the most recent tenant, closed its doors.

According to preliminary plans from Peterborough architect Len Pagano, which Fry provided to the Ledger-Transcript on Friday, Fry and Gregg are planning a full renovation of the 12,800-square-foot building, which is in the Downtown Commercial District.

“We just recently purchased the building,” said Fry on Monday. “It’s obviously an important building in town and relevant to Depot Square. We want to do some mixed use. We’ve had a couple of people who have been interested in residential living there.”

Fry and Gregg are the owners of Depot Square, and Fry said they hope to develop a connection between their new building, which sits at a site that slopes down from Grove Street toward Depot Square, and the businesses in the square.

The lowest level of the building would be entered from the direction of the square. The plan shows a bakery, retail and office space on that level, as well as two one-car garages and a stone covered patio that would face the square.

Fry said the specific business that would go in the lower level is uncertain but he’s hoping a bakery or cafe would fill the site.

“We’re going to try to put in a business that could take advantage of the patio,” he said. “ We’re looking at a couple of things, and we’ve talked to multiple people. First we have to get plans approved and make sure we can rehab the building before we make any commitments.”

A terrace garden would sit above one of the garages and the other would be topped by a three-story tower, containing stairways to the upper levels. A preliminary artist’s rendering of the facade as viewed from Depot Square shows a clock on the highest level of the tower.

The second level of the building, which would have its main access through a new front-porch entry on Grove Street, would have retail space, with an office and meeting room in the back corner. The plan calls for eliminating the current driveway between the building and its next-door neighbor, Joseph’s Coat, replacing it with a walkway between the two buildings. Visitors would also be able to enter the building through a side entrance off that walkway. The side entrance would lead to a lobby with an elevator and stairs that connect all four floors.

Fry said the walkway next to the building would be similar in design to the one between Joseph’s Coat and the Sharon Arts Center.

The third floor would contain three apartment units. Facing Grove Street would be an 1,800-square-foot two-bedroom apartment, with a balcony above the new porch entrance. In back would be two one-bedroom apartments, one 750 square feet and the other 732 square feet. The apartment facing the Nubanusit River would have two large balconies overlooking the river. The apartment on the other side would have a balcony facing Depot Square.

The fourth-floor level would have a 2,655-square-foot apartment with living, kitchen and dining areas in front and three bedrooms, including a master bedroom suite, in back. Four balconies would overlook Grove Street, the river and Depot Square.

“The views up the river from the upper levels are wonderful,” Fry said. “We’re trying to do things to take advantage of them.”

The Planning Board’s public hearing will be Monday at 7 p.m. in the Town House.

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