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Visions For Vacancies: Plagued Downtown Grocery Store

Former Associated Market 15 Memorial Boulevard Bristol CT. 06010

Periodically, I’ll feature a commercial building that is for lease or for sale and asks you to tell me what you think would be the best use for it.

Forget what zone it’s in, ignore setback regulations, dump lot coverage rules and all the other zoning jargon that puts most people to sleep. If you had your way, what would you like to see there?

What would be the best use for the community?

This Visions For Vacancies is the former most recent closure of another grocer at 15 Memorial Blvd.

The location housed multiple failed grocery stores.

Owners of the seemingly plagued building are asking $1,700,000 to sell it.

Back in January 2018, The Bristol Press reported “Dynamite Deals supermarket and discount store is officially open. The mayor, city officials, city councilors and members of the public joined store employees and owner for a grand opening and ribbon cutting event Monday afternoon.

The Press additionally reported Michael Mortorano said he chose to open a store in downtown Bristol because he is “sensitive to the needs of a community” and “recognized there was no supermarket” downtown.

Last month, Mortorano closed the store.

Before Mortorano’s attempt. Associated Market was the latest attempt to run a successful grocery store there.

The building is 26,000 SF with 14,500 SF of the grocery store and 8,000 SF of the currently open liquor store.

Another past owner Pradeep Bokka took over the previously failed grocer and reopened Bristol’s only downtown grocery store in 2013 he said: “We’ll hit the ground running, I hope everyone comes down and give us a chance to exceed your expectations with our selection of quality groceries at a great value.”

That never happened.

Back in August of 2014 a legal battle brewed between Bokka and Sunny Mothe, the property owner.

The Bristol Press reported that “What started as a feel-good community effort to bring back a market to the downtown has devolved into a nasty court spat between friends and family members.”

“But within six months after the ribbon cutting the market’s owner, Pradeep Bokka, filed a lawsuit against his partner and store manager, Srinivas Mothe. In it, Bokka accuses Mothe and Mothe’s ex-wife, Shalini Mothe, of fraud.”

In December the store was put on the market for $459,000 and in January shut down.

The Bristol Press reported Elsa Tavarez of New York reopened the store on April 24th.

This was another failed attempt. The new store closed within less than a year.

The Press also reported Michael Mortorano said ‘It is expected to create between 40 and 45 “mostly” full-time jobs when the housecleaning is complete, and he hopes to work with the Salvation Army to fill those positions and provide second chances to those in the community.

That never happened.

So, what would you like to see there?

Tell me on the Bristol Roundup Facebook page.

Know of a vacant building I should highlight? Let me know!

Visions For Vacancies is only the featured name of this series of posts and does not necessarily mean the highlighted property is vacant.

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