Dan Perkins move in Milford will create 'largest Subaru dealership in New England'

Rendering of the new location of Dan Perkins Subaru of New England, 127 Boston Post Road.

Rendering of the new location of Dan Perkins Subaru of New England, 127 Boston Post Road.

Contributed

MILFORD — Dan Perkins Subaru is relocating to larger quarters at the former Beard Concrete site at 127 Boston Post Road following unanimous Planning and Zoning Board approval of a special permit, site plan review, and lot consolidation for the car dealership.

“The facility will, in fact, create the largest Subaru dealership in New England,” said Attorney Thomas Lynch, who was representing Subaru of New England of Norwood, Mass., the project applicant on behalf of Perkins Subaru.

Perkins is currently located in an 8,654 sq. ft. building with a 2,200 sq. ft. used car building on two parcels totaling a 2.45-acres at 1 Boston Post Road. Lynch said the current location is overcrowded, with cars stored virtually on top of Boston Post Road, and car carriers delivering cars in the roadway at times.

The new 62,150 sq. ft. facility will be located on a 5.87-acre property, formed by combining four lots at 143 and 163 Boston Post Road, and 97 and 109 Washington St. There will be parking for 460 cars, including seven handicap spots, of which two will be van accessible.

The properties are located in Corridor Design Development District-1 (CDD-1) where car dealerships are a permitted use. Lynch said all existing buildings would be demolished to allow for construction of the new building. This includes the former headquarters of Beard Concrete Company and related buildings, and the former Planet Fitness and Rita’s Ice on Boston Post Road. Planet Fitness relocated to 177 Cherry Street and is open at that location. Rita’s corporate website no longer lists a Milford location.

The new building will be one-story structure with a mezzanine level. Plans call for a total height of 34 feet. About 40 employees will be working per shift. Access will be via the main driveway opposite the Big Y supermarket.

Engineer Jeffrey Bord said the design would allow car carriers to circulate throughout the site and off-load vehicles on-site.

Bord said the northeast corner of the property would have a seating area with a placard to commemorate the Beard family and its history on the site. There would be shade and ornamental trees throughout the property. Architect Sharon Charwick said the building would include a 6,000 sq. ft. showroom, a 12-car drive up facility, 39 service bays and related clean up bays, plus a carwash at the rear of the building.

Which way to exit?

The board had an extensive discussion regarding the best way for car carriers to exit the site, and following the discussion agreed with the plan offered by Subaru. Board members Nancy Austin and John Mortimer expressed concern about the possible disturbance to the nearby residential area if cars were delivered overnight.

Spinnaker Green is an apartment complex located near the site. Bord said the preferred option was for trucks to enter the site by the traffic signal, unload cars next to the building, and leave the site by turning right on Washington Street, then right again on Erna Avenue to access Route 1. To exit via the Post Road, trucks would have to circulate through the entire site, said Bord.

“The reason we try to avoid the main roads is those trucks are rather large. Making that swing coming out of here can be problematic,” said Bord. “It makes for a cleaner move through the site, as opposed to have to circulate through the entire parking lot.”

Michael Klemme, vice president of property management for Subaru of New England, said his company would be delivering all the cars to Perkins Subaru using its own trucks. Klemme said Perkins would receive three deliveries a week, which would take place during the day or early evening.

“Late hours is not typical of us,” said Klemme.

Board Vice Chairman Robert Satti said he thought the safest and quickest way would be to have the trucks turn left onto Washington Street and then left on West Clark Street to reach the Post Road. On the other side of Washington Street is an industrial building housing Thinklogical. Beyond that is a row of houses on the south side of Washington Street.

In response, Lynch said the trucks would be passing through an area that is residential and could have difficulty at the intersection with Clark Street. Austin said she thought trucks would be better turning right than left.

Board member Jim Kader said he lives near the area and commented that trucks have difficulty maneuvering through the area.

“I see trucks getting stuck all the time over on West Clark Street and Hill Street,” said Kader.

The Perkins Family Partnership LLC purchased the property at 163 Boston Post Road for $650,000 on May 3, 2016.