The old Showcase Cinemas building is being demolished this week to make room for a new retail site that will be anchored by a new and expanded ShopRite store.

In May, Milford’s Planning and Zoning Board approved a petition from Attorney John Knuff to construct retail stores, a restaurant and gasoline station at the 10.85-acre property, owned by 230 Cherry Milford LLC and BVS Investors LLC.

“It has been 10 years since the Showcase Cinemas closed,” according to minutes from the May 20 meeting. “In that time period there has been a parade of various developers, engineers, retailers and brokers who have examined this site and did not return. This is a difficult site, given its odd size and shape with two front yards and large buffer requirements, as well as the difficult retail environment. It might also be due to those people's lack of vision or confidence in Milford, or a combination of those factors.”

Ceruzzi Holdings is developing the site, and has experience with Milford developments. The company completed Milford Crossing on the Boston Post Road, plus Lowes and the Hilton Garden Inn.

“Ceruzzi Holdings has teamed with a proposed anchor tenant who is nothing less than a pillar of the Milford community,” Knuff said, according to meeting minutes. “Harry Garafalo, the owner of the ShopeRite located on Cherry Street. Harry has earned an impeccable reputation in the city; not only with his customers but with his neighbors in the current store. This project presents Harry with the opportunity for [him] and his team to build a new state-of the art grocery store in order to provide an even better customer experience and greater employment opportunities.”

The layout for the property includes the new Shop-Rite grocery store; a retail store of 25,000 square feet along Cherry Street, plus a restaurant and fueling station.

“Fueling facilities have become an important and integral part of grocery stores,” Knuff is recorded as saying. “This one will be a Shop-Rite fueling facility. It will have eight fueling positions and there will be a small convenience retail store on that location.”

The current Milford ShopRite in the Bob’s Shopping Plaza was built 22 years ago and is limited in its ability to expand and has limited access in parking, minutes state.

In May ShopRite had 220 employees, and the new store was projected to add up to 40 new jobs.

“The new project will be a state-of-the-art building which will have a number of key elements which will allow ShopRite to better compete against the larger competitors, along with building elements that will make it good neighbors to the businesses and residents around the store,” according to meeting minutes. “The new building will be 20% larger than the current facility. There will be more parking and better in and out access. The new location will ensure that Shop-Rite will continue to be part of the Milford community for the next 20 years.”