MANCHESTER — The furniture company that was expected to move into the former Sam’s Club warehouse at 69 Pavilions Drive has stepped away from the deal with the property’s owner, a real estate agent said Tuesday.
Sean Kumnick, an associate at Colliers International, a real estate brokerage and investment management company who represents the property’s owner, the Grossman Cos. Inc., told the JI on Tuesday that the furniture company reneged on the agreement about two weeks ago “to pursue other options.”
The 139,145-square-foot building, which was built in 1991, has been vacant since Sam’s Club closed in 2018. It is located near the Shoppes at Buckland Hills.
Last month, the Planning and Zoning Commission received an application from a real estate developer to convert the former Sam’s Club property into a furniture warehouse and retail store. A public hearing for the application had not yet been set.
Headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts, the Grossman Cos. bought the property last July for $6.75 million, property records show.
The company still intends to use it for wholesale trade, storage, and warehousing, Kumnick said.
“There’s potential for anything — it’s just a question of getting it approved by the town,” Kumnick said.
Jake Grossman, president of the Grossman Cos., said last month the property is in a “really good location” with convenient highway access. The building’s physical structure is also “really good for lots of different kinds of uses,” Grossman said.
Kumnick said the owner will continue to search for another tenant, and “hopefully somebody will step up who wants to lease the building.”
Residents had shared mixed reactions on social media upon hearing that a furniture store would be occupying the former Sam’s Club.
While some were happy that the building would be in use again, others in a local Facebook forum voiced their displeasure with another furniture store opening in Manchester, which already has Bob’s Discount Furniture, Raymour & Flanigan, and La-Z Boy Furniture Galleries, among others.
In August 2020, the Planning and Zoning Commission agreed to amend the Comprehensive Urban Development zone regulations to allow light manufacturing at the request of Amber Properties LLC, which said it bought the property for $6.1 million in May 2020. The property is in the CUD zone.
A representative for Amber Properties told the PZC it hoped to convert the building into a multi-tenant warehouse/distribution/light manufacturing facility.
Officials at the time said that Walmart, which owns Sam’s Club, places deed restrictions on properties it sells, meaning several types of businesses, such as Amazon facilities or other rival retailers, can’t go into such properties. Additionally, retail has moved away from big box stores as shoppers have moved online.
That plan didn’t come to fruition, but shortly after that, the state said it would purchase the property and use it for personal protective equipment storage during COVID-19.
The state was in negotiations to buy the property for no more than $6.8 million, but that plan fell through.