OXFORD — Residents have decided that the best reuse of the former Rite Aid building might be an Olive Garden Restaurant, Planet Fitness, a Mardens or Renys.
Others say a Luchador Tacos, a Market Basket, Texas Roadhouse, Bass Pro Shop, Harbor Freight, Applebees, a Chinese buffet, clothing store even an Urgent Care Center would fit the space nicely. A Chic Fil-A would be “epic,” said one. Economically, the most immediate feasible use for the space would be to grow medical marijuana, said another.
Rumors of what will occupy the space at 259 Main Street located at the corner of Alpine Street and Route 26 across from the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School are flying fast and furious on social media.
But the fact of the matter is, the building is owned by a national real estate company which is negotiating a lease agreement that could be signed by the end of the month.
Robert Lang, vice president of real estate for building owner Kamin Realty Company, the 38th largest shopping center and net lease retail property owner in the United States, told the Advertiser Democrat from his Pennsylvania office, that he is negotiating a with a retail store owner. Exactly what that potential retail space owner could bring to Paris will not be know until a lease is signed sometime in mid- to late-September.
“There is one prospect we’re working on, but nothing final yet,” he said.
Lang said because the 10,135 square-foot building is still technically under lease to Walgreens, and the company’s actions are “tied somewhat” by that.
Kamin Realty Company’s portfolio, which dates back to 1916, currently reaches from Alaska to Maine to Florida and between. Although it currently lists the Sovereign Bank Complex in East Providence, RI as its only property for sale, there are numerous buildings for lease.
Rite Aid began leasing space in Paris in 1997 in a new building after the Country Way Restaurant, on the same site, was torn down and the site sold to Rite Aid in 1995.
Walgreens initially proposed a takeover of Rite Aid in October 2015 for $9 a share, or $9.4 billion. That deal ran into roadblocks from the Federal Trade Commission and it was not until early this year that the deal was recut and some Rite Aids such as the one in Paris began to be absorbed by Walgreens.
The town receives more than $10,000 in taxes annually from the real estate taxes paid by Kamin and the personal property taxes paid by Walgreen.