Donovan property sold to Herb Chambers group

Oct 12, 2017 by

Published in the October 11, 2017 edition

THIS AERIAL VIEW of the former Donovan properties at Salem Street and Broadway was captured with a drone. The properties have been sold to a group controlled by Herb Chambers. (Courtesy Photo)

By MARK SARDELLA

LYNNFIELD — Big changes are coming to the former Donovan properties at the corner of Salem Street and Broadway (Route 1) in Lynnfield. The prime piece of commercial real estate consists of five parcels that have been purchased by Broadway Lynnfield Properties, LLC, which is controlled by Herb Chambers, one of the largest car dealers in the region, with 55 dealerships in the Boston area.

One of those dealerships, Herb Chambers Cadillac on Route 1 North, is right next door to the property in question.

The properties involved in the sale include 801 Salem Street ($938,100), 807 Salem Street ($622,800), 421R Broadway ($300,000), 445 Broadway ($975,500) and 449 Broadway ($1.9 million).

The Chambers group is playing its cards close to the vest with respect to its future plans for the site. Wakefield attorney Ted Regnante, who represents the LLC, would only say that plans “have not been finalized. We’re working on various scenarios but nothing has been finalized as of yet.”

The changes will be felt most immediately by several longtime business tenants on the property. Those include Donovan’s Liquors, Bay State Jewelry Exchange, the Western Barber Shop, Photography by Corinna, a dry cleaner and an e-cigarette store. Ron Cerra’s Lynnfield Meat & Deli moved several months ago and is now doing business on Route 1 in Saugus as Cerra’s Market.

Tom Holland of Bay State Jewelry Exchange said he is in the process of trying to find a new location for his business. He is philosophical about the change.

“It’s not a big surprise that it’s happened,” he said, noting that it was common knowledge that the property was for sale. He’s been told that he has to be out by Oct. 31.

“They’ve been pretty good about communicating with us,” Holland said. “I’m just doing what I need to do to move on with my business as best I can.”

Corinna Cole has been a professional photographer for 22 years. Her business, Photography by Corrina, has been a tenant at 451 Broadway for over 10 years.

Cole said that she has found a new location for her business on Old Route 1 in Ipswich, but leaving Lynnfield is still bittersweet.

“This location has always worked out for everybody,” she said. “I’ve never had any clients complain about the location. I’m just disappointed that I have to move and that it’s happening so quickly.”

She said that when she received the initial letter informing her that the property had been sold, she talked to the other business tenants. They believed at the time that they probably would have until at least until the end of this year at their present locations.

A short time later, Cole received a second letter saying that she needed to vacate by Oct 31. She said that her busiest time of the year is between now and the holidays.

“It’s not a good time at all to move,” she said.

The new location in Ipswich looks like a good fit, she admitted, but it’s a lot further away than she would like. Her 15-minute commute to her studio will soon turn into 40 minutes.

She’s not sure how it’s going to impact her business come mid to late October, when she has to move.

“I hate to leave the area but I’ll keep my eyes open in case something opens up,” she said.

Attorney Regnante said that eventually all the buildings on the site will be torn down.

“The first building to be razed will probably be the (former) deli building,” Regnante said. He added that his client plans to meet with neighbors to discuss the future of the site.

“We plan on meeting with the Canterbury Road neighbors for their input prior to finalizing our plans,” Regnante said.

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