Liquor store will fill part of old hardware store space in Watertown

The new owners of the property at 300 Lewis Ave. S. in Watertown, which housed a hardware store for 25
The new owners of the property at 300 Lewis Ave. S. in Watertown, which housed a hardware store for 25 years, have applied to open a liquor store in part of the property. (Staff photo by Matt Bunke)

The storefront on Lewis Avenue that housed a hardware store for 25 years will soon have a new tenant, but it won’t be a hardware store.

The Watertown City Council on Tuesday approved the site plan for a new liquor store that will occupy a little more than half the building. The building, which is connected to the Marketplace Foods grocery store, has been vacant since True Value Hardware closed at the end of December.

The Watertown Planning Commission considered the site plan on Thursday, July 18, when it voted to recommend approval of the site plan to the City Council. The site plan calls for interior modifications that will include dividing the building into two separate retail spaces, but will not include any exterior changes. A site plan approval was required because of the proposed change of use of the building.

The property, located at 300 Lewis Ave., was sold recently, and the new owners have already made an application to the city for an off sale liquor store. The proposal calls for a the liquor store to occupy what would become a 2,889-square foot northern portion of the building, or the part along Madison Avenue.

The remaining portion of the building will be a separate tenant space that could be filled at a later date. Depending on the intended use of that space, the applicant may need to seek city approval for that space as well.

The application was made by Deepinder Baveja, owner of J&D Holdings of Victoria, who has a contract to buy the building. The planning commission recommended approval with several findings and conditions, including that any change in signage would require city review and approval.

Baveja, who was present at the meeting, said possible future changes to the structure could include windows or doors on the southern part of the part of the building, depending on the needs of a future tenant.

Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]