Watertown NAPA store finds a new home

The NAPA auto parts store in Watertown will likely be moving to this spot at 228 Lewis Ave. S. after its current store is displaced by the proposed bridge reconstruction project. (Staff photo by Matt Bunke)

The NAPA auto parts store in Watertown will likely be moving to this spot at 228 Lewis Ave. S. after its current store is displaced by the proposed bridge reconstruction project. (Staff photo by Matt Bunke)

Watertown Parts Company -— better known as the NAPA Auto Parts Store — has found a new home in Watertown.

The Watertown City Council last week approved a site plan that will allow the store to eventually move into the building at 228 Lewis Ave. S., at the northeast corner of Madison Street and Lewis Avenue. The building currently houses a pet grooming business as well as some vacant office space. The grooming business will remain under the new arrangement, and the remainder of the building’s space will be reconfigured and repurposed to house the NAPA retail store, as well as a storage area for the business.

NAPA’s move is necessitated by the city of Watertown’s plans to build a roundabout at the intersection of Lewis Avenue and Territorial street. The NAPA store is currently located very close to the northeast corner of that intersection, and the city will need to acquire the property in order to make room for the roundabout.

The potential loss of a local business was one of the biggest concerns regarding a roundabout at that intersection, so the City Council was excited to see that NAPA would be able to remain in town.

“I’m just happy NAPA could remain in town with our bridge project,” Councilor Adam Pawelk said during the meeting. “It’s really important to us. That was one of our major concerns. … That’s great and fantastic they found something that’s going to work.”

The property at 228 Lewis Ave. was recently acquired by Watertown Parts Company, which is proposing numerous changes to the inside of the building. Several of the existing office spaces will be combined to make up the new retail and storage space.

Because of the change of use of the building, a site plan needed to be approved the City Council, which it did unanimously. No changes are proposed for the exterior of the building.

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