Aldi supermarket slated for Family Bowl lot in Waterford

Kathy Menghi of Waterford, competes with friends in duckpin bowling in June at Family Bowl in Waterford. The building will soon be knocked down and the developer buying it plans to open an Aldi supermarket. (Tim Martin/The Day)

Waterford — The Massachusetts developer buying the site of the Family Bowl bowling alley plans to demolish the building and contract with the discount grocery chain Aldi to build an 18,850-square-foot supermarket in its place.

The Aldi store will be the main tenant in a retail development that will also include stores in two other buildings on the 4-acre property, according to Kincora Development President William H. McCabe.

Kincora representatives presented initial plans for the project to Waterford's Planning and Zoning Commission Monday night.

The Family Bowl building will be demolished, McCabe said Monday before the meeting. A Webster Bank building on the property will not be affected by the construction and will remain open throughout the project, he said.

Waterford Pizza Palace, the restaurant adjacent to the Family Bowl property, and the Hess gas station next door are both on separate lots with a different owners and won’t be affected by the sale, McCabe said.

“We’re going to be right here,” Pizza Palace owner Steve Kanaris said Monday.

Kincora Development, based in Waltham, Mass., has been in negotiations with the German supermarket chain for months to secure a contract with the grocery store as the anchor tenant for the development, McCabe said.

Kincora also developed the Waterford Commons shopping plaza, which sits across Route 85 from the Crystal Mall and now includes a Designer Shoe Warehouse, Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods store.

The company also plans to build two other buildings for retail stores on the remaining 12,400 square feet of the lot, he said, but the tenants in those buildings have not yet been confirmed.

The sale of the property by the Picardi family, which has owned the lot for decades, will not be finalized until Kincora gets all the permits it needs to build on the site.

The Picardis bought several buildings and the Family Bowl in the late 1960s. For decades, they ran the bowling alley and owned a nightclub, a fish market, a Radio Shack and a food establishment in various buildings on the property off the Boston Post Road opposite Clark Lane.

Jerry Picardi, who owns the property with his brothers, said that the family decided to sell it after Family Bowl had struggled for many years to bring in enough new customers to keep the business afloat.

Once the zoning permits and sale are finalized, McCabe said his company plans to build a new parking lot and do extensive landscaping and grading work on the property.

According to the plan, drivers will be able to access the development from entrances on Route 1 and Miner Lane, McCabe said.

Construction will begin "as soon as possible," McCabe said.

The Aldi store would be placed right across Route 1 from the Waterford Shopping Plaza, which includes a Super Stop & Shop grocery store.

The two stores serve different groups of shoppers, McCabe said.

"(Aldi is) really appealing to a broader customer base right now," he said.

The company, known for its discount prices and organic products, also plans to open a store in the Groton Shopping Center on Long Hill Road. It operates 1,500 stores in 32 states and plans to expand, according to its website.

The Aldi stores closest to the area are Westerly, R.I., and Lisbon.

m.shanahan@theday.com

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