Planners OK new Milford Cumbies

MILFORD – Groundbreaking for a new Cumberland Farms store/gas station across from Lorden Plaza is scheduled for early May, a company representative told the Milford Planning Board after the board gave the project conditional approval recently.

The store will be located on Nashua Street, on the vacant lot between the McDonald’s restaurant and the Walgreens pharmacy.

The convenience store will have gasoline dispenser islands and a small outdoor seating area and be open 24 hours a day,

Since the plan was first proposed in January, board members reviewed the building design, traffic flow, landscaping and delivery truck movements. Company engineers had worked with town Police, Fire and Public Works department heads to figure out the safest design for going in and out of the lot.

“As the road continues to grow, and there is more congestion,” said board Vice Chairman Thomas Sloan, “we hope (Cumberland Farms) will be quick to make adjustments as needed in the interest of public safety.”

Cumberland Farms will give the town $15,000 for its sidewalk fund, a sum that Chairwoman Janet Langdell called a “huge leap forward” in the town’s efforts to build sidewalks in that area.

In the mid-2000s, a Ninety-Nine Restaurant had been planned for part of the lot, and town officials had hoped the presence of a restaurant would attract a hotel developer to the site. After the economy declined in 2008, however, John Samonas, the Portsmouth real estate developer who owns the 8.5-acre property, scrapped the restaurant plan.

Other than the Milford Motel and one or two bed and breakfasts, there are no overnight accommodations between Nashua and Peterborough, and people say there is no convenient place to accommodate wedding guests, for example, and there is not enough conference meeting space.

Cumberland Farms has almost 600 stores in 11 states and employs more than 6,000 people, according to the corporate website. New store designs feature freshly prepared hot sandwiches, a shake machine and no-fee ATMs.

The existing store near the Oval on Nashua Street will likely stay there, company representatives have told the board.

Chris Tymula, of MHF Design Consultants, had described the design for the new store as “very colonial with a pitched roof and faux dormers on top.”

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 304, or kcleveland@ cabinet.com.