Grocery chain will demolish 14 Water St. following a town order.
A building owned by Stop & Shop that’s adjacent to its Vineyard Haven store has been placed under a “remove or make safe” order by the town of Tisbury. Stop & Shop has opted to demolish the building.
“We are working with the town to demolish the building on site, and we are finalizing an action plan and timing accordingly,” Stop & Shop spokesperson Caroline Medeiros emailed.
Formerly the Golden Dragon Chinese restaurant, the building at 14 Water St. has been declared “dangerous to the life and limb of individuals entering the structure, and those passing by on the public sidewalk,” a town order states. The town has closed the sidewalk in front of the building.
The building is described as a “Stop & Shop Warehouse” in the order. On June 7, Tisbury building commissioner Ross Seavey, Tisbury Fire Chief Greg Leland, Tisbury Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Rolston, and local building inspector Justin Lucas joined a structural engineer on an inspection of the building.
“The inspection revealed a structure that suffers from serious water intrusion through failed fenestrations, and a leaking roof that has resulted in significant rot in an exterior façade, and multiple areas of collapsed interior drywall ceilings,” the order states. “In addition to these issues, there are two support columns that were no longer supplying structural support due to their deterioration or disconnection from the point load they are intended to support. These issues, combined with the overall poor shape of the first-floor framing caused by years of modifications to the structures, has resulted in significant deterioration of the front façade, including the internal collapse of wall framing, and the buckling and sagging of the second-level floor structure. The observed structural failures of the building have resulted in a structure that is dangerous to the life and limb of individuals entering the structure, and those passing by on the public sidewalk.”
Stop & Shop was ordered to remove all its merchandise from the building, chain the door, and forbid further entry. The grocery chain had until Monday to declare whether it would try to shore up the building or raze it. Seavey told The Times Stop & Shop will ultimately demolish the building, but initially it will only demolish part of it, and make the remainder safe, until it can be taken down after the summer.
“We met on site with the building Inspector and fire chief on Monday morning to review the structure and formulate a plan for the safe demolition of the structure,” Geoghan Coogan, a Vineyard Haven attorney who represents Stop & Shop, emailed. “Our engineering team is working expeditiously to devise a plan as I write this. We have followed up with the building department as of this morning with a proposed plan, and will expedite this process to the best of our ability. There are two immediate goals, the first being to secure the physical structure through a partial demolition in order to create a safe sidewalk along Water Street before a full demolition can occur. And two, to do so before the full summer season is upon us, in particular the Fourth of July holiday weekend.”
Back in 1994 the building, when it was a restaurant, caught fire. As The Times reported then, in addition to heat and smoke damage, the building suffered water damage.
Stop and Shop previously made a bid to build a new, larger store that would have included 14 Water St. However, the plans were put on hold in 2014 after a lot of opposition to the project .
Seavey said the building, which appears to have been remodeled at various times, has been used by Stop & Shop for storage. He noted there is an apartment on the top floor, but it’s not in use.
Updated to include comments from Stop & Shop and its attorney.
I remember with great nostalgia the root beer stand that once occupied the building. When you eventually renovate or rebuild, please save room for a couple of taps and a freezer for the mugs! Yummy.
Oh yeah! Boston Coolers in frozen mugs at the Harborlight , A&W (and maybe? Richardson’s?) Root Beer Stand there. Pure kids’ delight on a hot August day. But there is none of that to save now… except perhaps decades of priceless root beer essence and echoes of satisfied thirst in the ground below.
Let’s hope the Martha’s Vineyard Commission gets a chance to give an opinion on this and force them into saving it. This building has so much historical significance I hate to see it go.
I hope your kidding Mr Murphy? That building has to be one of the most unsightly buildings on the Island. What historical value? Wonton soup?
The whole of Stop and Shop needs to go and a new one built with a parking garage…this island is it and will never again be the quaint little island it once was…that’s long gone.
Oh my S & S rebuild ????Lets hope they don’t leave an fenced off empty hole forever Let alone a nostalgic root beer stand
Time for a new building!
Excellent opportunity to raze and build affordable housing. A nice 10 unit apartment building. Let’s goooo!
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