Cumberland Farms eyes move in South Deerfield

  • Cumberland Farms in South Deerfield center is pursuing plans to move to routes 5 and 10. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • 31 Elm St., South Deerfield. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—Andy Castillo

  • 31 Elm St., South Deerfield. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo—Andy Castillo

For the Bulletin
Thursday, September 29, 2016

SOUTH DEERFIELD — The Cumberland Farms gasoline station and convenience store, which has stood in the village center since the early 1950s, could soon move down the street to Routes 5 and 10.

Last week, just down the road from the gas station’s current location at 2 Sugarloaf St., small flags marking potential gas lines stood in the ground of 31 Elm St., a half-acre assessed at about $250,000 and owned by town residents John and Sharyn Paciorek.

“They’ve contracted with an investment group that has an option with me,” John Paciorek said, confirming that Cumberland Farms is looking to move, adding that as recently as last week, he saw workers digging holes on the property to ensure the water table is viable for gas storage tanks.

If everything goes according to plan, the gas station will move onto Paciorek’s land across from the Yankee Candle Co. flagship store.

Paciorek said that under the contract, the investment group Lapage Financial Group, which is based in Belchertown, has agreed to pay a certain amount each month to hold the land in preparation for the gas station’s intended move. If the required permits are approved by the state and town, the land will officially pass from Paciorek’s hands to Cumberland Farms.

If permits are not approved and the gas station decides to back out, Paciorek will keep all money paid to that point.

While the project is still in the early stages of planning, Judith Riley, a spokeswoman for the Mass Department of Transportation, said the gas station in South Deerfield has submitted a curb-cut permit to gain access to Routes 5 and 10.

When asked about a timetable for the move, Liz White, a public relations media contact for Cumberland Farms, said the organization cannot comment until everything has been “100 percent approved.”

Currently, there’s a two-story home on the property. Paciorek said contractors are considering offering the building free to anyone who can move it, or opening it up for a week and allowing local residents to remove windows and doors.

If there is no better option, Paciorek said it would be demolished.

Paciorek said he believes the relocation would draw more traffic from Yankee Candle.

“As a whole, it’ll kinda move the center — that whole area has been developing. A lot of traffic off of 5 and 10 will have a place to stop and get a coffee and gas up,” Paciorek continued, adding that “it’ll be good for the town.”

According to Paciorek, he and his wife, who have owned the commercially-zoned Elm Street property for more than 25 years, have had purchase offers dating back about the same amount of time. Initially, he said they wanted to build a house on the corner but decided not to because the property’s high water table would have made it difficult to dig a basement.

Sharyn Paciorek said they were persuaded to move forward with negotiations after visiting the new Cumberland Farms on Federal Street in Greenfield, which is an expanded store with hot food and drink options. The proposed Deerfield store would offer similar amenities.

Assuming the gas station’s permits are approved by the state, Wayne Shaw, town wiring inspector, said building and electrical permits would be needed from the town before any construction can start. The plan would also have to be approved by the Conservation Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board.