Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


May 6, 2010

Former Kaps building may get third floor

Former Kaps building to go before Planning Board May 11

The look of Elm Square, the heart of downtown Andover, may be changing significantly as the new owner of the former Kaps building wants to add a third floor to the building.

The Design Review Board met Tuesday and approved plans that include adding a third story to the existing two-story building at the corner of Main and Central streets.

"Elm Square is large and with the library and the Musgrove Building, that corner needs mass," said Ann Constantine, the chairwoman of the Design Review Board who called the project "the most important downtown building project in years."

The next stop for the plans is the Planning Board, which meets Tuesday, May 11 and will discuss the plans.

Building owner R. Thomas "Tom" Belhumeur expects the building to be a "bridal destination" spot with a group of wedding-related businesses.

Proposed plans dated April 13 and on file at the town's Planning office included a drawing of what the building might look like. However, Constantine said the April 13 plans are outdated as she has met with the building owner twice since then and has viewed newer designs. Adding a third floor to the building has always been presented.

Belhumeur, who was in Town Offices as the Townsman received the April 13 design plans, said tenants are being booked and the renovation is "going great."

He named the building "One Main Street" and said the projected opening date for this new block of wedding-related businesses is Sept. 1.

Records from the town assessors office show he bought the building for $1.2 million on Dec. 22, 2009. The building is assessed at $827,900.

Cristina's, a women's dress shop currently located in the Belhumeur-owned building at 10-16 Main St., is moving to "One Main Street." The dress shop, a 25-year tenant, will be on the ground level and will also have basement space.

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