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 However, Constantine said the April 13 plans are outdated as she has met with the building owner twice since then and has viewed newer designs.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.
Belhumeur said a limousine company and a tuxedo store also are planned for the building. First Date has closed its Chestnut Street store and owners have said they will reopen a shop with a bridal theme in the new building.
The building is considered prime downtown real estate. Men's clothing store Natale's was in the space for seven months before Natale's closed last November. The space has been vacant since. Natale's had replaced Kaps Menswear, which closed after 19 years in Andover and more than 120 years in the Merrimack Valley. McCartney's, another men's clothing store, occupied the space prior to Kaps.
The 1-7 Main St. building adds to Belhumeur's Main Street real estate coffers. His building at 10-16 Main St., where Starbucks is located, is assessed at $4.4 million, according to town records.
When Cristina's moves out of that building, the Latitude Sports Club will expand and take over the space, Belhumeur said.