By David Delcore
BERLIN – You can add a mystery restaurant to the growing mix of establishments that could be coming soon to the Barre-Montpelier Road.
Town Administrator Jeff Schulz confirmed this week that owners of the shopping center now anchored by Big Lots intend to apply for a permit to build a free-standing restaurant that would be constructed next to Pizza Hut. The chain restaurant, which Schulz said he wasn’t at liberty to name, would represent the newest addition to the Central Vermont Shopping Center and further fuel the recent revival of a retail strip once dubbed Berlin’s “million-dollar mile.”
Though still in its infancy, the project recently cleared a key hurdle recently thanks to a 13-year-old permit the shopping center’s owner obtained for a bank that was never built. That permit, Schulz concluded, is still valid and site and utility improvements were made at the time – effectively preserving Pomerleau Real Estate’s right to pursue a revised version of the project that wouldn’t be allowed under current flood plain regulations.
The deciding factor, according to Schulz, was that the bank was part of a broader project that included interior renovations to the L-shaped plaza that were completed as proposed. The proposed restaurant would be built next to Pizza Hut, which is part of the 106,000 retail complex.
Although Schulz has determined the bank permit is still valid, he has concluded the proposed restaurant will require a trip to the town’s development review board. Based on changes to the project, which was permitted in 1999, the board must review and approve an amended site plan before construction can commence.
For the complete story, see Thursday’s Rutland Herald.