Future of downtown grocery store in doubt

For the last few months, the residents in the downtown area have been without a grocery store in the immediate area, after Bristol’s Marketplace shut down.
The grocery store opened last year with the purpose of providing a full grocery store to the residents who live in the downtown area, and had difficulty getting to Farmington Avenue stores. Earlier this year, the partnership between Srinivas Mothe, who owns the building, and Bob Veilleux splintered and the marketplace closed.
It is unknown what comes next in the building, and Mothe said recently he heard someone was interested in the building however he said the company was “out of my possession” and referred to a local bank. When that local bank was contacted, the individual who Mothe said was taking heed on the project said he did not know about this, and only knew details from which he read in a local newspaper.
Before Bristol’s Marketplace LLC became an actual establishment, the co-owners of the company received an economic development grant that came from the mayor’s office, in the amount of $125,000. These funds were used for façade improvements, doors and windows, and other work to improve the facility.
According to the minutes from a city council meeting in March of 2012, the council approved an “economic development grant to Bristol’s Marketplace, LLC in the amount of $125,000 for grocery store renovations to the premises known as 15 Memorial
Boulevard contingent upon bank approval with the terms and conditions customarily included in such grants including personal guarantees of the principals.”
In addition to this grant, the market was to remain open for 10 years for the grant to be awarded, confirmed Assistant Corporation Counsel Tom Conlin.
Depending on what happens next with the market, Conlin said “it is undecided what the ramifications will be if business is shut down permanently.”
In addition to the $125,000 grant, the company that owns the building, which is Mothe’s, received a $33,500 grant from the city’s Development Authority, for “commercially rehabilitation,” Conlin added.
All of the renovations were completed that these grants went toward. However, now that the business is closed it is unclear if the former marketplace owners will be penalized because they did not stick to the stipulations that came with the funds.
Conlin said the corporation counsel’s office will be working with other city departments and the mayor to discuss what happens next.
“We have our fingers crossed that something will go in there,” Conlin said. “It (Bristol’s Marketplace LLC) was doing very well for being a new business.”
Comments? Email knaples@BristolObserver.com.