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Convenience Plus At First And Tyler Eyed For Rebuild
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
12:10PM / Friday, May 19, 2017
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The plans submitted to the city call for the new XtraMart to face First Street.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Shell gas station at the intersection of First and Tyler is eyed to be razed and rebuilt.
Global Montello Group, which operates the store through a lease agreement with O'Connell Oil, has filed an application with the city to tear down the existing station and rebuilt as an XtraMart.
The plans call to move the building farther away from the intersection, abutting the neighboring business, and reposition the gas pumps to run parallel with First Street. 
"The proposed changes to the site include the replacement of the existing 2,530 square-foot convenience store building and construction of a new 3,000 square-foot convenience store. The existing fueling dispensers with eight fueling positions will be relocated and replaced with the number of fueling positions unchanged," wrote Senior Engineer Stephen Ulman, of Alfred Benesch & Company.
"Currently, vehicular access to the site is provided by two driveways along Burbank Street, one driveway along First Street, and two driveways along Tyler Street. The renovation to the site will reduce the number of driveways serving the site to three, one each along Burbank, First, and Tyler Streets. The reduction in the number of driveways and their proposed locations will enhance traffic circulation in and around the site due to the fact that the proposed driveways to Burbank Street and Tyler Street are now located further away for the intersections with First Street."
The plan reduces the number of curb cuts overall, as well as the size. The company received its first approval from the city Wednesday night when the Zoning Board of Appeals approved allowing two curb cuts be 28 feet in width. The city restricts curb cuts to 25 feet unless a variance is granted — a figured adopted in the '70s and current ZBA members wondered why it is so low. The current curb cuts pre-date that regulation and are larger.
Designer Ryan Scrittorale said at 28 feet, there is enough room for tankers to make deliveries. 
"It is a traffic nightmare," he said. "We are streamlining it."
The building itself will be repositioned to face First Street, with parking in front and then the pumps closer to First Street and entrances on Burbank, First, and Tyler. Currently, the building is set at an angle with the pumps running parallel to Tyler Street. 
"I think it will better utilize that property better," ZBA member John Fitzgerald said. "There is an awful lot of hidden area behind that existing building."
Scrittorale said as long as there is no hindrance in the permitting Global is looking to start construction by August. The current building is aging and in somewhat disrepair. 
Global has filed for a special permit from the City Council. The City Council will likely refer the special permit to the Community Development Board. The Community Development Board will provide a site plan review before sending it back to the council for final approval.
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