New businesses named to fill site of former Caruso

SAUGUS – The earthmovers have been working overtime at the site of the former Caruso Diplomat on Route 1 north and now they know whom they are building a foundation for after Regency Centers released the names of the businesses that will fill Shops at Saugus.According to Andy Couch, vice president of investments for the Virginia-based Regency Centers, the 103,483 square foot shopping center will be anchored by the unique neighborhood grocery store Trader Joe’s, PetSmart, a national pet retailer, La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery, and locally-owned Border Café.”We are also excited to also feature two merchants on our parcels including a 1,788 square foot Starbucks with drive-through window service and a 2,166 square foot Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurant,” said Couch.The Starbucks is designed as a freestanding building positioned closest to the road with PetSmart behind it. Qdoba will also be freestanding just north of PetSmart.According to Couch, Regency Centers is also leasing approximately 8,500 square feet of second-floor office space above the retail shopping center.”We are very pleased to announce these exceptional merchants as our anchors in Saugus,” Couch said. “The long-awaited shopping center is located just 11 miles north of the city of Boston and will greatly enhance the local shopping experience in the town of Saugus and neighboring communities.”Regency closed on the shopping center site in September 2006 along with partner Jay Donegan of J. Donegan Company. Couch said Donegan, a Lynnfield native, played a key role in the acquisition of the site and helped to guide the project through the predevelopment process, which was not as simple as it sounds.The project actually began in 2005 and was quickly mired in controversy when part of the 14-acre property was acquired through a land-swap deal. Some town officials believed the deal was made without proper approval, but Rep. Mark Falzone, D-Saugus, who helped shepherd the project, stood by the arrangement.The swapped parcel also had to be re-zoned by a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting, which took place after much debate in the spring of 2006.Since then, most have watched the business take shape with interest and Regency Centers officials won additional fans when it helped the town with its financial troubles by pre-paying its permits and fees.The Shops at Saugus is the eighth development project that Regency and J. Donegan Company have partnered on over the past several years.

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