3-story building an option for Centre St. space

CENTRAL JP—Future options for the commercial building at 656-660 Centre St.—half of it home to Ace Hardware and half vacant—include reviving a 2005 plan to demolish it and erect a three-story structure in its place, according to owner and developer Christ Stamatos.

“That’s one of the options, of course,” Stamatos said, adding he has “nothing definite in mind yet.”

“We’re trying to do something sooner rather than later,” he said.

At a Feb. 26 Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council meeting, Public Service Committee chair Michael Reiskind said the plan may include the Same Old Place restaurant building next door, also owned by Stamatos. But Same Old Place co-owner Eric Ciampa told the Gazette he had not heard of any plans. Stamatos could not be reached for immediate comment.

The building currently houses Ace Hardware, which is run by Stamatos’s cousin, Chris Stamatos. Stamatos’s Century 21 Pondside Realty recently moved out of another storefront in the building, and the Charlie Chan’s Chinese restaurant at 658 Centre shut down in recent weeks.

In 2005, Stamatos introduced the plan for a new three-story building that would retain Ace Hardware as a tenant and put a 20,000-square-foot gym on the upper floors. The plan had strong backing from JP Centre/South Main Streets, but never went anywhere.

One delaying factor may have been the still-unsolved 2006 firebombing of Century 21 Pondside, which was at 619 Centre at the time. The real estate office had to move into the 660 Centre storefront during an extending rebuilding process. It only recently returned to 619 Centre.

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