Cantin Chevrolet to raze old apartment house on Mechanic Street to expand lot

LACONIA — Continuing the facelift and expansion of its facility off Union Avenue, Cantin Chevrolet is acquiring a lot on Mechanic Street, which will be added to its outdoor display area.
The 0.19-acre property, which abuts Cantin's site, lies at the elbow of Mechanic Street just before it joins Union Avenue. An apartment building with four units will be demolished, some 17 trees will be felled and the land will be paved, expanding the display area by about 7,000 square feet. A buffer, 17.5-feet wide planted with juniper bushes, and granite curbing will surround the lot.
Representing Cantin's , Steven Smith of Steven Smith & Associates appeared before the Zoning Board of Adjustment this week requesting a variance from the requirement to plant street trees along the edge of the lot. He explained that the dealership has operated on the Union Avenue site since 1940 without street trees. Moreover, he said that trees pose a risk to the vehicles on display.
The board unanimously granted the variance.
Tom Cantin said that the expansion, which follows on the heels of construction of a new showroom, is the latest step in a nationwide campaign to consistently market the Chevrolet brand. He said that the additional space will provide room for nine or 10 vehicles.