City gets easements to improve Fair & Court intersection

LACONIA — Improvements at the intersection of Fair Street and Court Street — among the most dangerous junctions in the city — are in the works after the Planning Board last night approved plans to construct a new building and reconfigure the parking lot at the Faircourt Plaza Condominium on the corner.
Many people still refer to the existing structure as the Aubuchon building, though the hardware company has been gone from that location for several years.
M.T. McCarthy of Unit 1 Realty Holdings, LLC, owner of the 2.71 acre lot, granted the city two easements in the course of planning the project. One easement consists of a triangle at the northeast (Aubuchon) corner of the intersection and the other of five feet along the east side of Fair Street from Court Street to a curb cut providing access to the lot. Planning Director Shanna Saunders said that the Department of Public Works requested the easements in the course of reviewing plans for the project and indicated that improvements would be made a priority.
Saunders said that the easements would enable Department of Public Works to open the intersection and improve sight lines both to traffic turning from Court Street on to Fair Street and entering Court from Fair Street and perhaps provide space for a turning lane on Fair Street.
According to the tax card, the existing building on the lot consists of nearly 19,000-square-feet divided into commercial condominium units housing Skate Escape, Little Caesar's Pizza, a laundry operation run by LRGHealthcare, manufacturing space and several warehouses.
The section of the existing building protruding from the front facing Court Street, currently occupied by Skate Escape, will be demolished, along with the northeast corner of the building. The remainder of the building will be reconfigured into six commercial condominium units, leaving the existing units in tact.
The new 6,895-square foot building, which will house Advanced Auto Parts, will be constructed on the southwest quarter of the lot facing Court Street, with a parking area between the entrance and the sidewalk. To accommodate the additional business, 26 parking spaces will be added to the property, bringing the total to 109.