The building at 121 Main St. will be home to The Alchemist Salon, Kalon Spa, a yoga studio and a massage therapist if plans submitted to the Ellsworth Planning Board are given final approval at the board’s next meeting on Wednesday, May 3. PHOTO BY STEVE FULLER

Businesses eye sites on Main, High streets

ELLSWORTH — Two commercial projects, one a reuse of a downtown building and the other a replacement of a High Street business, will come before the city Planning Board for final approval Wednesday, May 3.

Both proposals have come before the board already for initial review at earlier meetings.

On Main Street, Melissa Chakirelis is preparing to move her business, The Alchemist Salon, from its current location to the former Sandra Collier law office space between 86 This! and The Dream Catcher Antiques & Collectibles.

Chakirelis and her business partner, Jessica Snowdeal, purchased the building at 121 Main St. earlier this year. In addition to The Alchemist, the first floor will also be home to Kalon Spa. Upstairs, the plan is to lease space to a yoga studio and to a massage therapist.

Because the plan is to create three separate spaces within the building, the owners must receive permission from the city to subdivide the space.

Among the owners’ plans for the building, according to their plans on file with the city, are “exposing some of the brick walls to help restore the old charm of the building.”

On High Street, Ellsworth Associates LLC wants to build a retail center on the site of what is now Town Auto.

Ellsworth Associates is headed by developer Scott Shapiro, who has done similar projects elsewhere in the state. The plan calls for two buildings: one a 7,381-square-foot auto parts store and the other a 9,500-square-foot building with three tenants (a barber shop, dental office and mattress store). The existing Town Auto building is 8,200 square feet.

The new plan calls for green landscaping at the site and will actually result in less impervious surface — paved area and building footprint — than what is there now (1.58 acres, currently, versus 1.29 acres under the new plans).

The redevelopment of the site has a projected price tag of $1.5 million. It is forecast to employ 32 people (10 each at the mattress and auto parts stores, seven at the dental clinic and five at the barber shop), according to information filed with the city.

Initial plans had called for a fast food restaurant or coffee shop with a drive-through window, which would have generated enough traffic to require an in-depth traffic review from the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT). The eatery has since been dropped from the plans, however, and that traffic review will not take place.

Traffic remains an issue of interest, however. The DOT noted the site sits on “the highest volume section of High Street,” and it recommended only allowing right-hand turns out of the new development but said the decision rests with the city.

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller has worked at The Ellsworth American since 2012. He covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland. [email protected]