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New Andes Variety under way

Andes Variety owner Craig Stewart, center, cuts the ribbon to celebrate the beginning of construction of a new, larger store at 1625 Atlantic Highway in Warren. Also shown, from left, are project manager Brandon Cummings, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Vice President Larissa Darcy, Stewart's daughter, Nellie Kavanagh, and Wes Thames of Priority Real Estate Group.

Warren — Supporters and some Warren dignitaries braved the rain April 26 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to begin the construction of the new Andes Variety in Warren.

Owner Craig Stewart received unanimous approval of the final site plan application last June.

The Warren mainstay will have a significantly larger store at its current location, 1625 Atlantic Highway.

The proposal calls for the eventual demolition of the current building; however, it will remain open for business during construction.

A new 6,300-square-foot convenience store will be developed, and construction of a 3,000-square-foot redemption center will take place on the adjacent parcel, where a single-family home and garage were recently demolished.

Both will be single-story structures.

The plan states that the redeveloped site will reduce the number and width of curb cuts along Atlantic Highway, which Stewart said would help with traffic flow coming and going from the store.

Wes Thames, vice president of construction for Priority Real Estate Group LLC., previously said all deliveries will be done through the back of the new facility, leaving the front open for parking.

The regular fuel pump island will remain in place, while the diesel pumps will be relocated to the rear of the site and new parking will be constructed for tractor-trailer trucks.

The project is estimated to cost $2 million, and Stewart hopes it will be completed by September.

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