After sitting vacant for more than two years, the former Walmart store in Bedford may soon have new life.
An undisclosed tenant is interested in using the retail space at 17 Colby Ct., according to Jason Lopez of Keach Nordstrom Associates.
“We have got a potential client that we have been talking to. There are no tenant agreements signed at this time, but we are looking at a company that has shown interest and promise in the site,” Lopez told the planning board on Monday.
Although the property’s owner is Colby Court Owner, LLC, a commercial real estate firm, R.J. Kelly Co., Inc., approached the planning board seeking a change of use request from a retail building to a light industrial manufacturing facility.
“It is not going to be heavy industrial uses,” said Lopez, explaining the future tenant will be focused on light assembly and manufacturing.
The former Walmart store shut its doors in June 2019 after Walmart was unable to reach lease terms with the landlord.
Grove Court Shopping Center, LLC, previously owned the property, which was assessed at about $9.6 million when it was sold to Colby Court Owner, LLC, this past May for $8.1 million, according to the town’s online assessment records.
The planning board unanimously approved the change of use request on Monday.
“I think you need to make sure that your development plans include recognizing the neighbors,” Hal Newberry, member of the planning board, told the new owners.
Several neighbors said they were concerned about the hours of operation, exterior noises and truck delivery schedule associated with the new light manufacturing facility.
Under the existing site plan, truck deliveries are prohibited from 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. daily, explained Lopez.
Concerns about existing fencing around the perimeter, which is in failing condition, were also raised by neighbors.
The planning board, as a condition of approval, is requiring that all of the existing fencing be fixed by May 30, 2022, and that all dead trees on the property be removed prior to this winter.
Planning officials also urged the new owner to consider eliminating some of the pavement surrounding the 121,000-square-foot building with an abutting 16,000-square-foot facility that was previously used as a garden center.
The exterior color of the building will be changed and the entrance area will be retrofitted, according to the plans.
Charlie Fairman, planning board member, urged the owner to consider solar panel options on the roof of the facility.
“All of us need to be looking at reducing greenhouse gases,” added Fairman.