BY GEORGE W. RHODES SUN CHRONICLE STAFF
ATTLEBORO – A barren, dusty strip on the east side of Route 1, running from Newport Avenue to May Street, is expected to be teeming with economic activity in a year or so – even more than first thought.
An offshoot of Rhode Island-based Carpionato Properties has added a second project to its 6.2-acre retail and restaurant development known as Shoppes at Mayfaire on the corner of Route 1 and May Street.
It now plans to build “Shops at Washington” on a 5.4-acre parcel formerly owned by car dealer Gerry Vachon just to the south on Route 1, across Angeline Street, which separates the two parcels.
Combined, the vacant plots total 11.6 acres. All told, the two projects are expected to create as many as 750 jobs and $200,000 to $300,000 in tax revenue for the city.
And, when combined with other Carpionato properties, will comprise a kind of South Attleboro retail empire stretching from Newport and Highland avenues to May Street.
Shops at Mayfaire could be complete by this time next year, and should be followed soon after by Shops at Washington.
The first project has been in process since 2007, but has been held up by a number of issues, including neighborhood opposition and landslides from a rocky outcrop bordering the property.
The land has been stabilized by a technique called “soil nailing” which cost Carpionato hundreds of thousand of dollars, according to Senior Vice President Kelly Coates, who said he expects to finish city permitting for the site late next month and begin construction soon after.
The second part of the project is on a triangular parcel where Vachon aimed to build a car dealership years ago.
That project died in the face of staunch neighborhood opposition and a lawsuit Vachon was fighting at the time over dealership locations.
The two properties are separated by Angeline Street, but other than that, form a contiguous 11.6- acre strip.
Permitting applications for the former Vachon parcel, which has been purchased by Carpionato, are expected to be submitted to the city next month and take 60 to 90 days to process, Coates said.
When the two projects are completed, Carpionato companies will own a swath of 41.7 acres of commercial property straddling Route 1 and part of Route 1A from their intersection with Newport and Highland avenues to May Street.
Those properties include the South Attleboro Square and Mayfaire Centre shopping plazas on the west side of Route 1, and will include Shops at Mayfaire, which will be a 54,666-square-foot retail and restaurant development, as well as Shops at Washington, which will be a 36,250-square-foot development.
Plans on file at City Hall show that a Chipotle’s restaurant and a Starbucks coffee shop are among the businesses expected to open in Shops at Mayfaire.
The former Vachon property will also have retail stores and a restaurant. And, a 12-pump gas station is planned for the site.
Current assessed values for all Carpionato properties along the Route 1 strip total $45.3 million and yield about $1 million in taxes a year.
Photo: Crews work on the rock wall at the Shoppes at Mayfaire on Route 1 in South Attleboro.