Former Big Y in South Hadley Plaza to be demolished

The Daily Hampshire Gazette, May 30, 2017, by Scott Merzbach

SOUTH HADLEY — Demolition of the former Big Y Supermarket space in the shopping plaza near the intersection of Newton and Lyman streets is scheduled to begin in June.

Rocco Falcone, president of Rocky’s Ace Hardware and the managing partner for the South Hadley Plaza, said Tuesday that Charlie Arment Trucking in Springfield is pulling municipal permits and will raze the 60,000-square-foot building.

The removal of the Big Y, which closed in early 2013, will allow the plaza owners to plan for new construction that will create more desirable space for future tenants.

“We’re looking to understand the uses and what other users are out there, and what the demand is,” Falcone said.

Falcone said one plan is for some of the construction to be for Rocky’s, with its current space in the plaza being leased out for other purposes. New construction, though, remains at least a few months away.

The demolition comes after the South Hadley Plaza was purchased in May 2016, at auction, for around $2.4 million by Falcone, Peter Picknelly of Peter Pan Bus Lines in Springfield, and the Yee Family, who run restaurants in South Hadley, Amherst, Hadley, Springfield and Chicopee. Falcone has a 40 percent stake in the 90,000-square-foot property.

While Falcone said some residents have suggested the former Big Y could be home to another grocery store, such as a Whole Foods Market, this doesn’t seem realistic.

“A food market doesn’t look probable at the moment,” Falcone said.

In addition to Rocky’s, other tenants in the plaza, opened in 1964, include Friendly’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, The Parthenon and Mandarin Gourmet restaurants, and an Army recruiting center.