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Dunn Tire to close on purchase of new Amherst store in summer

Dunn Tire expects to close on its purchase of a new location on Sheridan Drive in Amherst by summer.

Dunn Tire is planning to move from its longtime store in the Northtown Plaza, at 3045 Sheridan Drive, to a building about 1 mile east, at 3424 Sheridan Drive, just east of Sweet Home Road, that now houses a Color-Tech Photo Lab.

Dunn Tire has been in the Northtown Plaza for at least 30 years, and has a lease that runs until 2020, said David Simons, the company's executive vice president and chief financial officer. But the shopping center's owner, WS Development, is constructing a new Whole Foods there and clearing the plaza of many tenants.

"We don't really fit into their plans going forward," Simons said.

The company, which has 29 stores between Erie, Pa., and Syracuse, wanted to find a new store in the same section of Amherst.

The new site is 10,500 square feet, 50 percent larger than the 7,000-square-foot Northtown Plaza store, allowing for 10 bays instead of five and better parking and customer access, Simons said.

The Town Board rezoned the property last month and the town's Zoning Board of Appeals granted the necessary variances last week. Simons said the company has made changes to the project to take into account the concerns of neighbors, by agreeing to add fencing and soundproofing along the side that borders homeowners' properties. Next, the company must get its site plan approved by the town Planning Board.

After that, Dunn Tire would look to close on the purchase from Color-Tech by July, Simons said. The company likely would need to knock down an existing extension on the Color-Tech building to construct its own extension. Construction would begin by fall.

The new Dunn Tire store probably will open in spring 2018, he said.

Color-Tech has started casually looking for a new store, and does want to stay in the Amherst area, said President Paul Crawford.

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