BY PAUL LEIGHTON
---- — BEVERLY — The fate of the former Bell Market is still unknown, but a new owner is hoping to finally make use of one of the downtown’s key pieces of property.
Goldberg Properties is scheduled to close on a deal to buy the vacant building on Jan. 30, according to Bill Goldberg, the company’s founder and senior partner.
Goldberg said the company hopes to find someone who will use the building as a market or a restaurant.
“It’s been a food location for 50 years,” he said. “We think it’s important for the city.”
Bell Market opened in 1965 and served as a downtown grocery store for 42 years until it closed in 2007. Current owner Ken Patel ran it as Beverly Market for two years before it closed.
The building at 206 Cabot St. has been vacant since 2009, leaving a hole in the middle of the downtown just down the street from City Hall.
Goldberg said his company, which owns several properties in downtown Beverly, has an agreement to buy the 7,000-square-foot building for $730,000.
As a longtime Beverly company, the family-owned real estate investment firm sees the site as a key to the continued improvement of the downtown, Goldberg said.
“We’re hometown boys and we’re optimistic about downtown Beverly,” he said. “We think this is an important piece of it, and we hope we can find the right tenant to create a win-win-win for us, the tenant and the city.”
Beverly Main Streets Executive Director Gin Wallace said the organization is excited about the Goldbergs acquiring the property.
“They own a lot of property downtown and they are very interested in getting the right kind of tenant in there, so we’re happy about that,” Wallace said.
Wallace said Main Streets would like to see some kind of food business at the location, although she does not envision a traditional grocery store. She mentioned the possibility of a “food emporium” type of store that combines a variety of specialty foods and might have a cafe and cooking classes.
“Those are popping up all over the country,” she said. “That’s our ideal, but anything that’s a small, individually-owned creative business that the community embraces we’d be happy with.”
Wallace said the Goldbergs have done a great job of “curating” a variety of interesting tenants for the multiple storefronts they own along Front Street in Salem.
“We’re hoping they’ll bring that model to Beverly,” she said.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or email@example.com.