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Mayor welcomes $2 million investment on Main Street

Date: 7/27/2010

July 28, 2010

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

HOLYOKE -- Mayor Elaine Pluta thought for a moment and said she couldn't recall the last time there was as a significant commercial investment as the new Racing Mart combination gas station, convenience store and laundromat on Main Street.

The new retail complex, representing a $2 million investment, opened officially last week.

Johnny Kayrouz, one of the principals in Trak II Development, the owners of the Racing Mart, said his company owns many of the Racing Mart franchises in the area and the Holyoke store will serve as a prototype for other new locations.

The store has a Dunkin' Donuts and Kayrouz is hoping to complete a deal to bring in a Subway sandwich shop to the store. There is also a car wash in separate building.

He said the project took nearly four years to complete.

Kayrouz admitted with a smile the long development time required those involved to be "something of a visionary."

The location on the corner of Main and Cabot streets is composed of six separate parcels, Kathy Anderson of the Office of Planning & Development, explained. There was a closed gas station there as well as a city-owned parking lot on the corner. The city traded its parking lot needed for the development to Kayrouz, who in turn, created a new and larger city parking lot next to his store at no additional expense to the taxpayer.

Pluta called the new retail business "fabulous" and said the complex adds stability to the neighborhood.

She thanked Kayrouz for developing a business in a section of the city "that has been long over-looked."

Pluta noted she has been cutting several ribbons to new businesses of late. Ultimate Electronics recently opened in the former location of Circuit City. She also attended the opening of Highland House Design on Hampden Street on July 26.