New owner of Crossroads Market unveils plans for Rockland site

By Stephen Betts | Jan 11, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts

Rockland — The new owner of what had been a Rockland convenience store for more than 60 years said he is excited about plans to develop the property.

Kevin Merry was at the former convenience store Thursday, Jan. 11. Crossroads Market closed Jan. 10.

Merry, who grew up in Thomaston and served as a police officer for the town for two years in the late 1990s, purchased the property, along with business partner Myles Cooke, that is located at the intersection of North Main and Birch streets in Rockland.

The plan calls for dividing the 2,100-square-foot building at 131 North Main into two units. He said both would be leased for retail operations. He said he wants to see a pizza/mini mart on one side, while the other space could be something like a cellular phone office.

The gasoline pumps, traffic island and canopy will be removed in four to five weeks, he said.

Merry said he will consult with the Code Enforcement Office to determine whether he could then build a coffee shop with a drive-up window in that area.

Merry and his family live in southern New Hampshire. He said he continues to read about the Midcoast communities through The Courier-Gazette and became interested in the property when he saw an auction was planned.

"This is a great property, a great intersection, and the high school is located across the street," Merry said.

Crossroads was owned by Alliance Energy, which is part of Global Partners, based in Waltham, Mass. Merry and Cooke offered the high bid in the auction that ended in October.

Alliance (and now Global) had owned Crossroads since 2001. Global Partners put the Rockland store as well as ones in Brunswick and Rindge, N.H,.on the auction block.

Crossroads had operated as a gas station and convenience store since at least 1957, according to city assessment records.

The city has the property assessed at $435,000.

Merry has also proposed building an Aroma Joe's coffee shop with a drive-through window at 444 Main St. in Thomaston (next to the Strong Insurance Agency). The plans call for a 1,500-square-foot Cape Cod-style building that would be cream-colored with cranberry highlights.

Thomaston Code Enforcement Officer William Wasson said Jan. 11 that the site plan application is still pending. The last meeting to review that proposal was last July.

Merry said he wants to move ahead on that project this spring.

Comments (7)
Posted by: Dale Hayward | Jan 20, 2018 18:12

Yes Peter I have an axe to grind, but, most say it was not sharp enough. So here goes. Since we can enjoy our freedom of speech and since it does effect my neighborhood and since I can not insult anyone to the point of libel or slander and since to many people who have stopped me on the street or going into Hannaford's who have said to me that I was too nice to these new neighbors. Opps, not neighbors because they will have to earn that title. You see, Peter, for 35 years give or take a week or two that I have lived here this store has gone through many changes, as we all have also. Through though changes most were good until the last owners just let the place go to hell in a handbasket by ignoring the condition of the property. I call it milking the property to death, as they appear to have done on Park with their other store, which is now up for auction. A customer base is built by earning the customer's respect, filling a void, and making it convenient, as the term convenience store denotes. Am I correct so far. If you or anyone is in business the building of those attributes is paramount to success, we can agree. I do not know what their plans actually are because they felt it was necessary to keep it a big deep dark secret to reveal even who bought this one at auction. That is their privilege. However, many people who found it kind of a ritual to stop for coffee and chit chat in the morning or a quick stop on their way home, or easy to get gas (when the prices were reasonable) felt this one convenient (important term). As stated above, it is their money, their business, and son on. However, do they or do they not have a reasonable assumption of homeage to the people that they might some day depend on for their return on this investment. I believe they do. This store served many concerns: guick coffee, newspaper, snack, cigs, lottery tickets (they did a huge business) and gas. Quick and Easy. For around 60 years, 25 before I came on the scene, people obviously were very dedicated to this store. If the information were available I bet you would find a very dense, not thick of mind, population here and one of the best in the circle of convenience stores in town. The intersection covers five streets: Broadway, Cedar So., Cedar No., North Main, South Main, Birch Street Place and not to forget the High School. Please keep in mind that North Main Street and Broadway/Birch Street Place carry huge traffic numbers. Huge customer base is at hand and service this store well, as I stated for 60 some odd years. It is the new owners every right to do as they wish, but, they should realize old habits are easy to break when confronted with little choice. And, those new habits become very ingrained quickly when given no "light at the end of the tunnel" as to when this will reopen. I an not going to wait 6 weeks, or even 4 weeks and however long the rebranding takes place. I can go to Hannaford in another 45 seconds and be met with a well kept parking lot without potholes that have gone unattended for years and damaging cars, much friendlier associates, better prices, and more choices. I bet, others, feel the same way. However, if you notice, only one other person even cares for there are not other comments. So, yes Peter, my axe to grind is as stated, and I can and have rectified it almost immediately by going to another location. Whatever I spent there they will never miss, I agree. I do know, even by their silence, there are a lot of people upset, you just happened to hear from me, which is common, as I like to exercise my "freedom of speech"'. We need a neighborhood store that is concerned with their neighbors, will supply their neighbors with the products and services they desire. We do not need another coffee shop, What we do need is service and reasonable prices. I do not think you learn good business practices from Business 101 by closing a business that was, despite itself, not a good neighbor at all. I will be happy to continue this so that the message is clear that this is not a good interruption for this neighborhood.  I do not know you, and assume you use your real name, for that I thank you. Happy New Year.

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jan 15, 2018 11:40

I miss Tim Hortons.  First owners were great. Place was clean and well run pleasant staff  good food and prices.  Ashame to see that building going to waste.  Great location, lots of room for parking and drive thru.  Now these guys want to jamm three business on a postage stamp lot.  Good luck.

Posted by: Peter Hill | Jan 14, 2018 20:40

Wow, Dale... got an axe to grind or what?

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Jan 14, 2018 00:43

Everyday I go by this closed store I think of the inconvenience that people who have supported that store for the 60 or so years and now these hot shots with more money then concerns for the neighborhood and the hope of building a customer base might just find themselves on the short end. Lack of support works both ways. I found it is just as easy to go to Hannaford's and just drive by. I can get used to that. Prices are better, staff is friendlier and it is safer. Good riddens.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Jan 12, 2018 19:13

Here we are only two days away from closure and the place looks like the dump. What we don't need is a blight at that intersection. The lights from the store were kind of a safety factor. The new owners, it seems to me, could have continued to being in business, service their regular customers, and keep things moving while they renovate. Closing is a sign of poor planning, not being caring about neighbors and not providing an atmosphere of a neighborhood store. Being from away, I am sure these guys could care less about the neighbors. Why run a survey and ask people for suggestions. Another coffee shop is stupid, even with the possible hook up with Rock City . Another pizza shop or cell phone store is foolish, at best, There money, do as they wish. The longer they are closed the more people will get used to others, like Kaler.s Korner a stones throw or two away. Or just go to Hannaford's, around the corner. That store had been abused by the prior owners, milked to death. Change to hold interest needs to come soon. I have heard 6 weeks for renovations. Too long, too little. Time to change. Big money people can always do as they wish. More rumors for Coffee Joe or something like that in Thomaston is only a rumor.

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Jan 11, 2018 17:28

Thank goodness that someone other than Alliance might just take an interest in the property with its pot holes, dirty and dumpy building and yard. It would be nice to have tax paying, wage paying, customer service employees with a better attitude. I think Rock City is a great combination, I love the smell of coffee, although I have never drank one cup of coffee in my life. Hooray and good luck, although I know nothing about the new owners everything sounds interesting. Should have checked with code enforcement early so there are no surprises. Good luck with that one. Signed, Grumpy.

Posted by: Tabitha Ordway | Jan 11, 2018 15:00

The town of Rockland does not need another Cell Phone office.  Hopefully if he is allowed to build a coffee drive thru, it won't be another Dunkin.  There are already 3 that are fairly close.  It would be nice for a non chain type of coffee shop to go in.  Maybe partner with Rock City for example.  They have the shop down town, but this would be a great opportunity for those passing through that don't make it downtown. 

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