New home for Exotic Auto Repair eyed in Hadley

  • Exotic Auto Repair on the corner of Route 9 and East Street in Hadley. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/5/2021 8:44:50 PM

HADLEY — A Hadley auto repair shop being displaced by the project to widen a section of Route 9 and improve the East Street intersection appears poised to relocate to another site on the state highway.

Paul Narus, owner of Exotic Auto Repair, and local land-use consultant Randy Izer, told the Planning Board Tuesday that the business, founded in 2012, anticipates moving from 184 Russell St. to 12 Russell St., a .17-acre site at the corner of Route 9 and Cross Path Road and just a few hundred yards east of the Coolidge Bridge.

Under the plan, Izer said Narus has the opportunity to purchase the property from Jeremy Ober, who a decade ago received site plan approval to operate a used-car business known as Foreign Auto Haus.

While some sales still take place from the location, the property also has been a storage site for ambulances used by Action Ambulance Service, Inc. ActionEMS is the private company that provides emergency medical responses for Hadley, though its town-specific ambulance operates from the pubic safety complex.

Both Narus’ current site, and the Foreign Auto Haus site, feature buildings with two garage bays.

Earlier in the spring, Narus told the Select Board he was concerned that the state is taking his .14-acre property by eminent domain and providing insufficient payment, at $270,000, to allow him to find a similar site on Route 9.

Planners expect to review the relocation plans at a May 18 meeting, though not as part of a formal hearing. Planning Board Chairman James Maksimoski said the only concern for planners is how many cars Narus can have on site at once, a number that is likely to be set below the 20-car cap for Ober.

Before moving forward, Maksimoski also told Narus that he will need to correct problems with an overflow of vehicles at Exotic’s satellite location on River Drive in North Hadley. There, he has been exceeding a 14-car limit.

Narus defended what is happening. “During the day we have no control because customers are coming in and out,” Narus said, adding that he would do a better job of complying.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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