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New owner says O’Reilly Auto Parts store still coming to Arsenal Street

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WATERTOWN — Months ago, work abruptly stopped on turning the former Rite Aid store on Arsenal Street into an O’Reilly Auto Parts store, leaving city officials to wonder what happened.

The new owner of the building still hopes that the Missouri-based chain will be moving into the 11,000-square-foot space at South Massey and Arsenal streets.

The new owner, Dennis Wood, of Haskell, Oklahoma, said Tuesday that he’s still working with O’Reilly to locate in the old Rite Aid store.

Mr. Wood purchased the building under WTOL Arsenal LLC for $1,622,250 at a foreclosure auction in May. The building and 1.01 acres is assessed at $2,234,000.

His attorney, William D. Farrar, said that the chain has told him the store will now open in October. The lease was worked out with the previous owner.

The general contractor on the building had completed just about all of the interior and exterior work when workers packed up and left. The building has sat idle for months since then.

When he purchased the building, Mr. Wood thought all the work was finished on it so that the store could open. Last week, his attorney’s office called the city code enforcement office to see what was needed.

“O’Reilly has some finishing work,” Mr. Farrar said.

O’Reilly’s corporate office could not be reached for comment.

Dana Aikins, city code enforcement supervisor, said his office sent a certificate of compliance to the owner’s attorney on Monday notifying his office of building inspections that are still needed.

Prior to the updates from Mr. Wood and his attorney on Tuesday, city officials were puzzled about what was happening with the auto parts store.

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