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Common Man Owner Has Big Plans

An expansion of Nault's and relocation of the Crucius home could spark more.

A multi-phased project that will include a major expansion of Nault's Windham Motorcycles faced a preliminary meeting with the Planning Board on May 16.

The goal, according to Windham civil engineer Karl Dubay, is to add a sizable showroom to the current business structure. The two-floor addition was listed on the draft as 20,960 square feet.

To accomodate the makeover, Dubay said that they want to move the historic Crucius home, which has stood since the mid 1700's.

"We are sliding it over away from Mr. Nault's facility – across the street from Edgewood (Road)" he said.

The parcel that the home is currently on was purchased by Alex Ray, owner of The Common Man Family of Restaurants.

Dubay said that Ray has big development ambitions for the area, and wants the Crucius home to serve as the new entrance.

"That could be called what we call the 'Common Man Village,'" Dubay said. "Possibly a small inn, maybe a small tavern (with) some small shops. Something really cool."

The historic home is tagged as a small shop or professional office in the application. Dubay explained that it will "set the tone" for that commercial district.

Dubay added that the relocation and restoration will cost a lot of money.

"They're spending a lot more money than it's probably worth on paper, but we know culturally it's important to the town," he said.

In order to move the house, a specialty mover will pick up the main structure and slide it over.

The multi-faceted project will require several variances including one related to wetlands. Dubay said that the wetlands will be impacted by the Department of Transportation anyway as part of major changes coming to routes 111 and 111A.

A new Route 111A will run right behind Nault's, making the back of the business become the front in the showroom addition concept.

The expanded Nault's would also have increased parking surrounding the facility.

The DOT is also working with Klemm's Mobil and business owners in the Country Shoppes plaza to establish an interconnected driveway between all businesses.

Another business that Dubay will have to work with is Woof Woof Professional Dog Services, which is located on the driveway that he is looking to move the historic home to.

Ralph Sinclair, co-owner of Woof Woof, was in attendance. Dubay assured him that access to his business will not be cut off by the construction.

Sinclair also clarified that he currently has an agreement with the state to lease the business, as the land is state-owned.

Planning Board member Jonathan Sycamore praised the development concept, noting that it could set a precedent for others in Windham.

"I think we can send a very strong message and we can encourage preservation with some concessions," he said. "I think if it can work here there are other historic buildings in town that I think are worth preserving."

Tackling the project next will be the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

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