Boston Paintball may move to the Putnam building

If things go as planned, the number of shootings in the new Parkway Plaza will increase tremendously next year.

Those shootings, though, will be with paintballs, and they’ll all be in good fun.

Boston Paintball Inc. of Everett is in the process of negotiating a deal with the owners of the Richie’s Home Furnishings building to move into about 37,000 sq. ft. of space in the huge building – one of the last parcels yet to be revamped in the rehabilitated strip mall.

Filings with the city from the building’s owners, Caru Chelsea LLC of Cambridge – the owners of the old Putnam Furniture Company, indicate that they are ready to take some major steps in upgrading the building.

The building was used as a furniture store and a furniture distribution center for decades before recently becoming a temporary set for movie production teams. Several movie producers have rented the building for a few months at a time over the last several years in order to film movies. However, while such uses were glitzy, they were not very permanent and left an unattractive hole in the new plaza for most of the year.

Plans indicate that along with Boston Paintball, an accompanying retail trophy/sports uniform business would also potentially occupy the building. The occupants of the remaining space would be announced at a later date.

“Using their existing operations [in Everett] as a gauge, Boston Paintball anticipates peak customer flows will occur in the late afternoon, in the evenings and on weekends,” read one filing that discussed impacts on the neighborhood, which initially don’t appear to be very numerous.

Currently, Boston Paintball occupies the building behind the Harley-Davidson motorcycle store in Everett on the Parkway. Any move to the Parkway Plaza would be a short move, but one that the owners are apparently excited to make. The company has a second location in Framingham and has been in business 16 years.

City Manager Jay Ash said he was very excited about the project and hopes that paintballs will be flying soon at the Parkway Plaza.

He did point out that it would mean that the occasional movie production teams would be lost. 

Site improvements would include a new drainage plan, new entrances, upgrades to the building and parking lot, new lighting and a landscaping plan.

Building owners hope to get to work as soon as possible, with a targeted opening date of late 2010 to early 2011.

First, however, they will have to get their plan through the Chelsea Zoning Board of Appeals. A hearing is set for Tuesday, July 13, at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

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