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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Departure date for Chen Yang Li, other stores at Nashua plaza delayed for a month

NASHUA – Chen Yang Li Restaurant and other stores can remain in Central Realty Plaza for another month or so as they prepare to move before the plaza is torn down.

The popular Chinese restaurant on Route 101A was supposed to be out of the 29-year-old plaza of Friday, but has reached a tentative agreement to stay through March 1, along with several other stores. ...

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NASHUA – Chen Yang Li Restaurant and other stores can remain in Central Realty Plaza for another month or so as they prepare to move before the plaza is torn down.

The popular Chinese restaurant on Route 101A was supposed to be out of the 29-year-old plaza of Friday, but has reached a tentative agreement to stay through March 1, along with several other stores.

The restaurant is trying to stay on Amherst Street. Owner Michael Chai said he needs more time to make the shift and wanted to stay open for the interim, partly because lots of people bought gift cards over Christmas and will want to use them.

The extra month is welcome news to the other stores in the 18,000-square-foot shopping center, including The Turquoise Shop.

“We would like to be here through Valentine’s Day. That’s an important time for us,” said Turquoise Shop owner Catherine Edmonds, who was interviewed before the delay had been confirmed.

The plaza at 337 Amherst St. was foreclosed on last year by Digital Federal Credit Union and bought by AV3 Properties of Manchester in June.

Dick Anagnost, of AV3, told The Telegraph late last year that the new owner, who wasn’t identified, wants to tear the plaza down and replace it.

No plans have been filed with the city for the roughly 2-acre site.

Part of the plaza is empty, and a number of vacant retail sites exist in similar-size shopping centers nearby.

The plaza’s situation became public when The Telegraph wrote about it Dec. 14 after stores owners received termination-of-lease letters saying they had to be out by Jan. 15.

The problem, they said, is that it was difficult or impossible to find new space over the Christmas-New Year’s holidays, especially since store owners couldn’t be distracted during the busiest time of the year.

“I’m a sole proprietor; couldn’t go out and look for new space,” Edmonds said. “Especially in the winter, when it’s really hard to get ahold of landlords and talk with them.”

That initial deadline was pushed to Feb. 1, and Chai began looking into court action to push it back further.

His attorney, Peter Bennett, said Friday that he had “reached an agreement in principal” that Chen Yang Li would be out by March 1.

Chai said the extra time was valuable not only for himself, but for customers.

“We sold a lot of gift cards in this area,” he said. “I don’t want my customers to lose any money.”

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531 or dbrooks@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Brooks’ blog on Twitter (@GraniteGeek).