GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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October 2, 2013

Rockport pharmacy plans won't be filled

ROCKPORT — An economic development prescription calling for a new pharmacy along Main Street has essentially expired, with the applicants bowing out for financial reasons and the owners of Blue Gate Gardens now in talks with new prospective buyers.

Sandy Bay Apothecary proponents Nenad and Amber Bazdar had agreed to build a small, independent pharmacy at the Blue Gate Gardens site, owned by John and Diane Wonson, and the two had been given green lights from the Planning Board and the Board of Appeals, while Town Meeting backed an easement for the property, as well.

Amber Bazdar said the couple had enough capital to demolish the current garden building and build the new pharmacy, but they could not show sufficient contingency funds if a problem with paving, for example, put them over budget.

“We didn’t back out ... we just needed extra capital,” Amber Bazdar said Tuesday, adding that banks were hesitant to loan more in contingency money to the construction project.

“We had everything planned out according to the estimates we got,” Bazdar said. “If anything went over, we wouldn’t have any extra funds.”

Bazdar said the purchase-and-sale agreement with the Wonsons expired soon after the fall Town Meeting last month. The two sides were still trying to work out deals with investors to get the pharmacy project underway until new prospective buyers entered the picture.

John Wonson said Tuesday that the agreement was terminated and that he was not given a reason by the Bazdars. He said he was disappointed the pharmacy would not be constructed on his Main Street property.

Wonson had previously told the Times he liked the pharmacy idea because it would have benefited the town. Others, he said, had offered to buy the Wonsons’ land in the past. The nursery has been family-operated for 36 years.

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