Cell phone store for Bickford's site

Rumors abound about what the future holds for retail development at the eastern end of Gallivan Blvd, at the site of a now-closed Bickford’s restaurant near Neponset Ave.

One project that is confirmed to begin soon is the construction of a new Verizon Wireless store where the family restaurant now sits. Neighbors expect the restaurant to be demolished or heavily remodeled, to make way for what Cedar Grove Civic Association president Sean Weir called a “state of the art” Verizon Wireless retail store.

As for other potential projects in the area, no development plans have been made. In an interview, Dorchester City Councillor Maureen Feeney told the Reporter that while there have been discussions between property owners and local officials, nothing has been finalized. “A lot more work,” would have to be done before any project gains official approval, Feeney said.

One rejected proposal for the area was the construction of a Kentucky Fried Chicken or Taco Bell restaurant. The plan was opposed by city and local officials and the developer withdrew his proposal. Feeney said that she is “grateful that [the developer] kept his word,” by rescinding the fast food project. “I have no vested interest in this other than to do what’s best for the community,” Feeney said.

Persistent rumors claim that ALDI, a discount grocery store could be built on the site abutting Sovereign Bank and that an arrangement would be made to construct access roads. Both Feeney and a representative of the property owners deny that any such an agreement has been made.

A spokesperson for ALDI told the Reporter that the company has nothing committed to the Gallivan location but that the grocer is always looking to expand in the Boston area. Sovereign Bank could not be reached for comment by the Reporter’s deadline.

Meanwhile, neighbors await official word on further development of that site. “To tell you the truth, anything would be welcome there,” said a manager of the AutoZone store located next to the Bickford’s/Verizon site.