old rendering of Hendries area

An early rendering on the Connelly project.

Roughly one year after the former Hendries ice cream factory was leveled, construction of a mixed use development that includes storefronts and condominium units is within weeks of beginning at the key location at the busy intersection of Central Avenue and Eliot Street.

Many in town are rejoicing that the gaping hole next to the MBTA trolley tracks is on its way to becoming 38 apartments and about 7,500 square feet of retail space. 

The proposed building will bring with it 98 on-site parking spaces.

“Just do it already,”  said Efstathia Kapaniris, who has run Tino’s Pizzeria with her husband Tino for 33 years.“It’s about time. Everybody complains. It’s been like that for more than six months.”

She said Hendries used to run two shifts of workers and several workers used to bring her ice cream that they got at the end of their shifts.

“I remember the place had nice ice cream,” she said recently as she wiped down tables after the lunch rush at the Central Avenue restaurant.

At Mackie’s Barber Shop next door on Central Avenue, Mark Harrington said he’ll be glad to have something new to talk about with customers instead of when the construction is set to begin.

“At least once or twice a day it’s ‘What are they putting in there and when?’” Harrington said.

“It’s going to add to the whole area,” he said as he put finishing touches on customer Andrew Updegrove’s haircut. “I think all the shops around here will benefit.”

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