Domino’s Pizza plans move to new building on Social Street

Domino’s Pizza plans move to new building on Social Street

Historic Longley Building may have new future

WOONSOCKET – Plans to build a Domino’s Pizza in the Social Street parking lot directly across the road from World War II Memorial Park are moving forward, with the Planning Board granting final approval last week of a subdivision to make way for the business.

And Domino’s current home, a historic Main Street structure known as the Longley Building, has attracted a potential new investor, owner John Eno told city officials.

The freestanding building that will house the pizza franchise will take up roughly 24,000 square feet, or half an acre of the 3.15-acre Social Street lot, owned by Worcester-based couple Gary and Janice Arvanigian. Currently, the couple leases to tenants including Ultimate Rayz Tanning and City Side Veterinary Clinic in a plaza at the back of the property, which abuts Burger King.

The proposed building would be close to the busy Woonsocket road, and would include a pickup window. Cars would use current parking lot entrances to access the pizza shop. The single-story structure would hold indoor dining tables, with Domino’s occupying about two-thirds of the space, and the remaining portion leased to another commercial tenant, according to plans.

Eno will purchase and build on the parcel, moving his business from its current location at 194 Main St. The pizza parlor is currently the only tenant in that massive four-story building, and the change will make way for possible new investment and rehabilitation of the highly visible downtown property.

“He’s working with some potential developers who want to do something once he moves out,” said Director of Planning N. David Bouley.

Built in 1890 by businessman Charles Longley, the ornate structure that currently houses Domino’s is part of the National Register Main Street Historic District. In its heyday, the building held everything from law offices and furniture shops, to an ice cream parlor, and multiple jewelry and clothing stores. It was also home to the Woonsocket Chamber of Commerce for nearly a decade.

The building stands out not only for its size, but also its unique architectural design, which includes decorative copper elements and granite and slate masonry. Floor plans show space for some 32 tenants, and distinctive features include a ballroom and a wrought iron balcony.

But the property has remained largely vacant for decades, with the decorative facade deteriorating along with the largely empty space inside.

Records show that Eno has owned the Longley Building since 2002, when he bought it for $160,000. Eno did not return The Breeze’s call for comment.

The Roger Williams University Community Partnerships Center did a study on the feasibility of reuse of the property in 2012, noting that rehabilitation of the building would enhance the character of downtown Woonsocket. At the time, Eno said the previous owner had hoarding tendencies, and had used the property for storage.

The project to construct a new building for Domino’s on Social Street still has some additional regulatory hurdles, including submission of plans for water and waste for the property.