Staples to take over former bowling alley space

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:02

    FRANKLIN — With the passing of a bowling alley, comes the arrival of a chain that claims to carry just about everything you could want in office supplies and business equipment. The renovation of the former Franklin Bowling Lanes on Route 23 into a Staples is continuing, with the developers hoping to open the new story sometime this coming winter. Staples is planning on renting the building from K.A.J., L.L.C., a Millburn-based developer that purchased it from the owners of the bowling alley, which closed the lanes last spring. The building has been gutted and the reconstruction will include adding a wing with 3,722 square feet of additional space. “It brings yet another international retailer to Franklin,” said Jim Kilduff, the borough’s director of planning and community development. “The people from the bowling alley obviously wanted to sell, and there really is no Staples around (in the Franklin area), so it worked out fine,” said Paul Crowley, who chairs the borough’s zoning board of adjustment, which issued approval to a package of use variances on Feb. 2, 2005 that enabled K.A.J. to proceed. The next nearest Staples store is in Newton. “They’re doing a great job,” Crowley added. “They want to open by Christmas, and it would be great if they did. I think it’s going to be a plus for the whole community.” Representatives from K.A.J. and Staples were not available for comment. Before construction could begin, K.A.J. was granted a variance to expand a non-conforming use. A signage variance was also granted by the borough. The property is in an area of town that is zoned for highway commercial use.