BY DYKE HENDRICKSON STAFF WRITER
Newburyport Daily News
---- — NEWBURYPORT — A new restaurant could be coming to town — or “returning” here.
A brick building at 42 Merrimac St., which housed Mike’s Sub Shop until about 2008, is being expanded.
Robert Finneran, whose company owns the structure, said it is likely it will be a sandwich shop again.
“The sandwich shop served the community well, and we want to make good use of that building because it has a long history in this community,” said Finneran.
“There could be a sandwich shop on the first floor, and perhaps my office on the second floor.”
Finneran, operating as president of First and Ocean Realty Corp. (no relation to the onetime bank of that name), is tripling the footage of the 390-foot brick structure.
First and Ocean Realty Corp. purchased it in 2008 for $329,000. It is valued on current real estate rolls for $281,800, but that valuation does not reflect the expansion of the building.
Finneran’s building is located next to the crimson structure that until recently housed Davis Auto Parts.
New owner Joseph Leone, a restaurateur who owns the nearby Black Cow (the business, not the building), recently outlined a plan to develop a restaurant and bar at 40 Merrimac St.
It would accommodate more than 300 and would have a maritime theme.
In addition, the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority recently announced it will seek requests for proposals (RFP) for land it owns across the parking lot from Leone’s building.
NRA members say they would like to put a restaurant and shops on the ground floor of a commercial building adjacent to the Firehouse Center for the Performing Arts, suggesting that the range of eateries here could increase in the future.