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Gus Widmayer To Purchase Former Donelans Market For Retail/Office Development

Rendering of proposed renovation of former Donelans Market at 240 Main Street, to be called Kilbourn Place in honor of Dr. Arthur G. Kilbourn founder of the former Groton Hospital once located on the site.

[Ed. Note: The Press Release below was written and submitted by Gus Widmayer,  longtime Groton resdient, member of the Planning Board, and prospective owner/ developer of former site of Donelans Market at 240 Main Street.]

I am writing to introduce your readers to Kilbourn Place, a retail development that will fit within the walls of the former Donelan’s Market at No. 240 Main Street.

  I signed a Purchase & Sale Agreement for the property on February 20 and am scheduled to take possession of the deed on April 30 from its current owners.  Historical owners include Groton family names such as Buckingham, Comninos, Kilbourn, Shattuck, Shumway and Moors.  

   I plan to keep the single-story building and add a small 500-square foot mezzanine for my private office upstairs behind the windows of the Greek Revival façade.  I hope to keep good time on this renovation and will add a large clock mounted under the gabled roof to mark my love of history and the march of time.  Your readers will be able to set their watches by the new “Kilbourn Clock.”  I have heard that there was a large flat wooden cut-out of a Colonial Minuteman on the face of the old building in the early Sixties.  If any of your readers has a photograph of that, I would love to see it along with any other historical photographs.

    People come to Groton for many reasons including excellent schools, (private and public), miles of walking trails, protected forests, fine dining, its glorious new hotel, and soon the sweet sound of music!  I love Groton for the Town’s long and rich history.  I looked to that history to provide both the design and the name of this renovation.  In 1907, Dr. Arthur G. Kilbourn founded the former Groton Hospital on this site in a house that was the inspiration for its new design.  As an amateur historian who collects antiquarian books, I have always viewed Main Street like an antique bookshelf and every house representing a quality-crafted edition – each with its own unique story to tell.  I hope that Kilbourn Place will make a fine addition to the collection.

    The plan for this building, when renovated, will be neo-classical with four large white columns out front to match the Kilbourn Hospital.  Inside, the space will be demised into three to four separate bays.  I expect retail tenants will fill three of the four spaces with services that 

are important to the people of Groton.  My early hope will be to find a boutique grocer, a high-end men’s and women’s clothing shop, a bank and ATM, or a café and caterer.  In the space that remains – perhaps 2,000 of the total 12,000 square feet – I plan to move my international trading office that brokers imports for the world’s semiconductor markets.  

    We trade with faraway countries such as Korea, Germany, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Holland and the United Kingdom.  On a weekly basis, buyers visit us from Raytheon Company, BAE Systems, and Lockheed Corporation, some of whom drive down Main Street to get to work in the morning.  My imports have found their way into rockets for Space-X and headphones for Bose Corporation.  Readers can read more about my business at

   I set a timeline to have this project completed by Thanksgiving.  In order to achieve that deadline, I have assembled a cracker-jack team of A-List professionals to assist me in this project.  The venerable Robert L. Collins, Esq. is instrumental in helping the team navigate its way through various town boards.  If this construction project were a long, dark, labyrinthine cave, Bob Collins would be the torch that lights our way.  

    Stanley Dillis, P.L.S. of Ducharme & Dillis will assist with the Site Plan and civil engineering.  Construction will be handled by David Masiello whose father Ralph, back in 1986, built my family’s business headquarters at Orion Park in Ayer, Mass.  David will be working to plans and designs developed by Daniel R. Quaile, AIA the architect who has been instrumental in many renovation projects in Groton such as the former fire station, the former Sacred Heart Church, three buildings at Lawrence Academy, and the former Hollingsworth home on Main Street, among others.  The Salem Five Cent Savings Bank is providing financing and I have asked OMNI Properties if they will market the units to prospective tenants.  

   Several more people will have a hand in bringing this project to fruition and completion such as accountants, insurance agents, and environmental inspectors.  The input from many volunteers on Groton’s town boards will prove invaluable.  There is a lot of responsibility to go around and each of these folks is well prepared to assist.  Perhaps nobody however will have more responsibility than the elementary and middle school students of Groton whenever they walk past on half-day Fridays.  It will be their job to make certain that the large Kilbourn Clock is keeping good time.

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