Claremont Planning Board approves proposal for dialysis clinic


Valley News Correspondent

Published: 03-03-2022 10:16 PM

CLAREMONT — Some kidney dialysis patients in the Claremont area face a one-hour round trip a few times a week on top of their hourslong treatment at the closest clinic in Lebanon. That commute could change soon after the approval of a new clinic that will occupy the former Rite Aid building on Washington Street.

The Claremont Planning Board unanimously approved the proposed clinic for the prominent retail building, at 79 Washington St., which opened as a Rite Aid pharmacy in the late 1990s but closed just a few years later. The roughly 11,000-square-foot building has remained vacant since Rite Aid moved to Pleasant Street.

The proposal from Washington Claremont LLC, which lists a business address in Miami, was presented to the board by Daniel Flores, project engineering with the firm SFC Engineering of Windham, N.H.

Most of the board’s discussion centered on the plan’s proposal to allow tractor trailers to enter a right-hand turn only exit onto Washington Street at the eastern edge of the property. Flores said it presents the safest option and the entrance would only be allowed for the trucks making deliveries.

Flores said if trucks were required to enter at the intersection with a stoplight that marks the entrance into the property, they would have to pull part of their vehicle onto Washington Street at the right-hand-only exit in order to back into the loading area. Flores estimated there would be no more than one truck a week, possibly every two weeks.

Some board members were concerned about 42-foot trucks crossing a double-yellow line and two lanes of traffic where there is a slight uphill. But Police Chief Mark Chase said the technical review committee saw it as the better alternative.

“What is recommended is more workable than pulling out onto Washington Street,” Chase said.

Flores said several minor modifications to the building will be made, including changes to the entrance doors and the addition of a wheelchair-accessible ramp on the west end. The drive-thru that was part of the pharmacy will be removed. The board also approved a site plan waiver requested by the applicant because a site plan is on file and the changes to the building are minor.

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The application states there will be 11 to 14 employees at the center, with an average of 20 to 30 vehicles coming during hours of operation from 5 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Flores did not say when the clinic is scheduled to open. Attempts to reach Washington Claremont LLC, which will lease the property, were unsuccessful.

Currently, the closest dialysis clinic to Claremont is in Lebanon. Kidney dialysis is a four-hour process and is done three times a week.

The board also approved the location of Town Fair Tire in a storefront that most recently was Sears Hometown and, before that, Blockbuster Video. It is in the plaza where Hobby Lobby is the anchor store.

The 7,700-square-foot store will be divided into a 2,276-square-foot area with five bays and 5,270 square feet for sales and tire display, the application states.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at