— Bunny’s Superette, known for selling winning lottery tickets, is hoping to strike it rich by buying the former CVS building on Elm Street.
“Now, I need to hit the jackpot,” co-owner Pramod Nyaupane said Monday.
He and his wife, Bibhuti Thapa, bought the property for $900,000 and hope to open a convenience store at the corner of Elm and Amherst streets in a few months. The store would serve breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
“My goal is June,” Nyaupane said.
He said customers will include people working downtown and people moving into the area, such as residents of Bill Binnie’s apartments, about a block away.
“Our goal is quick lunch for the people who are working around there,” Nyaupane said.
“I think there is a good need for a convenience store,” he said. “There’s a lot of offices and a lot of apartment complexes.”
Binnie welcomed the store.
“We’re delighted and anything that improves downtown Manchester and the Elm Street area we’re all in favor of,” Binnie said.
Binnie said he hopes to announce a retail tenant or two within the next few months at his 875 Elm St. building. His 91 apartments there “are close to 80 percent occupancy,” he said.
Nyaupane said he plans to use close to 5,000 square feet on the first floor — compared to 6,000 at the Webster Street store.
Nyaupane said he will need a couple of months to get the space ready, including bringing in shelving, coolers and the food itself.
He financed most of the purchase with loans from Primary Bank, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Capital Regional Development Council, a nonprofit that helps provide loans.
“We’re an enhancement lender,” said the council’s executive director, Stephen Heavener. The council supplies loans for deals “that might not get done” otherwise.
The council provides about $5 million in loans yearly to 25 to 30 businesses and developers in an area stretching from Claremont to Manchester, he said.
Nyaupane said he had been talking with the property owner for about a year.
City records showed the CVS property assessed at $550,200 and previously owned by a trust.
Nyaupane and his wife have owned Bunny’s Superette for more than seven years.
“This is more like a grocery store,” he said. “That would be more like a convenience store.”