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Tim Hortons planned at former Key Bank site on Watertown’s north side

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WATERTOWN — A Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop is being planned at the former Key Bank branch on Mill Street, which was bought this month by developers John P. and Edward J. Valentine.

The Valentine brothers, who co-own Valentine Stores Inc., bought the property April 3 from Key Bank NA for $350,000, according to city property records. The purchase comes after the Valentines opened the city’s first Tim Hortons in November inside the Nice N Easy convenience store on Route 12F.

On Wednesday, John Valentine said the success of that Tim Hortons prompted the developers to plan a stand-alone shop at the former Key Bank site at Mill and E. Main streets.

“The existing store we’ve put up has been well-received, and it’s a strong brand,” Mr. Valentine said. “I think the city’s north side could use some more food service, and that intersection is one of the busiest on the north side. It’s a good piece of property in a nice neighborhood.”

The former Key Bank building will probably be razed and the shop will be built from the ground up, Mr. Valentine said. Approval will be needed from the city Planning Board and Tim Hortons franchise. “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem,” he said.

The target market of the Mill Street shop would differ from the convenience store location off Interstate 81, which relies on highway traffic, Mr. Valentine said. The Mill Street location would count on demand among city residents.

“This is going to be an asset for the people that live there,” he said. “We’re targeting rooftops here, while the intersection where the mall is, that’s drawing people from a lot farther than the neighborhood.”

The Key Bank branch at 501 Mill St., which operated under various names since it opened in 1922, closed in December due to low customer traffic.

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