Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson Asks To Move Across Street After Floods

Parent company applies for a variance from the Groton Zoning Board of Appeals after suffering two floods in five years.

The owner of Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson on Gold Star Highway in Groton has purchased the property across the street for $1.45 million, and plans to move the business there, according to town records.

The dealership has been in Groton 40 years and Michael Schwartz has owned it since 2004.

The company cites flooding as a reason for the move, but the building is also larger than the current location.

Responsible Land Holdings Northeast LLC, applied on Sept. 11 to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance to run a business referred to as "Northern Reach, Inc.," including retail sales and service of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and water skis at 1425 Gold Star Highway.

In the application, it wrote that its business “has experienced two floods in the last five years.”

The Mike's Famous Harley-Davidson dealership is on the north side of Route 184 at 1416 Gold Star Highway.

the store lost tools, diagnostic equipment, parts, inventory and customers’ bikes.

The building on the other side of the street has no history of flooding, the application said. It was formerly used as an auto body repair shop, an electronics facility and a screen-printing business.

A public hearing on the variance request is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 24 in the Town Hall Annex.

Records filed with the planning department show a purchase and sale agreement for 1425 Gold Star Highway was signed on July 10 by the buyer, Paul Elton, LLC, Schwartz, and the seller, ESOP Property of Groton LLC.

The listed price on a separate document is $1.45 million.

Mike’s Famous was closed Monday and Schwartz could not be reached for comment.

when he bought it.

“We looked at coming to New London County as an opportunity to hopefully make small changes and be impactful,” Schwartz said in that interview.

Pennsylvania native Schwartz lives in Delaware, home of the first Mike’s Famous dealership, and usually flies here twice a month. He relies on General Manager Lawre Casler to run the business on a daily basis.

John Scott October 16, 2012 at 10:15 AM
That is a perfect re-use of the Tees Plus property. I'm excited to see it happen.
Larry Lynch October 16, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I pass the backside of "Mikes Famous" every day, and I have often wondered how they deal with the run-off into the property... I think the move will be a great thing for the bike-shop and for Groton.. I think "Mikes Famous" might just be the "best destiny" for the Former "Auto-shop"/"Tees-Plus" location.
gberg October 16, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Groton has more then share of empty business properties. Why doe's zoning even have to approve it. Zoning in Groton is why there are so many vacant properties, don't do this, don't park your vehicle in front if it has a bares your business logo. Don't put a sign on the side of the road. Stop hurting business, and harassing them over minor nonsense. Maybe Groton could fill some of the vacant buildings. I think it would be great. I hope they are able to move, expand. If not Groton will probably loose another business to another community
Mariellen V. French October 16, 2012 at 08:06 PM
The concern with the new location should be it's location in the Water Protection District for Groton's reservoir. Without clean water, there is no Groton. Another similar business recently expanded successfully in the same district, with cooperation with Groton Utilities in protecting our vital water resource. Let's hope this move goes as smoothly, for the good of all the people of Groton.


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