Veterinary hospital moving to new location

Owner buys house on Main Street to transfer hospital to more affordable space

Dr. Sallie Thurber in front of her new house at 29 Main Street, which could soon be the new location of Best Friends Vet Hospital
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TOWNSEND – The Best Friends Veterinary  Hospital could soon be moving to a new location further down Main Street.

Dr. Sallie Thurber, the owner of the hospital located on 256 Main St. for the past five years, submitted an application to the Planning Board last month for a special permit to turn her recently-purchased property at 29 Main St. into the new home of Best Friends.

According to Thurber’s application, submitted to the planning board on Sept. 11 this year, the basic structure of the two-floor house will remain the same. Two of the rooms inside the house will be divided into two examination rooms, a surgery suite and an x-ray suite. The kitchen will be converted into a treatment area while the living room will serve as a waiting room.

The house’s second floor will remain a residence, with Thurber planning to install a kitchenette in one of the second-floor rooms.

Thurber also plans to replace the one-acre property’s existing driveway with a circular asphalt driveway and add parking spaces for four cars to the right of the building. The circular driveway, according to the application, is meant to allow patrons to easily pull out to Main Street.

Speaking to the Nashoba Valley Voice recently, Thurber said that she has been renting the space that currently houses Best Friends. She’s been looking for a new location for the past two years and heard about the house, which was foreclosed on and had been vacant for some time, from a real estate agent.

“The current space needed a lot of work with no parking to speak of,” she said. “The new space is more affordable to a point. It’s still going to cost me with the mortgage, but it’s more valuable as a business if I own the property.”

After keeping an eye on the house for a year-and-a-half, Thurber said she bought the residential-zoned property for $260,000 and has already invested $30,000 in the house. That money went to installing a new furnace and base-board heating system, along with new floors for her living space. As for the first floor where the hospital will occupy, Thurber said the space will likely hold her and three other staff members tending to medicine and surgery appointments.

The Board of Selectmen approved a motion on Tuesday, Oct. 15, to thank the town’s planning board and zoning board of appeals for their referrals of the project and offered no comment on the plans.

Thurber’s proposal was set for a public hearing in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday, Oct. 30. That meeting will be covered in next week’s edition of the Nashoba Valley Voice.