One of several pandemic-related closures, Children of America, recently ceased operations

Children of America ceased operations at the end of June at 1497 Main St. It is one of several pandemic-related closures recently on Main Street. (Paige Impink photo)

TEWKSBURY — The pandemic has taken its toll on local businesses in the area. Children of Am­erica closed its doors at the end of June after al­most seven years at 1497 Main St. The national chain of child care centers has locations in Mas­sachusetts and 14 other states and operates a day care and early childhood learning center model. The program served preschool children six weeks to 12 years of age, including infant, toddler, preschool, pre-K, before and after care and summer camp.

According to Lynne D’An­drea, VP Marketing for COA, “Closing Tewksbury was a difficult decision for us and we understand the impact this has on our families. Throughout the pandemic we fought hard to keep the school operational. Although COVID-19 may be largely behind us, the cost of care is rising at a rate that is financially unsustainable. We have made every effort to help the school stay open through the low enrollment due to the COVID-19, the national staffing crisis we are facing and the financial challenges we have faced through the last year.”

D'Andrea went on to say, “We worked with each staff member with transfers to our other local schools and offered transfers to each family with a two weeks free offer. At this time, we do not have plans to open another lo­cation in Massachu­setts.”

Job postings for the Tewksbury locations were listed as recently as June. COA’s other Massa­chusetts locations in­clude Braintree and Nor­wood.

Crystal General Store at 1120 Main St. closed suddenly in June, as well. The convenience store was a fixture for many years and a place to grab the local newspaper, a gallon of milk, or scratch tickets. The store had transferred its liquor li­cense to Shell Food Mart/Petroil at 365 Main St. in September of 2021.

Owner Mitul Patel ex­plained to the Town Crier that COVID-19 had a big impact on his business, but also that the landlord was raising the rent.

“We tried to negotiate but the landlord wanted a lot more money,” said Patel.

Patel owned the business for four years and wanted to get a deli started and other services for customers, but the pandemic put a wrench in his plan.

“I’ve made a lot of connections in the community,” said Patel, noting that he will miss the customers and the community.

Extended family still owns Tewksbury Market on Shawsheen Street near the Heath Brook Ele­mentary school.

Despite having its sign wrapped, the Holiday Inn at 4 Highwood Drive is open and will be undergoing renovations.

According to a spokes­person for the company, on June 30, 2022, MHF Tewk VII LLC, a privately-held investment group, acquired the 227-key former Holiday Inn Tewks­bury-Andover from Bos­ton West Hospitality LLC. On that same date, Boston West Hospitality LLC terminated its franchise relationship with Holiday Inn. The hotel will carry the name The Inn at Tewksbury on a temporary basis and will remain open.

According to a press release provided to the Crier, in November 2022, the hotel will commence a comprehensive renovation that will include an upgrade of the exterior and entrance, a revamping of the restaurant and public spaces, and complete re-modeling of the guestrooms, including guest room bathrooms. 

The release also states that all upgrades will be done in accordance with the brand standards of Hilton’s award-winning Hilton Garden Inn brand. Upon completion of these renovations in June 2023, the Hotel will be officially franchised as the Hil­ton Garden Inn Tewks­bury-Andover, providing the Tewksbury-Andover community with the premier lodging, restaurant, and banquet facility in the Tewksbury-Andover area.

All gathering spaces, including the pool area, will remain open throughout the renovations and available for community and family events as they have been in the past.  

“Speaking on behalf of the entire hotel team, we are thrilled that the new ownership group is making a significant investment in the hotel in order to make it the premiere lodging facility in the market,” said Acting General Manager Ryan Kopp. “Once the renovation is completed, we will create more jobs for local residents. Becoming part of the Hilton family of brands will attract businesses and groups to the area, which will help not only the hotel but surrounding retail and res­taurant businesses. 

“Ownership’s decision to keep the hotel open through the renovation will allow us to continue serving as a social gathering spot for local residents and their families and friends without interruption. We are really excited about the hotel’s future.” 

The Inn at Tewksbury Inn will remain open throughout the renovation. Hotel reservations can be made at www.innattewksbury.com. For direct inquiries regarding group and banquet reservations, guests can contact the hotel sales office at 978-640-9000.

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