Cityside Subaru To Supersize Pleasant Street Location With Big New Dealership

Photo: A preliminary design of the proposed new Cityside Subaru dealership on Pleasant Street.

Belmont-based Cityside Subaru is about to supersize itself as it will bring before the town a proposal to double the size of its location by building a nearly 40,000 square foot all-purpose dealership on Pleasant Street.

When completed, the new multi-level structure will occupy 39,900 square feet on 1.6 acres and rise to nearly 40 feet overlooking the roadway. So far no price tag has been placed on the project or when construction will commence and a proposed opening day.

While details are still sketchy, the dealership will pull the curtain back on its intentions on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. at a virtual Zoom meeting of the Belmont Planning Board.

One important thing Cityside does have in its hands is a variance on the proposed building’s height and the number of stories as well as a special permit on lot coverage coming from a 2020 ruling by the Belmont Zoning Board of Appeals. Those actions by the ZBA will allow the new building to reach 38 feet and three stories, an additional six feet and one floor above existing zoning requirements.

But the most significant allowance for the developer is in commercial lot coverage which doubles under the proposal from 38 percent to 73 percent.

In an effort “to create a more efficient customer experience,” Cityside’s proposes to demolish the existing building at 790 Pleasant St. – constructed in 2003 – in addition to the pair of adjacent structures on parcels Cityside purchased in the past few years. The new building will be completed in phases to allow the existing dealership to operate while the new structure – which occupies 774A and 778 Pleasant St. – is under construction.

The ground floor will have 24 service bays, pull-in spaces, parts, retail and storage. The rear of the building will be for customer and employee parking and new vehicle storage. The second or main level will be a new showroom, offices, conference rooms and customer “amenities.” The top third level will be structured parking where new vehicles will be stored.

Cityside – which is a member of the Colonial Automotive Group – is proposing hours of operation to be: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

In its application to the Planning Board, Cityside broached what will be one of the most contentious issues it will face: traffic, suggesting the redesign will “reduce unnecessary vehicle movements” along Pleasant Street.

News reports from across the country reveal the new Cityside building will be one of the larger structures constructed by a Subaru dealer.

Cityside Subaru ‘Shares the Love’ with Foundation for Belmont Education

Belmont’s Cityside Subaru has selected the Foundation for Belmont Education as its first local non-profit organization to benefit from the Subaru “Share the Love” fundraiser, a national initiative by the car manufacturer that has donated more than $25 million to local charities across the U.S. during the past four years.

Under the program, consumers who purchase or lease a new vehicle can select the Foundation as their charity of choice, and Subaru will donate $250 to the foundation, which supports educational excellence and enrichment in the Belmont public schools. The “Share the Love” event began Friday, Nov. 20 and runs through Friday, Jan. 2, 2015.

The FBE is one of five charities that area residents can choose to give to and the only local option; the remaining four are national charities selected by the car manufacturer.

Subaru is aiming to raise $10 million this year for charities across the U.S., double last year’s donation. Over the past four years, the Share the Love program has raised $25 million. Cityside Subaru has contributed approximately $260,000 to that effort.

“We are excited to be able to provide local residents with an opportunity to directly give back to their community through Subaru’s Share the Love program,” said Rick White, Cityside’s general manager and co-owner. “We are proud to be part of the Belmont community, and are pleased that through this innovative fundraising initiative we can show our support of its fantastic school system.”

In partnership with the Belmont Public School system, the Foundation for Belmont Education supports the community’s interest in ensuring that educators and students alike are given the best tools, technology and training that foster innovation and love of learning. The FBE’s partnership with Cityside Subaru is reflective of how the Belmont community is coming together to support innovative curriculum enrichment across the school system.

Named Subaru Dealer of the Year in 2010 by, Cityside Subaru is located at 790 Pleasant St. (Rt 60).