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February 16, 2024

Controversial downtown Spencer CVS, historic site of President George Washington visit, sold to McDonald’s franchisee

A building under construction behind two historical markers Image | Courtesy of Google Maps Two historical markers memorialzing the former site of Jenk’s Tavern and the Massasoit Hotel sit in front of the site of the downtown Spencer CVS when it was still under construction in September 2023.

The property containing a downtown Spencer CVS location, which caused a stir amongst residents when plans for its construction were announced in 2020, has been sold for $10.32 million.

The property, located at 95 Main St., was sold in a transaction finalized on Thursday, according to Worcester District Registry of Deeds records. The property was sold to Selhi Real Estate Group 2 LLC, a corporation based in Cambridge, according to Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth records. 

Selhi Real Estate shares an address and a manager with Selhi Associates and a number of other affiliated corporations. The co-manager of Selhi, Vijay Selhi, was born and raised in India and worked his way up from a starting-level position at a McDonald’s location in Somerville to operating more than a dozen locations in the Greater Boston area, according to the Dorchester Reporter.

WBJ was unable to reach Selhi for comment on Friday morning about the new purchase.

The property was sold by Arista Spencer LLC, a corporation based in South Yarmouth  managed by Botsini Corp., a real estate investment firm also based in South Yarmouth. 

The construction of the CVS location was controversial with local residents when plans were announced in 2020. The property is located in the Spencer Town Center Historic District, which  is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Construction required a special permit, as a large portion of the building and parking lot are located in a residential zone. A petition against the project on received 415 signatures but complaints from locals failed to stop the project. Construction of the CVS was completed in 2023.

The location was the site of the Massasoit Hotel, a historic hotel constructed in 1873 and burned down in 1982, according to, a website chronicling historic markers and monuments. Before that, it was the site of Jenk’s Tavern, an 18th century tavern. 

General George Washington passed the location in 1775 on his way to assume command of the Continental Army in the aftermath of the Battle of Bunker Hill. President Washington would later spend a night at the tavern during a tour of the country following his election. A marker recognizing the fact Washington spent the night of Oct. 22, 1789, at Jenk’s Tavern still sits at the location.

The location was the site of the Kenwood Diner, which operated at the location since the 1950s. The diner was moved to the Spencer Country Inn at 500 Main St. just after the property was officially sold to Arista in 2022, according to reporting from the Telegram & Gazette

The property was given a tax assessment value of $540,400 in fiscal 2024, according to Town of Spencer property records. 

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Kate Roy
February 20, 2024

If every single place that George Washington passed or slept at was on the Register, there would be no room for development. Time to move on.

February 16, 2024

I love history, particularly New England/Worcester History, respectively. But, it is hard to draw the line between history and the present. George Washington, as a General then President passed through hundreds of locations during the the time of the revolution: Spencer, Worcester, (they demolish the past pretty well), Marlborough, etc. It's really a tough call as to say that spending a night in a tavern warrants historic significance as the past meets the future. Thank you.

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