Shopping Plaza Proposed For Newington Road In West Hartford
By JOSH KOVNER
The Hartford Courant
January 28, 2009
Winstanley Enterprises is proposing to build a shopping plaza, anchored by one of the smaller, neighborhood-style Stop & Shop supermarkets and featuring an expanded Crazy Bruce's liquor store, on what is now a brownfield site at 176 Newington Road in Elmwood.
The development, which would include a two-story office building and possibly a bank along with other businesses, would cost between $10 million and $12 million and might be one of the largest projects in town this year, given the economy, said Rob Rowlson, West Hartford's acting director of community services. It would bring a third supermarket to Elmwood, where seven months ago there were none. Winstanley Enterprises of Concord, Mass., owns 4.5 million square feet of commercial space in Connecticut, including large real estate holdings in New Haven.
The Stop & Shop would be 40,000 square feet, half the size of a super store, and be on a scale that would mesh with the neighborhood, Rowlson said. The developer plans to install bike racks and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks.The parking lot would hold up to 500 cars.
The project does not require a zoning change or a public hearing; it will, however, be reviewed by the State Traffic Commission, town planning officials whose approval of the site plan is needed, the inland-wetlands panel, and West Hartford's design review advisory committee.
"We'll be looking closely at pedestrian access and traffic in and out," Rowlson said.
Construction would begin in late summer.
The 14-acre property, near Jacobs Road and Elmfield Street, was occupied most recently by the Industrial Safety and Supply Co. Winstanley has removed the asbestos from the building and is preparing to apply for a demolition permit, said the firm's lawyer, James Joseph of Levy & Droney in Farmington.
The site is contaminated by residue from an earlier operation, Jacobs Vehicle Systems, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. Winstanley, overseen by the DEP, will handle the cleanup, Joseph said.
DEP spokesman Dennis Schain said Winstanley's cleanup plan, once complete, needs his agency's approval.
"This is a new investment in what was environmentally damaged land. It's good for the town, and will infuse the area with a retail center," Rowlson said. "The site across Newington Road is approved for a 28-unit condo development, and the shopping center would be an amenity for the housing and the office building as well as the neighborhood."
Crazy Bruce's Liquors would move from its 9,400- square-foot shop at 178 Newington Road to a 12,000-square-foot space in the new development, said Drew Truncali, partner of liquor store owner H. Mark Wilson. The two-story office building would replace what is now a warehouse for the liquor store, Truncali said.
Rowlson said the smaller market — a new Stop & Shop prototype — "is about the size of Whole Foods. It's user-friendly, and the concentration is on groceries, rather than being a grocery store and a small department store as well," he said.
Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant