Old Avon Village will have a new name soon as part of revitalization plans for its 40th anniversary.
Not to be confused with Avon Marketplace near Simsbury Commons, the historic Route 44 shopping center will be renamed Avon Village Marketplace.
“We spent quite a bit of time with the rebranding process, figuring out who are we and how do people perceive Old Avon Village,” Ann August, Old Avon Village property manager, said.
There will be a celebrating Old Avon Village and its transition to a “name that reflects the future and what [Old Avon Village] is becoming: a go-to, local retail and business district,” according to a press release from August.
In addition to the arts and crafts show in September, Old Avon Village businesses will band together and each do something special for the 40th anniversary with a 1972 theme. There will be photo opportunities on the giant rocking chair, the shopping center icon.
Old Avon Village, owned by OAVX Associates, LLC, has 18 buildings and about 50 businesses now, but it was residential before it became commercial. Four small homes near the corner of Route 44 and Route 10 “were transformed into retail stores” in 1972, according to the release. Houses, barns, farms and carriage houses nearby also were converted into businesses over the next 25 years.
Discussions of rebranding Old Avon Village began before the owners were aware of town plans to develop a new Avon Village Center within walking distance, August said. However, August said, “We certainly look forward to the changes and embrace all of that.”
Avon Village Marketplace will make it easier for customers to navigate the shopping center and communicate with the public more often so that they’re aware of what the village has to offer. Old Avon Village already has a website, Facebook page and Twitter account.
“The way people shop has changed,” August said. “People don’t really shop and wander around unless they’re on vacation.”
She hopes the village will draw more tourists to Avon, a goal shared by tenant .
Old Avon Village will maintain its atmosphere of being pedestrian-friendly and most importantly, its history.
“One of the primary goals is to keep the character,” August said.