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Which Box Store Would You Want in Proposed Village Center?

Please share your ideas in the comment section.

Before chain chose the former building in Nod Brook Mall as the site for its second Connecticut grocery store, did you know that the owners considered a site in Avon Park North that's part of the proposed Avon Village Center plan?

"They were not willing to wait for this site to be approved for development," Avon Town Planner Kushner said of the specialty grocer, which is having its grand opening on Feb. 8 at 9 a.m.

While Kushner said the "intent is to have smaller-scale buildings that appropriately scaled for Avon Center," he said Thursday that there is a 25,000-square-foot building on the conceptual plan near the intersection of Climax Road and Route 44.

He told the Town Council Thursday that the idea was to have a "box" business to anchor the center and draw customers. He compared the concept to the Kohl's located in Canton's Shoppes at the Farmington Valley.

There will be a public hearing Feb. 14 during the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting for Ensign Bickford's village center master plan and requested change to a Village Center Zone. Kushner said he expects the commission to pass it unanimously, though it's not definite they'll vote at that meeting.

If the final plans do include a larger building, as the conceptual map reflects now, what type of business would you want to go there? Is there a particular box store you would like to see? What do you think would "anchor" the center and draw people to it?

Do you think a box store would fit with the village center development plans?

Terry Walters February 05, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Do we really need more retail in Avon? Seems the last thing that would "improve" Avon is another large, personality-less box store and further development of our open space to "anytown USA." How about a shift in focus from development to improvement, and working to fill the many vacant buildings that currently exist. I'd prefer to support our local small-business owners as opposed to yet another big box national chains that threaten their existence. Shouldn't a town center reflect Avon's charm and appeal and provides opportunities for gathering for all ages? I fail to see how more impersonal, discounted, unappealing cement big box stores like those that already define route 44 would success in creating a town center for Avon.
Heather Satlof February 05, 2012 at 01:21 PM
The Container Store... This "box" store would set off an organized village center!
Jessie Sawyer (Editor) February 05, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Thank you for your comments! I wanted to share this idea posted on Avon Patch's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AvonPatch): Sharon Vermilye Ruvane: "Would love a concert/theatre venue in the spirit of infinity Hall." Do you have any other ideas for a specific box store or type of large business that could fit in that 25,000-square-foot building that is currently in the conceptual plan for the proposed Avon Village Center? Or, do you think that a box store would not be the answer to draw people there? Please share your ideas in the comments. Thanks, again! Jessie Sawyer Editor, Avon Patch
Susan Bruno February 05, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I agree with Sharon Vermilye Ruvane. We have more big box stores than we should. The Avon I envision is more about quality of life than retail. Why does it have to be a 25,000-sq-ft space? That's ugly. How about a campus-like brownstone quad with art/theatre/concert space -- maybe a farmer's market in the summer? Support the small local business-owners. It seems absurd that a big box would anchor a village center!
Kelley Lanahan February 05, 2012 at 03:24 PM
What about something totally new to our area like a Cost Plus World Market? Or in restaurant fare, a Sweet Tomatoes/Soup Plantation? Would be nice to have a multi-purpose area for outdoor concerts and a farmers market in the summer. Whatever is decided it must be something people will come to more than once. I like how Burlington, VT set up their Church Street area with big brand and local thriving side-by-side!
john ryan February 05, 2012 at 03:25 PM
A 25000 sq ft store is not that large of a space when you consider walmart and big y are roughly 90000 sq ft each. If memory serves me correct each floor of khols is 20000 sq ft. Smaller shopping plazas need to have these "anchor" stores to support the smaller businesses in these shopping centers. I do believe the over all design envisioned in this plan reflects that of the canton shops with a little more set back. Unfortunatly the town of Avon is not what it was 30 years ago before the construction of much of what lies on 44 today. As much as we dont like the look "box store" I always have a had time finding a parking space in the walmart plaza. I for one welcome responsible development and growth. To answer the above question, what anchor store would i like to see in that space? I wouldn't mind see a book store or the return of the 99 resterant in that space.
Ellen McCabe February 05, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Target please! But I do love the idea of a theater venue. That would be an amazing asset to our town.
Marci February 05, 2012 at 08:12 PM
A Costco Please.. Best store, never get to go except at my daughter's & SIL when out in Illinois..If not that, please a Target.. All we have is Walmart, even a Walmart Super Store with gasoline which is discounted as it also is at Costco which we need as it's almost at$4.00 per gallon in town yet again and the news has it reaching $5.00 shortly. For those of us on fixed incomes who can't move out of town, we need a place to shop that's less expensive. Hope someone makes a decision soon. We have theaters that are often half empty. I hope they agree on a store that will help those of us struggling at times just to get a bag of coffee that has shrunk in size and tripled in price.. But the big box stores like Costco or Walmart superstore would at least have gasoline for less too. I hope they don't take two years to make their minds up now.. I've asked local Walmart why it's not a Super Store and have been told it's a deal owner of that block of property, Mall, worked out with BIG Y to never let Walmart expand even though there's plenty of room in back to do so. Not certain why we needed another grocery store yet we've got it. I'd also like to have a Dominos or Pizza Hut in town that delivers as so few restaurants do. My son lives in Manhattan and anything you want is delivered within minutes at any hour. BTW, we're getting a Colony Pizza and having lived in Greenwich for years it's delicious was in Stamford. They don't deliver though like Dominos & Pizza. Hope it's done soon.
jeff grindrod February 05, 2012 at 09:42 PM
A couple of thoughts: 1) As many other people have written above, do we really need another big box or major retail at all. We have two good grocery stores, WalMart, Riverdale Farms, Old Avon Village, many local retailers, chain retailers as well as many empty spaces. What Avon does not have is much in the way of entertainment. As Susan Bruno mentions above, a theater space would be nice. A restaurant that is large enough to have indoor/patio entertainment, a microbrewery or sports bar that would add to nightlife beyond just a restaurant. 2)If you must do a lare store, do it with class - not like the recent addition of the abomination called the Hartford Medical Group – that was totally out of touch with the other recent additions to Main Street. Make sure aesthetically fits in.
Kelley Lanahan February 05, 2012 at 09:50 PM
I wonder how many of you asking for a music venue know about BridgeStreet Live in Collinsville? JGeils is but one artist coming soon. Check them out!
Jennifer Sides February 06, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Trader Joe's
Patrice Warren February 19, 2012 at 03:14 PM
More retail means more taxable income for Avon and, perhaps, residents will not have their real estate tax increased. I am all for that. Maybe I am in the minority, but I would like to see a Target store -- right now I go to Torrington to do much of my shopping. It would be nice if Target would agree to pare down their usual logo and make the exterior more esthetically pleasing so that it fits in with the village theme. McDonalds did this when the Stop & Shop plaza was first built in Unionville -- so we know it can be done.
MBG February 26, 2012 at 02:27 PM
DSW, HomeGoods, Target, Trader Joe's ( Fresh Market made a huge mistake by building such a SMALL store.)

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