Even during these challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Suffield Economic Development is making progress and there are signs of promise with serious interest in some of the commercial properties on the market.
For instance, Rug Pad USA, currently based in Ansonia, has been in negotiations to acquire the building and property at 100 Marketing Drive. Rug Pad manufactures and distributes their product nationwide and their growth has been impressive over the last several years. The company would move their headquarters to Suffield with the potential for 50-150 employees within three to five years. Prides Corner Nursery of Lebanon, CT is currently arranging to take over the Baker Nursery property located at 1700 Mountain Road. The acquisition includes nearly 130 acres of Baker Nursery property in several parcels stretching from Mountain Road, North Stone Street and Ratley Road, keeping that large expanse of acreage in agricultural use. In addition, Four Seasons Farm is working to close on the purchase of Baker property located at the end of Poole Road. In 2016, Four Seasons received approval from the town to build a large-scale hydroponic tomato greenhouse on the property. There is a tentative deal under negotiation for a 70-acre property owned by Dewhirst Associates off the end of Firestone Drive and a development group is considering the former culinary school property at 1760 Mapleton Avenue for market rate apartments. Praxair/Linde is working on plans to expand their facility on Ucar Street with more office space, material storage and shipping facilities.
The Planning & Zoning Commission recently approved a couple of commercial projects. An 8,400 SF office/storage building with multiple units for small businesses on a 7-acre property off South Street was approved. The Commission also approved a standalone drive-up ATM in the Suffield Village parking lot. Other recent commercial developments include the reopening of the gas station located at 1524 Mapleton Avenue. This property has been vacant for four to five years and now has a refreshed look with a renovated store, new pumps, canopy, signage and pavement. The property at 200 Mountain Road has been under construction, with a 4,600 SF office building and six residential condominiums, has moved along at a steady pace throughout the pandemic. The project will be called “Olde Creamery Village” in tribute to the history of the property.
On the retail and restaurant front, the Lily House Bed and Breakfast at 13 Bridge Street has rebuilt and expanded their garage to incorporate Moxy Boutique, a well-loved retail shop that had left Suffield a few years ago. Broad Brook Brewery is open for business and their kitchen is now serving food. Francesco’s is remodeling and has updated their entry way and signage. Bar Fore Grill at Suffield Country Club opened over the summer and has been collaborating with local farms for fresh ingredients. The new owner of the building at 66 North Main Street, Ajay Malhotra of BRM Investment, LLC, has plans underway for a café in the northern portion of the building. Current tenants Webster Bank and Bright Star home health care will remain, and the cafe will be a welcomed addition to Main Street.
Also of note, the Housing Authority renovation work funded by an $800,000 Small Cities Community Development Block Grant has completed construction. The work included the installation of walk-in showers, kitchen replacements, new water heaters and handicapped accessible sidewalks. The contract finish date was extended to complete additional sidewalk work that was not part of the original scope. This was due to favorable bids and having some extra money in the grant.
The Suffield Economic Development Commission and staff looks forward to more progress in the coming year.