A mixed-use commercial-retail development planned for the former Lexington Gardens site at Church Hill Road and The Boulevard is expected to bring about $10.5 million in commercial improvements to the area. Developers for the project — the Villages at Lexington Gardens — showed off plans and renderings of the proposed development to members of Newtown’s Board of Selectmen January 7 as part of a request for consideration for short-term tax abatement through the town’s Business Incentive Program. In an unusual move, selectmen asked the applicants and members of the town’s Economic Development Commission to reconvene so they can confirm the application, the amount of relief requested, and the time frame in which to award the tax relief is optimal for both the developers and the commission. Economic and Community Development Director Elizabeth Stocker said the commission hastily approved a first draft request from developers Alan and Keith Weiner, which was received by the EDC on the day of its December 2013 meeting. That initial request, Ms Stocker said, would provide a 45 percent reduction to the anticipated increased assessment on the property based on the current mill rate once the development is completed.
Representatives from Newtown’s Economic Development Commission, Elana Bertram and Jean Leonard, recently completed working with Community Development Director Elizabeth Stocker and a group of Sacred Heart University MBA students on a project to explore the potential for a business innovation center in Newtown.
According to Ms Stocker, the students and their professor attended the last EDC meeting December 10, making their final presentation on the proposal. Briana DiPietro, Marie Legagneur, Tara Orfei, and Joseph Zumasigee were primarily responsible for this latest report. This project represents the final of three that focused on improving the commercial and business climate in Newtown. This group of MBA candidates explored the potential need for a business incubator in town, how it might be established, and the variety of ways creating a resource for Newtown’s start-up community could happen, Ms Stocker told The Newtown Bee.
January marks the first anniversary of Work From Home Newtown-CT, and founder Greg Pategas is hoping for a large crowd for this month’s luncheon. The group will be meeting Friday, January 31, at Sweet Mango. Reservations are requested so that Mr Pategas can tell the restaurant in advance how many people are expected.
In an effort to help foster business opportunities in the greater Newtown area, the Newtown Chamber of Commerce continues to host free monthly networking events open to all local business professionals. The next event will be held at Sal e Pepe Italian Bistro on Wednesday, January 8, from 8 to 9 am. The guest speaker is Rebecca Flynn of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Connecticut (BBBS). Ms Flynn’s presentation is titled “Start Something Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters,” and will include ideas on how individuals and companies can make a positive impact this year by partnering with BBBS and support mentoring in the community.
The Working Women’s Forum, an association of local professionals and entrepreneurs, will feature a talk entitled “What You Eat Really Does Matter” on Wednesday, January 8, at The Villa Restaurant in Sandy Hook. Educator Lisa Swain will be discussing all the ways that nutrition impacts health, including the importance of a plant-based diet, which foods and beverages to avoid, and how the USDA’s current guidelines can improve every aspect of health.
The Newtown Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Holiday and New Member Welcome party on Thursday, December 19, starting at 5:30 pm in the newly renovated Warner Loft, the upstairs entertainment room of the Foundry Kitchen and Tavern, at 1 Glen Road. The event was to be held December 17, but has been postponed due to snow.
Nick’s Restaurant & Catering, 4 Starr Street in Danbury, just off of South Street (Route 53) has been satisfying customers for more than25 years. As of December, owners Frank and Victor DeGirlamo of Newtown are pleased to announce that renovations to the space have been completed. Shiny hardwood tabletops brighten the room and new chairs provide comfortable seating in the main dining room. Booth seating provides additional seating. A brick wall in the dining area adds a note of warmth to the atmosphere and new window treatments and carpeting mean that the changes are seen floor to ceiling, and appreciated by customers old and new. All in all, said Victor DeGirlamo, they are pleased with the more streamlined effect.
Adriana Johnson, owner of Spa Naturelle, a holistic skincare boutique located in Newtown, launched the cutting-edge Apple Stem Cell Skin Rejuvenation treatment by demonstrating the service at her spa on December 1 during her one-year anniversary Open House. Ms Johnson said she was happy to have had a successful first year. The Apple Stem Cell treatment is offered exclusively to the area at Spa Naturelle. In the industry this service is also referred to as the “Hollywood Red Carpet Ready Treatment” and is drawing clients’ attention.
John O’Sullivan opened Art & Frame of Danbury two years ago, after having worked as a framer since he was 15 years old, at various locations. His love of woodworking was learned from his father, he said, growing up in Bethel, and he attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City. The shop functions primarily as a frame shop, said the Newtown resident, “but I wanted a gallery, too.” Seven to eight times a year, the white textured walls on either side of the bright, rectangular space that makes up Art & Frame are covered with the works of local artists, solo or in groups. Each show is hung for approximately six weeks, allowing ample time for viewing during the Monday through Friday hours of 10 am to 7 pm, or until 6 pm on Saturdays.
Newtown residents are invited to visit and take pictures with Santa December 15 between 10 am and 2 pm at LeReine’s Cuisine, 31 Peck’s Lane. Owner LeReine Frampton decided to host the event, during which parents and caregivers take their own photos with Santa, as a fundraiser for the Newtown Hook & Ladder Building Fund. There is no cost to visit with Santa or take pictures, but Ms Frampton is hopeful that those attending will donate to Newtown Hook & Ladder Building Fund. Attendees are also welcome to purchase breakfast, lunch, drinks, snacks, or baked goods that will be prepared for or cooked to order that day.