Exit 10 Retail Center Lining Up Tenants; Starbucks To Open Friday

Published: June 13, 2019 at 10:20 am


The new 12,227-square-foot retail center, which is nearing completion at 73-75 Church Hill Road (US Route 6), near Exit 10 of Interstate 84, is certainly not the largest complex of its type in town.

But the project has drawn much attention during the past several years, as it gained many town land use approvals and was then built amid a state Department of Transportation (DOT) roadway reconstruction project designed to improve traffic flow in that area.

The retail project developed by Sunrise Church Hill Road LLC is notable in that its 3.3-acre site is located at the central entry point into the local road network from I-84.

Driving about one mile to the west on Church Hill Road leads a traveler trough the central business district and to Main Street and the heart of the Borough of Newtown. Driving about one-half mile to the east on Church Hill Road leads a traveler to the compact business district of Sandy Hook Center.

Also, the new retail complex boasts a feature, which is common elsewhere, that until now the Newtown Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) had never granted: drive-through window service for an eatery. It is the first time since zoning started in Newtown in 1958 that the P&Z has approved such a convenience feature for an eatery.

Starbucks Coffee, which did business at 34 Church Hill Road for many years, is scheduled to open its new store with a drive-through at 73-75 Church Hill Road on Friday, June 14.

Bryan Atherton, the real estate broker who has been lining up tenants for the retail complex, said June 5 that at 9 am on June 21, those involved in the retail complex’s creation will gather at the site for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the project’s having opened for business.

The building is configured with seven tenant spaces. The facility has 113 parking spaces.

On May 27, a firm known as Exit 10 Liquor LLC posted a placard in front of the retail complex stating that it is seeking approval from the Liquor Control Division of the state Department of Consumer Protection for a package store liquor permit for the premises, with Elias G. Bouzakis listed as the permittee.

Mr Atherton said that other spaces at the building will be occupied by an AT&T Wireless cellphone store; a pizzeria that will make deliveries and also has seating on the premises; and a drop-off dry cleaning business, where patrons can drop off and retrieve their garments that will be dry-cleaned elsewhere.

Mr Atherton said he is working on filling the two other commercial spaces with tenants.

The retail center has sought to have a financial institution locate there, but so far, such a tenancy has not occurred, he said. In January, at the developer’s request, the P&Z approved allowing two automatic teller machines (ATM) to be installed in the retail center’s rear parking lot to augment a financial institution’s services.

Mr Atherton works for Coldwell Banker Commercial, NRT.

The zoning regulations, known as the Exit 10 Commercial Design District zone (X10-CDD), which allowed such a facility to be built, gained P&Z approval in November 2015. The developer then received its initial special zoning permit for the project in October 2016.

The site had been vacant for many years, largely due to soil contamination stemming from the former presence of a dry cleaning operation. The developer performed extensive site work to correct physical problems and also rerouted a section of Tom Brook to eliminate an oxbow curve from its course in order to make the property fit for reuse.


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