It appears that Hobby Lobby is one step closer to opening its doors on a new store in East Haven.
Over the last few months, the arts and crafts superstore chain with C. A. White, the New Haven-based company that manages the TJ Maxx Shopping Center along Frontage Road, about moving into the there.
In his in early March, Town Economic Development Coordinator Art DeSorbo told East Haven Patch that a "big box retailer" not only was interested in renting the former HomeGoods store front, but also the additional 25,000 square foot space now occupied by the .
A couple of weeks later, address. announced that that "big box retailer" was HomeGoods.
But C. A. White then told East Haven Patch that for the company to open a store in the plaza space.
'Letter of Intent'
It appears, however, that progress has been made.
"We have signed a letter of intent and are now proceeding to the drafting of a lease," Michael Schaffer, a representative with C. A. White, told East Haven Patch in an email Tuesday.
Vince Parker, a spokesman for Hobby Lobby, confirmed that the Oklahoma City-based firm is "looking in the East Haven area" to open a new store.
He added, however, that "no lease has been signed."
ShopRite Negotiations Ongoing
There is, however, still no official word yet on the status of talks to open a new ShopRite in the former A&P store front in Foxon Plaza along Route 80.
During his March update, DeSorbo reported that the now-vacant space in the Foxon Plaza along Route 80 "is likely" to be filled by "another major food store."
The A&P in October 2010.
At the same time he made the Hobby Lobby announcement, the food store interested in the 745 Foxon Road space as ShopRite.
But, as first reported by East Haven Patch, supermarket company officials reported at that time for an East Haven store.
And so far, that has not changed.
And Jeff Litke, the property manager and leasing agent for the plaza, said he had no comment regarding the status of the discussions between his company and ShopRite.
"I can't really talk until everything has been done," Litke told East Haven Patch on Tuesday.
Litke did confirm, however, that talks between his firm and ShopRite are still ongoing.
The supermarket chain did not immediately return a Tuesday morning phone call and request for comment.
East Haven Patch will continue to provide updates on the two potential stores, as well as other economic development news, as more information becomes available.