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East Haven: 'We're Open For Business'

The Mayor's Office has developed an economic development advertising campaign to encourage businesses to consider relocating their operations to East Haven.

East Haven Patch with the town's head of Administration and Management, Art DeSorbo, to get the latest in economic development news from the .

Although there's still nothing new to report regarding in the or the ongoing negotiations to to the in the Millbrook Plaza, DeSorbo — who serves at East Haven's economic development coordinator — passed along several other news items during Friday's interview.

The following is an overview of the latest economic development update.

East Haven Marketing Campaign

Looking to take a more aggressive approach to attracting quality new businesses to town, the Mayor's Office has developed an advertising campaign that will directly target business owners throughout the region.

The town will be running a large, color display ad in the next issues of both the Fairfield County Business Journal and the Westchester County Business Journal encouraging business owners to consider moving their operations to East Haven.

The ad, which is posted in the gallery that accompanies this article, is titled: "East Haven: We're Open For Business'

"We're anxious for business in East Haven," DeSorbo said.

DeSorbo said when he had previously served as the town's economic development head, he would focus on marketing particular pieces of property in town to business interests.

But the coordinator said he no longer favors that approach.

"It makes me feel like I'm doing the realtor's job," he said.

Instead, the town will now take a more holistic approach to marketing and attracting new companies town.

DeSorbo said the town has four strong selling points for relocation:

  • "A good, quality workforce"
  • "Any kind of site you're looking for"
  • "Affordable, quality housing"
  • "A superior education system"

DeSorbo added that he's also willing to work with business owners to create an "incentive package" to further entice outside companies to move in.

"And anything else we think will encourage them to come to East Haven," he said.

"Call me and tell me what you'll need," DeSorbo said.

New Italian Gelato Shop

If you are an East Haven resident who enjoys gelato — you're in luck.

DeSorbo told East Haven Patch that a new Italian gelato shop will be opening up in the next few weeks next to on Main Street.

"And it will be the first of this company in the U.S.," he said.

The coordinator added that although he's not yet able to release the name of the gelato company, he did report that the shop is on schedule to open up before the end of the summer.

Other New Store Fronts Opening

Other vacant stores fronts have had new businesses move in and open their doors, or are in the process of opening.

  • Supercuts: by East Haven Patch, the national hair salon franchise opened up its new store Trolley Square Plaza earlier this month.
  • LV Nails: The salon recently opened its doors at 272 Main Street, at a site that had been vacant for several years, according to DeSorbo.
  • AZ Floor Covering & Furniture: And right next door to LV Nails 272 Main Street is this new flooring and furniture store, which workers at the site told East Haven Patch should be open by the end of the month.
  • Golden Dragon Buffet & Grill: The new restaurant at 75 North Frontage Road opened up earlier this year after completely gutting and renovating the space, according to DeSorbo.
  • Gold Buyers: The company, which has a shop in North Branford, is opening up a new store front in the shopping plaza at the Foxon Road/Mill Street intersetion.
  • AA & A Precious Metal Exchange: The business at 474 Main Street held a ribbon cutting ceremony, attended by Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr and other town officials, late last month to celebrate its new ownership.

Trolley Visitor Center Reopens

The Trolley Visitor Center — which sits in front of the — has reopened as of today.

DeSorbo said the center, which will carry brochures and information for both local as well as statewide operators, will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

And I'm also asking the state to put a sign up on the highway, near exit 51, so people will know it's there," he said.

Industrial Park Improvements

DeSorbo said he is working on developing a capital improvement plan to secure funding to clean up and conduct some physical improvements at the East Haven Industrial Park.

DeSorbo noted that with some portions of the park now vacant, areas of it have not been well maintained.

"When I take them there, I don't want them to see a mess. I want them to see a nice industrial park," DeSorbo said of potential new business owners.

Business Breakfast & Restaurant Week

The town's Economic Development Committee will also be partnering with the to once again sponsor an upcoming Economic Development Breakfast Conference.

"And we are going to do Restaurant Week again, too," DeSorbo said.

Bob Fawkes July 19, 2012 at 11:56 AM
RT 1, from Hemingway down to Frontage Road, weeds growing out of the center median are now 3 or 4 feet high! Hello, Public Works... Anybody home there?
Richard Poulton July 19, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Confused on what streets you are referring. In the first place RT-1 and Frontage Rd are one in the same, a state road. In the second place, Hemingway Ave is a state road called RT-142. If you want grass cut, call Malloy, it's not East Havens job to cut the grass. Oh, and by the way, a friend works for C-DOT, out of the area responsible for maintaining such things, and there is NO MONEY.
Richard Poulton July 19, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Sam before you continue your putting down the administrations attempt to bring in such operations, read the article on the real reason this company went to North Haven. The building was the reason. It had 372,000 sq feet of space. The largest building in the EH Industrial Park has only 83,242 Sq ft. The article also does not tell the reader what were the local rax incentives given. I am sure there were. Does anyone really think the elected officials had anything to do with this. I don't. It was a deal between the business owner & the property owner. Then they went to the state for monetary tax payer funded money. Open your eyes.
Bob Fawkes July 19, 2012 at 01:00 PM
I was referring to RT 1 from Hemingway down towards the Home Depot. So your point is that it's not the towns responsibility and the state DOT doesn't have any money and they aren't doing anything. The weeds grow and the main roads in town look like sh*t. That's always good for a prospective business person to see when coming into town, weeds, dirt, crushed beer and soda cans, and cigarette butts. Maturo is REACTIVE, not PROACTIVE. That's never good for any leader. The burnt out rat infested house at 72 Hemingway was only torn down after numerous complaints from residents were directed to the town hall. If I were Maturo, I'd be getting in DOT's ear, trying to get things done. Hell, if Maturo took a weed wacker himself and started cutting and cleaning up I'd think better of the man.
Richard Poulton July 19, 2012 at 01:14 PM
State Roads, state responsibility. If this bothers you so much go to Home Depot, buy a nice weed wacker and do it yourself. I have to this this at my intersection just to see if cars are coming for the grass gets so high one can't see. Hey, you can pick up the soda & beer cans and use the money to help pay for the weed wacker. Have you driven down I-95 recently? Grass 2/3 feet high. No money-get it.
Sam Giglio July 19, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Richard where am i putting the Administion down in any of my comments, I do have a right to voice my suggestion's. Stop being on the defensive all the time with this Mayor. We are trying to get our Town in the right place. Buy the way you cant bring anything down if it was never up in the first place
Lise Cavallaro July 19, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Regardless of the money situation, the upkeep of this town could be better. I do NOT live on a state road and my husband has mowed, weed wacked and picked up bottles and cans on TOWN property next to our house. Our street still has last year's leaves and sand on it. Gay Street off of Rte. 80 has the same problem. The high school is full of weeds and also last winter's sand. The guard house step is rotting and still has sand on it from LAST winter. I did drive down Main Street last night and those planters really are a disgrace. Also, let me say I have always stuck up for East Haven and its reputation, as well as the current administration. More needs to be done to better this town. There are lots of good ideas in these comments and I suggest someone start to listen.
Luigi (the original) July 19, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Sam I re-read your post twice and agree you didn't put down the administration. I thought it was interesting and possibly a good idea. I think our mayor should have the ear of the Reps you named. (and you know, we almost NEVER agree on anything). I think Richard maybe just misread your meaning.
Bob Fawkes July 19, 2012 at 02:11 PM
The ad doesn't deliver any message. Where's the Beef? Business executives reading the Fairfield and Westchester County Business Journals want facts and information, not Joe's goofy patriotic photo. What's available where?. Example: 20,000 sq ft on XXX road, xxxx,xxx daily traffic count. XXXX parking spaces. How about an ad in Barron's or the Wall Street Journal or New York Times???
Luigi (the original) July 19, 2012 at 02:52 PM
The ad is NOT intended to be a Real Estate promotion. The ad lets professionals know that the town, and the current administration is prepared work a plan to fit their needs. It solicits one thing only......A PHONE CALL. But you don't care about that....you only care to nitpick and criticize the Mayor.
The upkeep of the town would be very simple. There are residents who need to fulfill communitty service hrs regardless if it's for school or violators of the law. Put these people to work on communitty oriented projects and move forward with it. Local Public Works department could supervisor the work that was being performed to make sure it was performed to community standards. This would save the town money in the long run folks.
Michele Antisdel July 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM
People, you're digressing to insults again. We are being so productive here, let's keep with it. So what I'm hearing is that the issues are 1) quality over quantity 2) overall appearance of the town needs to improve 3) possible community service to assist in the maintenance 4) finding out what types of business the residents want/need. These are topics I will put in my letter. The draft will be posted so everyone can read and give input if desired. I will also gladly add anyone's name to the letter who chooses to have it on there.
Michele Antisdel July 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM
and if I missed, anything let me know
Anything that works to benenfit our community in a positive manner and improve the quality of life for residents of East Haven is a good idea. You may add my name to your letter.
Bob Fawkes July 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Excellent Suggestion Mr. Hoff.
Magdalen Sparaco July 19, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Does anyone know why one of the first actions this administration took was to get rid of the Blight Committee? A committee that was working to make this Town look attractive?
Magdalen Sparaco July 19, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Oh, by the way, the trashed Blight Committee was an innovative idea of the former Mayor.
Robin Carlson July 19, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Here is an interesting way to generate some interest within empty store fronts. It's new, exciting and better than empty ugly windows: http://www.yourpublicmedia.org/node/20990 "Popup storefronts are popping up all over. Maybe even in your town. Here’s the idea: You take one empty retail space and offer it up for free. A new business comes in for a day, a week, a month, or who knows? The hope? It can re-energize a commercial strip and fill in a sad, vacant storefront while giving entrepreneurs a chance to test out new ideas and hopefully turn it into a sustainable business. Its been working in California, and the UK. Small stores, art galleries, even restaurants and coffee shops are “popping” up in cities like New Haven. Sometimes they stay for a few days or weeks...sometimes they find a home and stay for the long haul. The phenomenon of “popup” stores is changing that model into something that’s actually helping towns and cities reinvent and reenergize their shopping areas. Today, where we live, the economics of popup culture - and how it might be a key to saving main street."
Lise Cavallaro July 19, 2012 at 04:53 PM
I think that's a great idea.
Julie Weisberg (Editor) July 19, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Everyone: With all of the economic development talk, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a snapshot of sorts of what is here in town now. I went through the US Census business data from 2010 (the latest figures I could find), and put together a piece on the numbers. Here is the link: http://patch.com/A-wl3l
Julie Weisberg (Editor) July 19, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Everyone: Let's keep focused on the topic at hand, and not bickering with one another. Otherwise — in order to preserve the constructive dialogue that's going on — this thread will be shifted over to pre-approval. Just an FYI. Thanks!
Michele Antisdel July 19, 2012 at 07:14 PM
what a fantastic idea!
Michele Antisdel July 19, 2012 at 07:15 PM
The blight committee would have been very helpful if it had been allowed to stay. Maybe it should be reinstated, might help things out a bit.
Actually the idea did not originate wih the former Mayor. However, it was developed under her adminastration.
Ann Della Camera July 20, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Just my own opnion, I would love to see a reasonable priced clothing store here in town, sadly we lost Bed and Bedding, but another can take its place. A supermarket that has good prices and fresh foods also would get a lot of business. A fish market, I have to go to branford when ever I want good quality fish. As to fast food, What a joy it would be to have a Long John Slivers, Qusnos, Jack-in-the=box, and a place that sells a quality hamburger. I know we are desperate to get businesses in town, but two pawn shops scare me to death. It will drawn the wrong element. I appreciate the hard work the committee is doing, but they need to get a handle on what the people in town want and then go out and try to get someone to move here letting them know the people in town will be there. I get my meats a ferro's in New Haven, my grocery's in Branford or Sam's in West Haven. These are the incentive things we need. I agree a people survey of what they want to see here is a great idea.
Lou July 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM
So, who care who the idea came from?
Michele Antisdel July 20, 2012 at 02:01 PM
good news folks! We found out yesterday that people who were going to open the bar next to our Studio pulled out! YAY for us, especially after we found out which bar in town was going to move in there. Now maybe something a little nicer will move in (fingers crossed).
Bruce July 20, 2012 at 07:25 PM
The Old Mill is perhaps the oldest building in town other than the Old Stone Church. If available the building could be purchased by the town (preservation grants?) then turned over to the Historical society for a permanent home. The addition on the south side of the building could be operated as a seasonal tourist information location. Possible rent can realized from leasing a coffee/snack shop during the season and selling Ct. and East Haven souvenirs would assist in paying utilities. The Trolley Museum could be included for added exposure. Identify and act on blighted property. Clean up main St. and invest in planting,and maintain what is planted. This alone will not solve the problem however couldnt hurt.
Luigi (the original) July 20, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Bruce, this is an awesome idea. I doubt the town could afford to make this purchase, but wonder if it could somehow be subsidized. I can see this location working exactly has you envisioned it. I would support any effort in that direction, and hope others will chime in with their support as well!
sue perry August 02, 2012 at 03:48 AM
I went to gold buyers in east haven today on route 80 (672 foxon road) and sold my gold, diamonds, silver and watches. They were very professional and paid me the highest prices out of all the east haven gold buyers I went to visit...Thanks for your posting about their store. Because of reading your little posting online, I got almost double what the other buyers were paying. Sue P.

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