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.