East Haven Economic Development Update

We sat down with East Haven Economic Development Coordinator Art DeSorbo who passed along an overview of the latest activities in town.

Wondering what's the latest developments in East Haven economic development?

East Haven Patch sat down with Art DeSorbo, the town's economic development coordinator to get the latest scoop. And there is lots going on.

DeSorbo said over the next two years, the top priority of his office will be improving the town's economic development climate.

"My goal is to make a major impact in certain locations in town," he said.

Those locations: Frontage Road, the town's industrial park and Route 80 corridor.

And so, here's an overview of the update DeSorbo passed along of the latest activities in town.


When the news came down several weeks ago that was location in for a new spot in Milford, residents raised their concern about what kind of ripple effect that could have on the entire area.

But there is good news.

DeSorbo reports that C.A.White, the company that owns and manages the property shopping mall where HomeGoods currently is located, has already lined up another business for that space.

"They have a tenant in line," DeSorbo said.

Although he was not yet ready to publicly name the company, he added that it is a "big box retailer."

"And it's a good quality store," DeSorbo said.

In addition to moving into the current HomeGoods storefront, the new store also is looking to rent the additional 25,000 square foot space now occupied by the .

"So, they are going to be even bigger than HomeGoods," DeSorbo said.

This also means, however, that the teen center will have to relocate to another spot in town.

DeSorbo told East Haven Patch he met with center officials Tuesday morning to discuss the news of their pending relocation, and the meeting went well.

He added that the center, which has been renting the space it now occupies across from the , on a month to month basis, will remain in its current spot until the end of the school year.

"In the meantime we're actively looking for a new location for the teen center," he said.

DeSorbo said he thought it was unlikely the town would find space in one of its properties. And so, most likely the teen facility would be moved to a privately owned building.

Frontage Road

There are other developments along Frontage Road.

will soon be moving to a smaller location within the the same shopping plaza it now occupies. And DeSorbo said the real estate company that manages the property has already lined up another "big box user" for their space.

In addition, DeSorbo said he has already reached out to the company that owns the shopping center adjacent to along Frontage Road in an effort work on a plan to get those empty store fronts filled as well.

DeSorbo noted that most of the highway construction in East Haven related to the Q Bridge approach along Frontage has now been completed and Home Depot itself already generating "a lot of traffic,"

"So, I think we can really work on development," he said of the shopping center.

Town Fair Tire

DeSorbo reports that he is now working with on a plan that would expand the business' current Coe Avenue facility.

The coordinator said the company, one of the largest in town, had been considering a move to neighboring Branford because they just simply needed more space. Town Fair has been leasing space in West Haven because it has run out of space at its East Haven location.

In the past, DeSorbo said, the state Department of Environmental Protection was very hesitant about allowing properties in that area to fill in the soil allowing for new construction.

But DeSorbo said it appears that some of those more strict regulations have been eased somewhat by the state. And he say he is confident he can work on an expansion plan that will allow the tire company to increase the size of its Coe Avenue warehouse.

"And that means additional tax (revenue) and jobs for our town," he said.

Calabro Cheese

is also looking to expand its East Haven site.

DeSorbo said like Town Fair Tire and other larger businesses in town, he contacted the 's officials within the first couple of weeks he returned to his post within Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr's administration.

"And they told me that they are not only interested in expanding — they are anxious to do so," he said.

He added he was happy to see two important businesses in town not only stay in town, but looking to expand their current facilities.

"That's pluses all round," he said.

The coordinator said one of his top priorities over the next two years is to work on ensuring there are no vacant spaces in the town's industrial park.

Route 80

Activity is also happening in the north end of town.

DeSorbo said the to move into the now vacant space of the former A & P Supermarket along Foxon Road "has been taken off the table."

Instead, the coordinator said the space "is likely" to be filled by "another major food store." And that he expects to make an official announcement of who will be filling the vacancy early this summer.

Additionally, DeSorbo said he has also been attempting to "sit down with the current owners" of the Millbrook Plaza — which sits across the street from the old A&P storefront at the the corner of Route 80 and Mill Street — in order to speak with them about filling empty space there.

He added that the Foxon area in general is an important part of the town's overall economic development plans.

200 Tyler Street

And it appears that the administration in regards to the old East Haven High School at 200 Tyler Street.

"Most likely, it will be senior housing," DeSorbo said. "That's what we're working on now."

The coordinator said this will allow the property to be put to "a productive tax-paying use," while also ensuring it does not become the site for some sort of major, commercial operation.

linda March 19, 2012 at 07:56 PM
"Former A&P, likely to be filled by another major food store" Was I the only person to read this? Can we TRY some positives? Let's try to forget all the businesses we lost in the last 4 years and move forward.
Rosie March 19, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I read it as well, Linda. But there are people who will NEVER let go, and be positive. It is not going to matter to some what gets done by this administration, they will only hold on to the negative. Like soooo much got done over the last 4 years, right? I am thinking on the positive side, and holding out hope that we will finally get some good stores. My glass is always half full, not empty.
linda March 20, 2012 at 12:39 AM
THANK YOU ROSIE. At least we are on the same page. Cheers.
Julie Weisberg July 16, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Everyone: I just posted the latest economic development update overview after meeting with Mr DeSorbo on Friday. Here is the link: http://patch.com/A-wfy7. Just an FYI.
Nick Palladino July 26, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Gene, I just heard that the BOE signed another one year lease on Dodge Ave. for Adult Ed. A real waste of money. Adult Education should be after school hours at the new EHHS. All of the other Towns our size have it that way. After we found out that we were paying for a person to clean there when it was part of the contract to include it, how can we trust that group to do the right things. The old saying goes fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. That money could be put to much better use.


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