Report by Paula Antolini, August 12, 2019, 2:49PM EDT
Caraluzzi’s multi-phased redevelopment of properties along Greenwood Avenue adjacent to the Caraluzzi’s Bethel Market is making progress.
The focal point of the development required taking down two old retail buildings and putting up a brand new two-story retail building. The building will be 9,000 square feet of retail on the first and a second floor of 9,000 square feet for office/mixed use and apartments.
The new building will be incorporated into the overall shopping center of the Bethel Market, greatly improving the aesthetics of the streetscape and creating a more cohesive and convenient shopping environment.
Mark A. Caraluzzi, president and CEO of Caraluzzi’s Markets, said in January 2018, “We’ve been working with the town for over a year and a half to create a plan that works with the downtown redevelopment and creating a beautiful building at what is considered the gateway to downtown Bethel.”
Major site and landscaping improvements were proposed to serve the new building and include improvements along the Bethel Market side as well. “Having the supermarket as the anchor of the center makes the new building more attractive to potential tenants. We’ve had several parties interested in renting the new space but no decisions have been made at this point. Selecting the right tenant is important to us in that it fits well with our supermarket as well as the needs of the town.” says Mr. Caraluzzi.
The second phase of the development involves a very small addition of the supermarket by only 1,125 square feet. However more importantly, it rearranges the loading area from the front of the building to the left side and creating a much safer parking lot along with beautifying the visible portions of the building.
As part of the proposal it included zone changes for three properties on South Street from RM-O to VC, which is consistent with the Plan of Conservation Development and with the goals of the TOD and village center district.
Three existing houses would be taken down in order to accommodate the zone change however three new single family homes are being proposed to be built in the revised zone. Tenants of the three houses will have ample notice and they plan to work with them to find other locations which could be in one of the other properties or in the new building proposed on Greenwood Avenue.
Additionally, a change to the exit driveway would create a safer grade to the driveway as well as the addition of a pedestrian sidewalk which one does not exist today. No changes to the traffic flow from the South Street exit are anticipated as a result of the project. Landscaping plans include tasteful buffers to maintain a separation between residential and commercial spaces.
Plans also include improvements to the supermarket façade as well as along Greenwood Avenue to enhance the streetscape and overall architectural attractiveness of the building. “We’ve been in this town for over 3 generations and almost 70 years now. We have always reinvested in the business for our customers and are very committed to vibrancy in the community” says Mr. Caraluzzi.
Started in 1949, family owned and operated for over 69 years, Caraluzzi’s Markets has supermarket locations in Bethel, Wilton, and Newtown CT and wine & spirits superstores in Bethel and Danbury CT. Caraluzzi’s maintains an outstanding level of service, quality, and competitive prices for a pleasing shopping experience that keeps customers coming back. For more information go to Caraluzzis.com.