Buyer Explains Halls Road Purchase, Big Y Withdrawal

99 Halls Road, Old Lyme (Credit: Google Map Data)


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OLD LYME — Essex Savings Bank has accepted a cash offer for 99 Halls Road from town resident David Kelsey, putting an end to a controversial plan by Big Y Express to open a gas station and convenience store at the location.

“The reason that the deal is off with a gas station is because I’m buying the lot,” Kelsey told CT Examiner Sunday night. “My purpose of doing what I’m doing is to just take it off the market — I don’t want a gas station there.”

In a letter to the Inland Wetlands Commission, Big Y Express withdrew their application for 99 Halls Road and 25 Neck Road on May 10 after questions arose regarding a vernal pool on a nearby property. 

Kelsey said that his offer for the 1.33-acre site  was the same price offered by Big Y Express. The deal does not include 25 Neck Road, an adjoining .81-acre parcel that would have been included in the Big Y purchase.

Although Kelsey would not commit to any specific plan for the site until new zoning regulations are in place for Halls Road, Kelsey said he might build a racquet club with squash courts and pickleball.

“I don’t want to limit myself — and this is true of everybody who is going to buy on Halls Road. If you’re hearing that the zoning is going to change, you’re not going to do anything as an owner until you know what the zoning is.” 

Officials at Essex Savings Bank could not be reached for comment on this story.  

Editor’s note: David Kelsey is the co-founder and primary funder of CT Examiner. He did not edit or make the decision to report on this story. This story has also been corrected to reflect that Brian Farnham gave permission to Big Y to survey a vernal pond on his neighboring property.