Two developments that could be significant to Middletown’s retail landscape are set to have zoning hearings this Wednesday: a proposed Big Y supermarket for the south side of town, and a marijuana dispensary on the west end of town.
Michael Stone and Michael Fleischmann’s Stone Point Properties is proposing to build a nearly 52,000 square foot supermarket on the site of the former Frontier fleet maintenance garage at what is now 502 Highland Avenue, near Randolph Road.
And SFC CT is proposing to open a marijuana dispensary at the former Bank of America building at 895 Washington Street – next to Starbucks in the Price Chopper plaza.
The Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission will hold public hearings for both applications at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Big Y
The new Big Y supermarket would have a parking lot with 256 spaces, and would have its main access on South Main Street, with a proposed new traffic light that would need to be approved by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
A traffic report from F.A. Hesketh & Associates estimated that the supermarket had the potential to generate 4,974 vehicle trips during a weekday, with a peak afternoon hour of 474 trips. On Saturdays, it could generate 6,275 trips, with a peak hour of 571 trips, according to the report.
In their zoning application, the developers say Big Y will spend an estimated $22 million to develop the 7.31 acre site, and the supermarket will have about 50 full-time and 100 part-time employees when it’s completed.
Last week, the Middletown Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency granted Stone Point a permit to fill in 983 square feet of wetlands as part of the development.
At some of its other locations in Connecticut, Big Y has been seeking approval to build gas stations and convenience stores to build up its gas rewards program and give customers options for a shorter trip to the store. The Middletown proposal does not include a gas station on the property.
SFC is proposing to fill the vacant Bank of America building with a recreational marijuana dispensary, which would be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The venture is a partnership between Westport-based medical marijuana dispensary Bluepoint Wellness, owned by Nick Tamborrino, and Connecticut residents Wesley Jackson and Maria Heale. Bluepoint operates two medical marijuana dispensaries in Connecticut, in Westport and Branford.
The former Bank of America building is in the B-2 zone, one of the commercial zones where the Planning and Zoning Commission voted last year to allow dispensaries. The proposal still needs a special exception and site plan approval from the commission.
Tamborrino could not be reached on Monday morning to clarify whether SFC is an equity joint venture that would have an inside track on securing a state permit, and whether it has already secured that state permit like Fine Fettle – another medical marijuana company that received a state permit last week and is seeking local approval for a dispensary in Old Saybrook.
According to a traffic report from David Sullivan of SLR, the traffic generated by the site would be similar to the traffic when that Bank of America location was open. The dispensary would not use the drive thru window left by Bank of America.
There are 24 parking spaces in the Bank of America lot, and another 61 available spaces in the adjacent shared parking lot near Home Depot. The report says that should easily accommodate the parking demand, even for a large opening weekend crowd.
The report says employees would park in the Home Depot lot, and it recommends installing a crosswalk from that portion of the parking lot to the Bank of America building.