A developer is scheduled to break ground in March 2015 on a massive project that will turn a currently unused space in West Haven into an outlet mall with a hundred shops and restaurants.
That project took another step forward Tuesday night.
“Last night, at the Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting, they amended the zoning regulations to allow for a retail shopping center down in this area,” said West Haven Mayor Ed O’Brien.
O'Brien says that means the developer, Gordon Holdings, won't need a special permit to begin the project at 105 Water Street.
“This is something that is going to turn around West Haven,” said O’Brien.
The project is privately funded, and Gordon Holdings has been working to acquire additional properties in the area to make way for the new outlet mall. One of those properties is right next door to the site at Bilco.
“Of course, any time you relocate a business that's been at a site, as we have – since the 1950s, we've been here – that's always going to be difficult to accomplish, but we're planning for it and actually looking forward to moving to a new location,” said Bilco Vice President of Finance Robert Santoro.
However, not every business is happy to relocate. Laurence Czajkowski is uncertain if he'll move, even though Sheldon Gordon from Gordon Holdings confirms that a deal has been reached to sell the property. Czajkowski says he's concerned about the honesty and transparency surrounding the project.
“Not once has anyone from City Hall has ever come in to my office and/or as I understand it, my neighbors, to say hey, here's what we're doing in the area,” said Czajkowski.
Sheldon Gordon says that barring any major road blocks or hurdles, the project will move forward. He says Gordon Holdings has already poured millions of dollars into the project, which is scheduled to be completed by fall 2016.