With 2013 fast approaching, Branford looks to the new year for an array of exciting changes and development. Some widely publicized and others discussed quietly at town meetings, 2013 will be another leap in Branford's ever-changing commercial and residential development landscape.
Most controversial is the town-owned 77-acre property known as Tabor. At the Dec. 19 regular Board of Selectman meeting First Selectman Unk DaRos presented his Master Plan for land use. The plan includes numerous recreational fields and the Public Works facility. The process has been met with several push-backs from neighbors. (For more information on the petition led by 5th District Representative Ray Ingraham, click here.) The estimated cost of the fields is $3 million, and the Public Works facility will cost an additional $8-10 million. Before the project moves forward, it will need approval from both the RTM and the Board of Finance.
Also in early December, Planning and Zoning heard plans to tear down the old Friendly's on Leetes Island Road to bring in a bank while making room next to the Stop & Shop parking lot for a drive-through restaurant, McDonald's or Panera.
At the same meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved revisions to the original master plans for the Anchor Reef complex on the former site of the MIF building across from the Branford train station. According to the presentation, construction is expected to begin in the spring for the second building. The building will be home to an additional 30 upscale condos and will be identical to the existing structure.
The old Echlin building off of West Main Street on Branford Hill will house a new Crossfit, while over on Main Street Flavors Frozen Yogurt is finishing up preparations to open their new location. Also on Main Street, the Ambiance Luxe (wedding planners) space is now available for rent. Construction also is under way at 223 East Main Street, in between Dunkin' Donuts and Cumberland Farms gas station near the High School, for Brandis Burgers and Dogz.
Ms. Judy's Emporium recently opened a new location on School Street in Stony Creek after a year-long search for a new home. The Emporium will include a preschool program, pending Planning and Zoning approval in January.
Also the cause of much town-wide buzz is the opening of The Gun Stock in the former Arabella space on the Branford Green. The Gun Stock will sell guns and shooting equipment and aims for a mid-January opening.
With all this development in town, we want to know what you think. What does Branford need? What don't we need? Let the conversation begin!