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05/19/2020 04:16 PM

Big Y Discusses New Clinton Site Selection

On May 7, the Harbor News/ reported that Big Y is the first confirmed tenant of the Indian River Landing development to be built at the old Morgan School. A representative from the company has shared more on why the company chose to come to Clinton.

Indian River Landing is a development by Greylock Property Group that will transform the 37-acre old Morgan School property into a mixed-use development. The development will consist of retail, restaurants, and a hotel in addition to Big Y.

The only other potential tenant that has been identified is Starbucks, which was mentioned in a memo from the Economic Development Commission. Thus far Starbucks has not responded to requests for comment.

According to Big Y’s President of Real Estate and Development Mathieu D’Amour, Big Y’s interest in putting a store on the property of the former high school is not a new one. D’Amour said the company was first alerted to the impending redevelopment of the Morgan School in 2015. That same year Clinton residents approved the potential sale of the old high school to Mill Pond, LLC, for $2.8 million. Mill Pond, LLC, had planned to turn the property into a mixed-use development similar to the current proposal.

However, in the summer of 2017 the deal fell apart after the developer terminated his agreement with the town citing issues with financing and a permit application from the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.

Over a year later in November 2018, the town’s Board of Selectmen announced the property would be sold to Greylock Property Group and turned into Indian River Landing. Since then there has been steady progress made on the development and the ground breaking is anticipated to take place in the late summer.

During all that time and two different developers, Big Y never lost interest in opening a store in Clinton.

“Every time we have the ability to expand, we’re excited and we’re excited to be a member of this community,” D’Amour said.

The development is anticipated to bring 125 part-time jobs and 25 full-time jobs, according to a memo from Town Manager Karl Kilduff.

Presently, Big Y has stores only minutes from Clinton in Guilford and Old Saybrook. Clinton already has a Stop & Shop and a Shoprite in town, both located near the Westbrook town line on Route One. When news of the approximately 55,000 square foot Big Y coming to Clinton hit readers, some questioned if Big Y would be able to sustain a store in the new location.

D’Amour said that the company did market research into the location and the results were promising.

“I’m absolutely not worried. It’s a sizable investment and we did market research,” D’Amour said.

The findings of the research according to D’Amour show that especially in the communities to the north of Clinton, there is a lack of grocery store options until you hit Route One. Because the new store would be built North of Route One, and in close proximity to the exit 63 on- and off ramps, D’Amour said the company is confident there are enough potential customers in the area to support the store.

When the development is fully complete, Big Y will be the anchor tenant and surrounded by a mix of retail and restaurants. D’Amour thinks that visitors will welcome the development as a whole.

“I think it’s a great fit for the community at large,” D’Amour said.

“It’s a beautifully done development, the developers and town did a great job,” D’Amour added.

According to a press release from the company the Clinton location will be the 72nd Big Y Supermarket opened in Connecticut and Massachusetts.