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Author Topic: Norwichtown Mall  (Read 6291 times)
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dayville81
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« on: January 05, 2006, 08:00:41 PM »

A small 241,451 square feet mall in Norwich, CT. It used to have an approximate 90,000 square foot Caldor as an anchor which had no outside entrance. It was also anchored by an 15,000 square foot Styles Department Store with an indor playground. Mostly women's clothes, some kids and mens clothes. It also used to have Chelsea Groton Savings Bank, an arcade, an eyeglass store, music store, jewerly store, book store, a candy store, a family restaurant, a cable company office, pet store a luggage store, a women's dress store, a shoe store, a large drug store, Stop & Shop and a large Bee Bee Dairy Restaurant.
Before Caldor closed, Stop & Shop decided to upgrade and expand their store and take over part of the mall. Some of these spaces were vacant. It forced some tenants to move to other spaces in the mall. However, Stop & Shop created no mall entrance. A Dress Barn was added with both a mall and outside entrance. Bee Bee Dairy which used to only have an outside entrance moved and only has a mall entrance. The restaurant was briefly converted to a Newport Creamery before the chain went out of business and then the original owners of Bee Bee bought the Norwichtown restaurant.
The old Caldor is now a Bob's Discount Furniture. Dollar Tree took over a portion of the old Styles. An arcade, eyeglass store, music store, pet store, Chelsea Groton Bank (moved to Town St nearby), jewlery store (moved to Town St) are vacant. The side corridor of the mall leads to the "dead" section of the mall. Only GNC occupies one store and the mall's management office and restrooms are off a side hallway of this corridor.
Attached is a map plan of the mall. Tried to submit the mall to deadmalls.com but they never posted it despite the fact they have an entry for RI Mall which has Sears, Kohl's, and Walmart as anchors though the later two have no mall entrances. There are more vacancies at that mall because many stores just moved out to nearby Warwick Mall.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 06:48:47 PM by Marc B » Logged
dayville81
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2006, 08:04:45 PM »

***********MAP KEY******************
No. Retailer Sq. Ft.
10 SUPER STOP & SHOP 73,239
20 DRESS BARN/WOMAN 9,500
30 DELILAH'S SILKS, SWORDS & MORE 1,665
40 K & M ALLSTAR SPORTS 600
50 WALDENBOOKS 2,957
60 WESTIE'S SHOE OUTLET 3,023
70 FANCY NAILS 1,235
80 RADIOSHACK 2,200
90 AVAILABLE 2,554
100 BOB'S DISCOUNT FURNITURE 87,136
120 DOLLAR TREE 5,000
130 AVAILABLE 9,365
140 AVAILABLE 1,720
150 AVAILABLE 2,779
160 AVAILABLE 1,281
170 GNC 1,497
180 MALL MANAGEMENT OFFICE 880
190 AVAILABLE 1,320
200 AVAILABLE 1,190
210 AVAILABLE 322
220 AVAILABLE 1,836
230 CUTTING CREW 1,200
240 SUBURBAN CARD & GIFT 10,100
250 GOLDENSTAR CHINESE RESTAURANT 1,810
260 BEE BEE DAIRY, INC. 3,500
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dayville81
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2006, 08:27:57 PM »

Based on memory, this is how the mall once was. It is a crude drawing in Paint. Stop and Shop demolished the old drug store and restaurant building and put up a new building there. They got rid of their portion of the store and added parking on the east end. This had to do with having enough parking to meet regs in Norwich. Caldor was pretty much landlocked and I remember when they had metal on the outside of the building about 3 feet high on the walls to help prevent flooding since the mall was so close to the river. This Caldor had a Nathan's Hot Dogs in it on the right hand side. One of the last improvements made to the store in an attempt to modernize and renovate it making all hallways much smaller making it hard for shopping carts to go through.
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dayville81
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2006, 05:37:55 PM »

Suburban Card and Gift Store is leaving Norwichtown Mall.


Norwichtown Mall gift shop closing its doors
By JOHN PENNEY
For the Norwich Bulletin


NORWICH-- For Ellen Maplesden, the Suburban Card and Gift store has always been about more than porcelain figurines or holiday keepsakes -- it's about family.

"It's my favorite store," said Maplesden, 58, of Norwich. "I've been coming here for at least 17 years. It's about the people. It's about love."

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The recent announcement Suburban Card and Gift would close Feb. 27 after 10 years in the mall has left Maplesden confused and angry.

"It is so disappointing," she said. "This was a place to meet friends and socialize. The mall has gone downhill."

Candis Gioia expressed similar emotions Saturday as she watched shoppers mill through half-empty aisles, picking through discounted merchandise. Gioia, Suburban's manager since it opened, considers the store a second home.

"I've developed a lot of close friends here," said Gioia, 49. "I help them with their gifts and they keep me in business."

Owner Pete DeMichele said his decision to close was based on a number of things, including declining foot traffic and an inability to get a longer lease for the property.

DeMichele said the mall's property Realtor, Edens & Avant, refused to offer a lease longer than one year, which makes merchandising difficult for a larger store. He said a five-year lease would be more appropriate for his business.

"For a store this size, we need to order product up to 10 months in advance," DeMichele said. "I'm not comfortable with a one-year lease."

Edens & Avant representatives and the mall manager could not be reached for comment.

DeMichele also said the store is too large. A typical card store runs 3,500 to 5,000 square feet, half the size of Suburban's space.

"We're basically paying double the rent for the product volume we have," he said.

The one-year lease option has benefitted other stores in the mall, however. Delilah Kieffer, co-owner of Delilah's, a clothing and jewelry store, works with a month-to-month lease, which gives her a needed level of flexibility.

"It works for us," Kieffer said. "We can just pick up and move if we want to."

For Rita Brown, 72, of Norwich, Suburban's closing reinforces her opinion that things are going downhill at the mall.

"It's the mall's fault that there's nothing here," Brown said. "It's a shame, because it used to be great here."

Gioia said the lack of a high profile "anchor" store, such as Sears or Filene's, may explain the lack of shoppers. She said Suburban's business began to decline when Caldor department store closed six years ago.

DeMichele said he holds no ill will toward the mall.

"I truly believe (the mall) wanted to work with us on this," he said. "I'm sure that whatever plans they have for this space will be great for Norwich when it's said and done."



Originally published January 15, 2006
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dayville81
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2006, 01:30:59 AM »

UPDATE:
- Jewlery kiosk in mall to close next month
- Card shop running going out of business sale will close end of February
- Many mall employees admit the mall is getting sad and closing of the card shop will decrease mall traffic, but they admit because of how the store was stocked they had a feeling a year ago the store would close soon so it was not a big shock to them
- Not sure if Waldenbooks will convert to Borders or simply shut down. They have shortened hours (6pm) on Saturday, close around 3 or 4 on Sunday
- Mall needs to attract something the area doesnt already have to increase mall traffic like a Christmas Tree Shop
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Caldor1999
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2006, 10:00:56 AM »

is that caldor still there?
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d_fife
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2006, 02:05:35 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by Caldor1999
is that caldor still there?


caldor is not there. it is now bob's discount furniture.
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dayville81
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2006, 12:37:13 AM »

Caldor closed in 1999 after being completely renovated several months before with new Caldor mall and outdoor signage with updated logo and smaller aisles in store. This replaced the old Caldor rainbow and yellow Caldor letters that were outside and the yellow Caldor letters above the mall entrance. Also closed was the Nathan's Hot Dogs food outlet with seating which opened in the front right part of the store about a year before it closed. A bad move by Caldor since it meant less merchandise for the store.
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Whoser
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« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2006, 03:21:32 PM »

The mall was basiclly dead after Caldor went out of buisness, it looks like how the New London mall was like when Bradlees went out of business. I wouldn't be suprised if The Norwhichtown mall ends up as a strip mall like the New London mall is now.
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d_fife
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2006, 07:33:46 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by Whoser
The mall was basiclly dead after Caldor went out of buisness, it looks like how the New London mall was like when Bradlees went out of business. I wouldn't be suprised if The Norwhichtown mall ends up as a strip mall like the New London mall is now.


I wunt be surprised too and I expect that a lowe's will demolish the interior and the smaller stores like dollar tree and waldenbooks will be moved. over half the mall was vacant
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XISMZERO
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« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2006, 07:53:00 PM »

Just a few months ago I did a piece on the Norwichtown Mall. It's one of Connecticut's remaining, dire-fated enclosed malls featuring alarming vacancy rates and most recently news about the former Caldor anchor, Bob's, will be closing and relocating to nearby East Lyme.

Thanks to some information cited in the article, I've compiled all I know about the mall on my site, The Caldor Rainbow. Read more with lots of pictures...

http://thecaldorrainbow.blogspot.com/2006/10/norwichtown-mall-norwich-connecticut.html
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XISMZERO
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2007, 09:07:50 PM »

Bob's Discount Furniture has closed at the Norwichtown Mall today; The 18th of February.

Just heard the radio announcement. This is due to him opening another store in East Lyme. There are currently no plans to fill the anchor space at this nearly dead mall. I might go down there in the near future...
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Our Photos On Flickr
Marc82
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« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2007, 09:49:07 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by XISMZERO
I might go down there in the near future...


Let me know when. This is one I definately want to go to.
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Whoser
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2009, 08:15:04 PM »

Four Stores remain inside the NorwichTown Mall

Dress Barn/Woman
Dollar Tree
GNC
Fancy Nails

It's looks to be taking its last breathe of air.

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Marc82
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2009, 09:40:15 PM »

Normally I can find hope for dead/dying malls, but this mall I've given up hope on. Nothing can save it.
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Whoser
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« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2009, 09:58:26 PM »

Unless, Christmas Tree Shops or Target moves in, which is highly unlike-able. I wish there was a way to save it.
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CTAmeshopper
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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2009, 10:55:12 AM »

This mall had a flood recently.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28742718/

:no:
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Whoser
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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2009, 09:14:45 AM »

The 4 stores including Stop & Shop remain, is there a way to save this mall?
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Marc82
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2009, 03:00:28 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by Whoser
The 4 stores including Stop & Shop remain, is there a way to save this mall?


Yes there is. (In my opinion anyway. I know this is  a complete turn around on my views). I've been thinking KOHL's, Applebees, Famous Footwear, and a relocated and expanded Dollar Tree among other things. Also SUBWAY (or Quizno's), TILT Arcade, and a few other things.
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Bdubs
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« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2011, 05:44:17 PM »

Could you believe, this mall is still sitting basically empty?  A new management group (finally) bought this place in July with hopes to revive it.  As I see it, tearing down the indoor parts and replacing with just store fronts accessible from the parking lot is the best idea.  The now empty former Caldor/Bob's is rather large.  I really  don't know what company would be interested in putting a store in here.  Ocean State JobLot perhaps? 

Problem is, the recently developed (and far more populated) area of Montville near the casino is prime real estate.  This part of Norwich is a ghost town.
Not to mention, 10 minutes down 395 is Lisbon Landing, where there is a Kohl's, WalMart Supercenter, Chili's, Lowe's, Target, Petco, Dick's, etc. etc.  It is a lot easier to reach people from different parts of the state in these locations than Norwichtown, which is virtually at the END of a highway, and is surrounded by roads which don't truly have destination routes.

Oh yeah, article is here:  Sorry, got off on a rant there.

Norwich - Officials from the Massachusetts company that purchased the Norwichtown Mall in July will give a public presentation at 6 p.m. Thursday in Council Chambers at City Hall on the plans to tear down a portion of the mall and rebuild it as Norwichtown Commons.
Winstanley Enterprises purchased the mall for $15.75 million and has received approval from the Commission on the City Plan to tear down the middle portion of the building and replace it with stores that will have separate front entrances and no interior mall.
Winstanley plans to renovate the Dress Barn women's clothing store and tear down the portion of the mall from that store to the entrance of the former Caldor store. The former anchor store building will be renovated with two new entrances.
The meeting will also be broadcast live on government access Channel 97 on Comcast Cable.
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2012, 08:11:41 PM »

Mall is officially closed!  They have put up a wall at the entrance where Caldor used to be, so you can only access Dollar Tree, the only business left there at the moment.  Dollar Tree will be closing and reopening in a renovated section sometime in the summer.  They also locked and covered the doors to the other entryway to the mall.

The name has now been changed to "Norwichtown Commons"

The mall portions will be renovated and converted to an outdoor shopping type of strip mall.

 They just recently changed signs on the roadway. 9 empty slots on that sign plus another large slot for perhaps another future anchor store.   This is great news for people in the area.  After so many years of seeing this property sit idle, it's just wonderful to see a management company who wants to revitalize this.

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dayville81
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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2012, 01:06:39 AM »

Latest article on Norwichtown Mall in Montville Patch:

Future Revealed for Norwichtown Commons: Tenant Mix Will Give Shoppers More Options
Posted on January 30, 2012 at 10:58 am
Montville Patch

By: Corey Sipe

Sit-down dining, tanning, shoe shopping, ladies fashions, and much more are expected to be part of the new Norwichtown Commons shopping center, formerly known as the Norwichtown Mall.

According to Eagle Rock Retail, while the shopping center was “originally built in the late 1960’s, the property is undergoing a major renovation to create a fresh and modern outdoor shopping center. Super Stop & Shop has had a very successful store here for more than 35 years.”

Meehan and Goodwin state that “city and state land use approvals have been granted for major renovations to the Norwichtown Mall. Stop & Shop will remain as the major anchor while the remainder of the building will be reduced in size, “de-malled,” and upgraded for new tenants. Meehan and Goodin provided land survey, site engineering, and regulatory permitting services for the renamed “Norwichtown Commons.”

Shoppers of the 73,550-square-foot Stop & Shop have already seen work being done next door on the former 9,500-square-foot Dress Barn/Woman, which has been at the mall for the past 13 years. The store is now closed for renovations. The store’s size will reduce to 7,500 square feet eliminating the “woman” section, according to plans.

Plans show that next to it, there will be a 4,200-square-foot ladies fashion store, taking up a portion of the former Dress Barn and the former mall entrance.  

Other proposed tenants include a 1,700-square-foot cellular store, a 1,000-square-foot frozen yogurt shop, a 2,500-square-foot burger and fries restaurant, a 1,200-square-foot Aztec Sun Tanning, a 1,200-square-foot Hair Cuttery, and a 1,685-square-foot Fancy Nails.

Fancy Nails previously occupied a 1,235-square-foot space in the former mall.

A “public outdoor seating” area will run from the cellular store to Fancy Nails. The area would be between the front parking lot and the entrances to those stores.

The center will also include a 5,000-square-foot junior fashion boutique, a 6,000-square-foot shoe store, and a new 9,000-square-foot Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree’s current 5,000-square-foot store is the last in the formerly enclosed mall.

The chain will open a second store in Norwich’s Marcus Plaza, in the former Fashion Bug, in March or April.

Plans show the mall’s former 87,136-square-foot Caldor Department Store will be reduced to a 22,000-square-foot junior anchor with parking and a 6,000-square-foot restaurant.

This reporter looked at Lisbon, home of two of Norwichtown Commons’ closest competing shopping centers, in comparing various size tenants with real-world examples.

In Lisbon Landing, the 88,470-square-foot Kohl’s is about the same size as Norwichtown's former Caldor while the 15,226-square-foot Michael’s is similar to the size of Norwichtown's new junior anchor store.

The 5,876-square-foot Chili’s at the Crossing at Lisbon and the 6,686-square-foot Ruby Tuesday’s at Lisbon Landing are close to the size of Norwichtown's proposed restaurant.

The 142,650-square-foot Norwichtown Commons will be much smaller than the former 241,000-square-foot mall.

The shopping center should be fully open for business this fall.

« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 01:09:11 AM by dayville81 » Logged
dayville81
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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2012, 01:11:56 AM »

The Norwichtown Mall: A Look Back at its 43-Year History and a Radical Transformation Ahead
Posted on November 10, 2011 at 11:18 am
Montville Patch
By: Corey Sipe

As a kid, I remember the Norwichtown Mall in its heyday. The mall was successful in having a variety of independent and chain businesses with more than 25 stores. The stores I remember the most were the larger ones such as Styles, Caldor, and Burr's Card and Gift Store (which later became Suburban Stationers).

Contributors to the Labelscar, Caldor Rainbow, and Thread City websites provide a complete trip down memory lane of the names and photos of stores, restaurants, and services that called the mall home during its 43 years. They have included: W.T. Grant, McDermott's Jewlery, Debutante, H.A. Bruckner's Business Attire, Two Legs Jeans, Dazzle, Fayva Shoes, Shetucket Harness Outfitters, Tech Hi-Fi, Russo Opticians, All Sleep Water and Air, Kaplan Travel, The Amber Room Salon, Vernon Drugs, Buster Brown's, Tons of Fun Arcade, Puppy Love, University Music, Booksmith, K&M All Star Sports, Waldenbooks, Cutting Crew, seasonal Day by Day calendar kiosk, Radio Shack, a computer software store, Chelsea Groton Savings Bank, Westies Shoes, Delilah's Silks, Swords & More, Weight Watchers, a Tommy Toy Fund Distribution Center, a community meeting room, and Bob's Discount Furniture.

Food outlets included Nature Foods Center, Treats Bakery, Bradford House Restaurant, Pickadeli Bar, Golden Star Chinese Restaurant, House of Nuts kiosk, Nancy's Carousel, Bee Bee Dairy Bar, Newport Creamery, Dunkin' Donuts (inside Stop and Shop) and Nathan's (inside Caldor).

After Caldor closed in 1999, other stores slowly started closing in the the 241,000-square-foot mall.

This past summer, the last of those stores included Stop and Shop with its pharmacy and People's United Bank, Dress Barn, GNC, Fancy Nails, and the Dollar Tree. The barren mall was being used more by mall walkers than by shoppers. Its many empty storefronts with cold metal gates would have made for a good horror movie.

The recent purchase of the mall by Winstanley Enterprises from Edens and Avant means that New London County's dying shopping mall can be revived with a complete makeover.

The developer, Adam Winstanley, will convert the enclosed mall into an outdoor 150,000-square-foot shopping center.

Smaller enclosed malls just aren't feasible anymore, he claims. However, just 15 miles away lies the successful and slightly larger 300,000-square-foot East Brook Mall in Mansfield featuring three department stores, an 8-screen cinema, and a fitness center. The much smaller 200,000-square-foot enclosed Wakefield Mall in Wakefield, R.I. is also doing quite well with just 17 stores.

Norwichtown Mall is following a similar path as the 1968 New London Mall (also about 15 miles away). In 1998, the 290,000-square-foot enclosed mall, built with 35 stores, was renovated into an outdoor shopping center with five separate buildings and 20 tenants.

Southeastern Connecticut now only has one enclosed shopping mall, the two-level, one-million-square-foot Crystal Mall in Waterford (again about 15 miles away) which opened in 1984.

Other small Connecticut enclosed malls that closed or became outdoor shopping centers included Bristol Center Mall, Naugatuck Valley Mall, Farmington Valley Mall, Meriden Hub Mall, Ansonia Mall, Civic Center Mall, Chapel Square Mall, and Charter Oak Mall.

Construction on the Norwichtown Mall will begin in February which will include demolition of the section between Dress Barn and the former Caldor.

It is expected the new center, which will be called Norwichtown Commons, will have seven to twelve businesses. The developer is currently having discussions with 30 potential clients and is working to get new tenants that do not already have a presence in Eastern Connecticut.

While Norwichtown might be losing its enclosed mall, hopefully it will gain a renewed and popular shopping center.

What are your memories of the Norwichtown Mall? Please post your stories and photos.

What would you like to see open at the new Norwichtown Commons that does not already have an Eastern Connecticut presence? Would you like to see an additional location of a store or restaruant that is already in our region?



Mall is officially closed!  They have put up a wall at the entrance where Caldor used to be, so you can only access Dollar Tree, the only business left there at the moment.  Dollar Tree will be closing and reopening in a renovated section sometime in the summer.  They also locked and covered the doors to the other entryway to the mall.

The name has now been changed to "Norwichtown Commons"

The mall portions will be renovated and converted to an outdoor shopping type of strip mall.

 They just recently changed signs on the roadway. 9 empty slots on that sign plus another large slot for perhaps another future anchor store.   This is great news for people in the area.  After so many years of seeing this property sit idle, it's just wonderful to see a management company who wants to revitalize this.


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« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2013, 10:20:24 PM »

So, things are really progressing at the new Norwichtown Commons! I am so happy to see this turn into something, I will be sure to get some new pics up next time I swing in.
 
They have announced Big Lots and Planet Fitness will occupy the old Calder/Ames side!!  The majority of the units are in the process of being occupied as well. Here are a couple opening soon or are already open:

Dollar Tree-open now
Lucky House sushi restaurant-open now
Nail Salon-open now
PetSense- just opened 2 weeks ago
Hair Cuttery- now open
GNC- Making a return, opening soon
Dress Barn- Remodeled last year in the same spot as before, mall entrance removed.
Planet Fitness Coming Soon
Big Lots coming soon
Stop & Shop same location, just signed 10 year lease!

This is all great news for the area. I would love to see BeeBee Dairy come back here, I think that would thrive!
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 10:24:59 PM by Bdubs » Logged
ynkeesfn82
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« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2013, 05:43:50 AM »

That's great. Meanwhile the developers for the Mall at Bristol Centre property in Bristol, CT have until 2015 to start construction. Truthfully I don't trust these guys form Long Island. They certainly have pulled the wool over the eyes of the politicians in the City of Bristol. The city should've sold the mall to Ocean State Job Lot when they wanted to buy the mall back in '06 or '07.
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« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2015, 05:59:10 PM »

Norwichtown Commons is quite vibrant and full of life now!
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2015, 07:33:11 PM »

A new restaurant and bar just opened this week in a unit. I believe there are only 2 open spaces left. A medical walk in clinic, frozen yogurt stand, and what has been rumored to be a Jersey Mike's Subs is under construction at the moment.
It's great to see this area revived and bustling once again. The lack of any retail on that side of town was just pathetic for years.
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« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2015, 08:33:28 PM »

Surprised of the comeback it made!
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« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2017, 06:36:24 PM »

Just went to the Commons recently, and it has made a full comeback. Just has two more unused areas left.
Some photos:
Stop and Shop

Norwichtown Commons by JJBers, on Flickr

Norwichtown Commons by JJBers, on Flickr

Norwichtown Commons by JJBers, on Flickr

Norwichtown Commons by JJBers, on Flickr

Norwichtown Commons by JJBers, on Flickr
Main sign

Noriwchtown Commons by JJBers, on Flickr
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Eastern CT Retail

In the backcountry of Connecticut (aka Willimantic)

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« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2017, 10:40:33 PM »

Forgot to post this from a while ago:

Norwich, Connecticut by JJBers, on Flickr
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Eastern CT Retail

In the backcountry of Connecticut (aka Willimantic)

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