ShopRite to reopen Sept. 16; balance of complex by Oct. 1
By Mike Lauterborn
(Posted to Fairfield.Patch.com 7/29)
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Fairfield, CT – A tweak here, a tweak there, some paint here, some roof tiles there. Accent work is all that really remains to complete work on the Turnpike Shopping Center, the complex encompassing stores from 1901 to 2009 Black Rock Turnpike.
According to Larry Roberts, a managing partner at Turnpike Properties and an owner/partner of the complex, the ShopRite Supermarket half of the property is set for a Sept. 16 reopening while upgrades on the balance of the complex will be complex by the end of September.
Roberts, whose complex owner partners include Al and Ken Kleban, gave some background on the property, noting that the original lessee, going back to the mid-1970s, was First National, supermarket owners. “Then Shaw’s was assigned the lease, about 15 years ago, followed by Wakefern/ShopRite, in the summer of 2010.”
Roberts’ company (Roberts Associates) and Kleban Properties, met with Wakefern/ShopRite and extended the store’s lease. As part of the agreement, Roberts/Kleban agreed to upgrade ShopRite’s façade. “We don’t do anything part way,” said Roberts. “Upgrades include resurfacing sidewalks, new facades and decorative roofing. We also expanded Webster Bank’s space, adding a drive-thru. In all, the property encompasses 110,000 square feet.”
Roberts’ group has put $2 million into the upgrade, which is mostly exterior work, while ShopRite has put in an estimated $5 million, for interior renovations. Roberts said the renovation work has gone along very smoothly. “The town has been very cooperative and is pleased with the progress,” said Turnpike Properties’ Facilities Manager Jeff Campbell, who has been onsite overseeing contractor work. “The general public is also very complimentary. People ask us more than 10 times a day when we’re going to open.”
Campbell mentioned that among improvements was the addition of recess lights and post lamps that are LED controlled. “They will provide big energy economies, using just a quarter of the power used before.”
As contract work moves down the homestretch, the following retailers continue to be open and conduct business: Party City, G.Q. Shoe Repair, J. Albert Johnson Jewelers, Audiodesign, Super Cuts, Choice Pet Supply, Eastern Mountain Sports, Webster Bank, Soccer Post, Shelton-Saxe Aesthetics, China Wok, Rehab Associates, Pearl Vision Center, Superior Cleaners, Billy’s Bakery, United States Post Office, Salon V and Tek Kwon Do Academy.
As for ShopRite, interior updates are nearly complete and shelves are already being stocked with non-perishable food items.
For more details about the project, visit www.turnpikeproperties.net