Visions for Vacancies: Italiano's

What do you think should replace Italiano's?


Let's call this a modern spin on community planning — Patch's version of a charette, a digital drawing board where all ideas are on the table.

In this series we'll present a new vacant building and ask you to tell us what you think would be the best use. Forget what zone it's in, ignore setback regulations, dump lot coverage rules and all the other zoning jargon that puts most people to sleep. If you had your way, what would you like to see there? What would be the best use for the community?

We launch this new weekly series by featuring the now vacant building at 849 Federal Road, the former home of Italiano’s.

Just north of Four Corners, the house that used to house an Italian eatery has been empty for a few months but is in a prime location for the redevelopment of the Town Center District. What business would you like to see there? What do you think would best succeed?

Bob McGarrah November 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM
First check for soil contamination and EPA violations.
Melissa Y November 19, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I wouldn't put anything in there until I knew what's going on with the 4 Corners project. Keep as is..Italian.
Peter NAPOLI November 19, 2012 at 12:49 PM
tear it down an put the trees back
Ricky November 19, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I don't care what building you use, any would be fine for a small Hardware store
Jennifer Stenton November 19, 2012 at 01:38 PM
A Sonics restaurant!
Lisa Foltz Allan November 19, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Jaimie Cura (Editor) November 19, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Patricia Caffrey writes on Facebook: "Not a sonic...let's keep some charm to Brookfield and get a local business in there. I don't want to see any other part of brookfield turn in the sprawling urban wasteland that has become federal road near danbury." www.facebook.com/brookfieldpatch
Rob Gianazza November 19, 2012 at 03:10 PM
This is a wonderful opportunity for our municipal committees to work together. If there is going to be a Brookfield Center as envisioned, it would be wise to allow small parcels of land to be purchased by a developer/investor with the understanding that in the short term their taxes would be reduced while more properties are acquired. Once enough property is acquired, zoning changes would take place to satisfy the needs of the Four Corners revitalization. Until that time, usage would be permitted, but major renovations would be discouraged. This could be the foundation for redevelopment if handled properly.
Rob Gianazza November 19, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Always so negative Bob? With public water and public sewer the soil contamination becomes somewhat of a moot point. Look at the big picture. This land is all planned to be redeveloped in the future. Soil contamination and EPA regulations can be attended to on a more cost effective basis on a much larger scale. Let's use BJ's as an example. Would it have been practical for John's Best to purchase that land and reclaim it for a single establishment?
JackieT November 19, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Cracker Barrel Country Store & Restaurant
Mary Sophia November 19, 2012 at 03:21 PM
There's a popular chain store called PLATO's CLOSET that sells teen design/name brand clothes at resale. It buys the clothes from you and resells them. Brands like hollister, Ab. and fitch. Aeropostale and other "teen' Loved items are for sale at very discounted prices, which makes the continuous demand of items for the growing teen more affordable. Local investors can buy into the business; run it themselves; and still keep it in a charming building to fit in with 4 corners.
Bruce Siennick November 19, 2012 at 07:25 PM
R.G. mentions using BJ's as an example. Didn't BJ's spend more than $1,000,000 just to remediate the contaminated land there?
Verified November 19, 2012 at 08:27 PM
I think a nice international coffee shop that serves speciality sandwiches and desserts and stays open to at least 10pm. A real comfy, warm place would be great to keep the Brookfield charm. I wish I could open it myself - that would be my dream.
Rob Gianazza November 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM
That's what I've heard too Bruce. Two different areas with different problems. The point I was making is that one large scale remediation is less expensive than several smaller ones. BJ's had a need for a large tract of contiguous land, a small enterprise does not. It was cost effective for BJ's, otherwise they wouldn't have done it. A small enterprise would not locate where a remediation is required because a similar lot without contamination would be less costly. It's all about supply and demand. Large tracts of land are limited, small tracts are plentiful in comparison.
ronald paulson November 19, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Instead of another entity for the consumption of food,drinks,clothes, electronics,etc. that already exist, why not devote a portion of the proposed four corners for an economic,infrastructure,technology and local government think tank populated by the best and brightest talent we can find, so as to formulate tangible formulas to really benefit the area beyond short term development scenarios once Federal Road reaches saturation.
Steven DeVaux November 20, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Wasn't that the porn store for years or was it the one next door? Another local business returns?!
Steven DeVaux November 20, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Nope. If everyone's taxes are going up, theirs should too. They're no priviledged class. Bulldoze it and make it residential and THEY will pay their taxes. Don't ship the additional development tax bill to the Brookfield homeowners just so so local shop can make a living on the backs of seniors struggling to pay their taxes.
Steven DeVaux November 20, 2012 at 01:12 AM
They already have TWO of those stores in Brookfield, Goodwill and Savers.
Steven DeVaux November 20, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Then there's the reality that economics trumps everything and Brookfield can't legislate reality.
Steven DeVaux November 20, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Brookfield does not have the economic engine or demographics to support it. Brookfield has the capacity for a Bridgewater or a Roxbury - without the farms but with houses. Even economically, the southern end of Brookfield south of 133 trounces the northern end in terms of economic vibrance. Look no further than Peter's Imports to see that dream implode.
Susan Balla November 20, 2012 at 03:28 AM
What we need there is a good diner. We have restaurants and fast food but we do not have a great diner that can be the center of information for Brookfielders. Just like the barber shop use to be the information center of a town. We can't count on Brookfield Market anymore. So where can we Brookfielders go for information and not gossip.
Steven DeVaux November 20, 2012 at 06:06 AM
Gossip is the quinessential element of all communities since the dawn of time. Why would you deny Brookfield that which defines it as a community Susan? Rickyl's is the locus of the Brookfield universe for good food, information and good company. Try it.
Andrew Turkenkopf November 20, 2012 at 09:50 AM
Dog park
BuckWheat November 20, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Maybe another asian massage parlor
Andrew Turkenkopf November 20, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Laser Tag
Jaimie Cura (Editor) November 20, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Linda Kerler DeLucia recommends a gift shop, like Newbury Place in Southbury, and Adrienne De Winter is in favor of an antiques and gift shop. www.facebook.com/brookfieldpatch
Stanley Parker November 20, 2012 at 06:57 PM
There are many comments here about Pipe Dream Corners. Wasn't that supposed to of been settled with that wounderful $75,000.00 study that was done recently?
Steven DeVaux November 21, 2012 at 12:29 AM
The $250,000 STEAP grant hasn't changed a thing. And it has nothing to show for it as you drive through it either. No sidewalks, no street lighting, nothing. Zilch, nada. It has been uncovered that the EPA has labeled numerous places in the Four Corners District Brownfields and polluted.
Steven DeVaux January 23, 2013 at 03:59 AM
They are dealing with a huge contamination problem with radioactive uranium in the water a widespread problem in Brookfield that remains unresolved due to the intransigence of the Brookfield Board of Selectmen.


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