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Visions for Vacancies: Peter's Home & Garden

What do you think should replace Peter's Home & Garden?

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 vacant commercial property 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?

This week we’re looking at 874 Federal Road, the former home of Peter’s Home & Garden.

Just north of Four Corners, the warehouse and large parking lot are set back from the roadway on 5.4 acres of property. The building has been shuttered for some time but is in a prime location if the Town Center District is redeveloped.

What business would you like to see there? What do you think would best succeed?

Liz Kingsley January 25, 2013 at 02:56 PM
I think we have a lot of youth activities around here, with all thier sports, and they have pretty much everything any one could imagine to keep themselves ocupied, rule out a chain resteraunt, and stores, something culteral is nice.
Steven DeVaux January 26, 2013 at 01:42 PM
Brookfield doesn't have a gun shop or a gun range. Peter's Import would fit the bill perfectly with everyone purchasing weapons after the Newtown tragedy! It's about time after centuries of void for Brookfield to have it's very own gun shop and firing range...AND it's not in a residential area whatsoever. It would help the growth of the Four Corners area as well!
Verified January 27, 2013 at 04:32 PM
A teen center would never work here. Who would run or finance it? The town certainly cannot afford it. Some of us are really concerned that the taxes we pay Brookfield be more wisely used towards education needs. Unfortunately, we have a large teen center close to us and it is called the mall, and yes, it is a shame our teen basically only have that. I am not condoning this, just stating the facts. Especially with the security issues now, a teen center would need to be watched very closely. Lastly, I know that everyone wants to give their two cents to this, but if you do not live in Brookfield, you do not have a vested interest.
paul gonzales January 28, 2013 at 01:58 PM
steve- are you being facetious? some times i not shure how to take your comments .i know you are well in tuned.= let me run this by you AN THE people of brookfield did you ever hear of INFINITY HALL IN NORFOLK CT ?its in the boon docks. an that theater brings a lot of revenue to that town. need i say more= than you can bring in your bell book an candle stores- than activate that train from canaan- $75.000 was a waste of government money. all your going to have is more condos an that brings a drain on any town-MORE SERVICES NEED .need i say more
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Paul, Nope. A gun shop in front with a gun range in back would be a huge money maker for the Brookfield economy and raise employment, significantly increase traffic and provide a offering that Brookfield currently doesn't have. Perhaps Brookfield's Rod and Gun club might be interested in partnering with a couple of investors. Zoning is pro-business so I'm sure they'd support it. Brookfield deserve's it's own. It's time - a perfect time.
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Patti, Absolutely correct. The use of Center School recycled into a Community/Teen Center with Recreational opportunities located geographically in the center of Brookfield would be the ideal place to fairly and openly offer it to all with all roads leading there. I also think that businesses (LLC's) that own property in Brookfield definitely have a vested interest. After all they help pay the taxes!
paul gonzales January 28, 2013 at 02:17 PM
patty - whats ever happen to imagination. kids want it all planed out for them.- this town wants to spend more money on education an our standards here suck- look at todays paper- children are our number 1 asset an we are letting them down -ps teens should get a job. never mind organized breading grounds .work is the best education for a teens it builds character
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Paul, Brookfield already has an entertainment theater right next to the Brookfield Public Library on Rt 25 in Brookfield Center!
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Davidson is still trying to get a building named after him before he leaves office in November, eh?
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:23 PM
There's a farm growing food for human consumption located in the geographic boundries of Brookfield?
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Meadowbrook Nursery is located just up the road 3 miles and is well established and stocked with high quality flora and fauna. Brookfield use to have one further south down Federal Road for many years but it became not viable economically when Home Depot/Lowes/Stew Leonards in Danbury offered low pricing on the same high quality merchandise.
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Perish the thought! Even vacant, the property taxes for the building and improvements are still due! Don't knock it down!!!
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Pretty pricey space for that.
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Pretty pricey space for that. Will the people helping be certified? Background checked? Aren't they already doing this in the basement of the library? Kumonos? Tutor plus?
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Jen, Check out the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut in Brookfield at the corner of Huckleberry and Old New Milford Road. Has everything you described.
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:32 PM
That would drive the Brookfield Pharmacy out of business based on economics and pricing!
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Mario's is already in a great location! Franco's and Fox Hill is right across the street for dances and wedding parties.
JAMIE HOWARD January 28, 2013 at 02:46 PM
steve-i think you are wrong why- we live in a differant time especially after the sandy hook incident- an a gun range is very loud an disturbing. look at the one in sugar hollow you can hear it for miles around -.there was one 2 miles from where i live off merwinbrook rd they where very rude. its gone now-.your intentions are a little out dated. the new age today is arts theater etc .i have to go with paul on this one ps =i believe he was an entertainer he should know what works ps i still love your comments you are informative
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Bethel struggles at times. Competition would kill either one or the other as there hasn't been demographics to support both. Similar to the competitive shoot out that's started with BJ's and Costco (although Costco is working on property at Exit 19 in New York which would capture NY traffic customers before they reached Connecticut's mall, BJ's etc. Fiercely competitive to say the least. There's a limited retail market who's draw has not changed in 20 years.
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 03:19 PM
If there is a sufficient market of gun owners/collectors/etc the economics of it would indeed make it possible. Do you know how many guns are within a 10 mile radius of Four Corners? In Brookfield alone? You would be surprised. The problem is one of economy of scale and base of regular repeat customers. It's an economic model. I understand about the concern in a residential area which is why Peter's Imports would make a perfect site (unless Bass Pro Shops does buy out the Larson property and put up a superstore on Rt. 7 similar to what they did in Bridgeport as they expand in the area. The demand is definitely there.
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 03:21 PM
Paul, The problems with teens getting jobs is there are none for teens available. They are being filled as they open by part time early retirees with vast experience in customer service and quality expectations.
gjtino January 28, 2013 at 03:23 PM
There is an all-ages spot for local indie talent right down the street from Peter's - it's called The Room, on Production Drive. They get national acts in there too. It's a nice facility and Vern runs a tight ship. Would be great if more people knew about it!
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Namoi, Folks say the same thing about schools in Brookfield. They can't afford an almost 5% increase in taxes after just suffering a 2% decrease in pay January 1st due to the federal tax increase...then there's the Billion and a Half dollar deficit the state is looking to recover from you.
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 03:29 PM
gjtino, Great point! Exactly!
Steven DeVaux January 28, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Jamie, I just looked at the huge increase in gun sales in Connecticut and throughout the country in the last thirty days. While ticket sales are down, gun sales are booming. I'd say people are clearly voting with their wallets - as they should.
paul gonzales January 28, 2013 at 06:38 PM
gjtino--we are talking big time[ millions of dollars] not small time venue.which i do support do not get me wrong - an steve in my day we created our own jobs painting handy man jobs etc for the seniors who cant do the work around there home but do not want to move- i made good money bought my own car at 16 ,like i said we are taking the imagination out of our young people
Susan S. January 29, 2013 at 11:03 AM
I will vote for a LIBRARY. Has anyone seen our neighboring town's libraries. Our library cannot compare.
Steven DeVaux January 29, 2013 at 11:11 AM
The library building funds in other towns were also raised privately from donors if you check. Brookfield's "donors" are too cheap to give the money to build it unlike the other towns - including Danbury.
Steven DeVaux January 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM
Jamie, The other thing to consider is this would be an indoor all weather firing range with sound proofing. It would provide our police with a place to fire their weapons regularly. Do you know where they go now to do so? Also, it would allow veterans to maintain and enhance the skills they acquired with firearms in protecting this country. A good idea all around!
Michael Norman February 01, 2013 at 06:38 AM
0 of these proposals are likely to happen, most reasonable thing that will go in here is another private business.

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