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Visions For Vacancy: What Should Come to Woodbury Green South?

The buildings are one of the first ones you see when traveling from Southbury to Woodbury. What kind of businesses would you like to see in Woodbury Green South?

 

Woodbury Green South, 787 Main St. South, is vacant and has been that way for years, never seeing a tenant open at the location.

Let's brainstorm: What would you like to see come to Woodbury Green South? What kind of businesses do you think will thrive at this spot?

Tell us more in the comments section.

Here's past Visions for Vacancy articles on Woodbury-Middlebury Patch:

  • That colorful building
  • That rustic building

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Don Sherman September 25, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Sean: Are you saying there is a problem because the plan excludes businesses like Dunkin Donuts and CVS? Are you suggesting their presence in Woodbury represents progress?
Voice of Reason September 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Its empty and its ugly. Knock it down and put up a nice little burger joint, like the old fashion A&W stands from back in the day. In the empty lot behind the burger joint there could be a flea market on the weekends and maybe use the space as a driving range during the week. Nah, that will never work.
Dennis Maksymiw September 26, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Not to be snarky, but that basically defines the library.
Woodbury Pride September 26, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Something!!!! At least if it's occupied they'll maintain the grounds and keep it looking nice. For a new building in town, the landscape upkeep is a disgrace!
Make sense Woodbury September 26, 2012 at 03:31 AM
The building could not be occupied even if there were tenants lined up to move in. The builder appears to have given up. Perhaps he ran out of money. The building has not received a Certificate for Occupancy. This discussion is for not. We should be spending our time discussing the fact that the buildings were never completed. Do they look disgusting ? They sure do. Let's get our heads out of the sand and look at the real problem here. This project has never made sense from day one. Let's look who approved it. Planning Commission with Chairman Bob Travers? Zoning Commission being led by Chairman Martin Overton? OMG. Please contact Mr. Overton at the next Zoning Commission meeting and ask him why ? Also ask him when do they expect this project to be finished, and what safeguards did the Zoning Commission put onto their approval of this application to protect our town ? Please ask them to explain. I believe it is time for a change for this commission.
Dennis Maksymiw September 26, 2012 at 06:03 AM
This would be a great idea. I don't know what the rent for the space looks like, but given the rent on the silo building, it's probably out of most craftspeople's league. I always assumed these buildings weren't finished since the upkeep seems so poor. It would be great if Woodbury could set something up with the developers/owners of all of these empty lots to put artists into them for little to no money on a temporary basis like Project Storefront in New Haven.
Ron Hurt September 26, 2012 at 10:33 AM
My wife and I just moved to town, so it's great to see this discussion. We love Woodbury and strongly support the regulations that have helped make and keep it such a beautiful place. IMHO, keeping government "out of the way" does not mean no regulations; it means having the freedom to live where we want, which is exactly why Woodbury has so much more appeal than the towns that have just allowed developers to run rampant. We didn't want a town that looked just like any "strip mall" town. This country is already full of towns that have lost their character and all look alike, all in the name of "free enterprise," but I don't consider that "freedom." As new residents, we appreciate this lovely, quiet, non-chain-store town and hope it stays the way it is.
Betsy September 26, 2012 at 01:08 PM
As I read these comments I wonder how many Woodbury residents are using the businesses already in Woodbury. We have two lovely bakeries, the Flour Garden makes real hot cocoa, two pharmacies with different types of gifts, many coffee/meal places, only Ayla's doesn't take credit cards. We have a teen center, senior center and outstanding library. Unfortunately, the two craft places that were in town had to close . Urgent care, doctors, shared office space, a gym for kids, a bike shop, international food are all great ideas. We now have a traffic light in front of a building that is not being taken care of at all! At least the silo building is being kept up. Lots of towns with less strict zoning have empty buildings, perhaps it's the economy?? Why change zoning if we don't know the reason and if these businesses come to town will you go local even if it's a little more expensive?
Voice of Reason September 26, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Excellent points Betsy. Both of these properties were developed just as the economy was slowing down. So we really don't know what would have happened with the economy issue removed. Devino's building is great in my opinion, good looking and appropriate, I really don't know why it sits empty, even with a still lagging economy. The monstrosity called "Woodbury Green South" (gag, hack, gag) is about as ugly as can be found in Woodbury. It is the same "architecture" that we let pervade Southbury and is totally out of character with Woodbury. A fifth of Wild Turkey and a crazy man with a giant bulldozer would remedy the problem in about 30 minutes though. Lol. As suggested by Betsy also, explore the businesses already in town before throwing around ideas. Lots of local business owners would appreciate I'm sure.
Cyd Sellars September 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM
that's New Morning Market!
Cyd Sellars September 26, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Great idea!
Cyd Sellars September 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM
New Morning Market has a beautiful new cafe (pumpkin pie lattes & smoothies!), gifts, cards, candles, books, locally made soaps, as well as the largest organic produce department around!
Ruth Melchiori September 26, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I believe there may be financial concerns at that location. Why else would the upkeep be neglected? I personally love some of the ideas I have seen here - crafts/arts center with galleries and classroom facilities, Indian and/or Thai restaurants, and a bookstore.
Mike September 27, 2012 at 01:31 AM
I agree.
Mike September 27, 2012 at 01:37 AM
I agree.
Sean M September 27, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Don A town cannot ban a specific business say Dunkin Donuts. It should be allowed to prohibit certain types of businesses like adult oriented. One of the nice things about Woodbury is the small town atmosphere. That does not mean that I or any other elected official can use their position to pick and choose winners and losers. There has been a lot of personal agendas going on in town and that is wrong. I suspect putting any high traffic locations where Dunkin wanted to go would be a traffic issue.
Sean M September 27, 2012 at 02:04 AM
VOR, so funny...
Sean M September 27, 2012 at 02:09 AM
The problem is definitely the regulations, the process of an application, and certain commission members. There have been three situations where changing regulations were requested by businesses already in town: Woodbury Supply, now residing in Oxford, LaBonnes, and West Chevy. Voices also moved to Southbury a few years ago. The attitude that has dominated in town is businesses must conform to the demands of the town. The regulations have been changed to take focus away from businesses doing what they exist to do: be in business. The size limitations of buildings make it problematic for certain businesses to be in town. One that comes to mind is grocery stores.
Todd Fox September 27, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Thank you Sean. That was very gracious of you to acknowledge that there is indeed, no actual regulation on the books which specifically mentions chains.
Brien September 27, 2012 at 01:23 PM
I agree with everything you said.
martin September 27, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I'm delighted by this discussion. However, I need to point out that the Zoning Commission is required by statute to grant a permit to an applicant who meets the criteria set out in the Reg's for a particular district. When Woodbury Green South came in for approval it was granted a permit because it complied. The "Fast Food" use, as Sean points out, is specifically called out in the Reg's for that district as being "prohibited". An application for fast food at a different location might be permitted. Please keep the suggestions coming.
laura terry September 27, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Is there any expiration for the approved permit? ie, if the developer is not taking care of property does the town have any recourse to do something about the lack of maintenance? Does anyone know if the taxes on this property are being paid?
Sean M September 27, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Laura Please contact the Land Use Office with your concerns. They would then follow the procedures if there any potential violations.
Don Sherman September 28, 2012 at 01:17 PM
The simplest solution is to purchase the property and provide the care you see fit. There are a number of proposals here that you might find find attractive. The arts and crafts suggestions are popular; perhaps use the building(s) for one of those purposes?
Class Cycles September 30, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Hi There Ryan! Just FYI there is a bike shop just a couple miles down the road in Southbury! Trek, Cannondale, Full Service, 5 start Thule dealer, road, mountain, BMX, you name it, we've got it and service it.
Kellyanne Koemp November 13, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Another local Independent coffee shop that has toys for kids and is "Mom Friendly" We need a place to gather with our kids :)
Cyd Sellars November 15, 2012 at 12:35 AM
New Morning Market offers a Mommy Meet up in our Cafe! Come check us out at 129 Main Street North, next to San Remo's and The Garden. Also have a look at all we offer at newmorn.com, you can call Katie Cole at 203.263.4868 if you have any questions about classes and events! Hope to see you soon!
Tim C November 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM
How about Coreys and a golf driving range
Jaimie Cura (Editor) November 30, 2012 at 10:36 PM
I know you're not alone in wanting that back, Tim! It will be interesting to see what happens with this property now that the foreclosure process began. http://woodbury-middlebury.patch.com/articles/bank-forecloses-woodbury-green-south
Cat Smith December 04, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Does anyone have updated news on this?

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