In the two years I’ve been in New London, there has been a near-constant flurry of small business activity. New places move in, old places change addresses, businesses close their doors…it can all get a little confusing.
Fill The Spot started as a regular Saturday feature in February. The intent: get input from readers on what they would most like to see in various parts of the city, and maybe let potential buyers know what’s out there. And since I’m a history buff (as those who read eBay Tuesday know) it’s always interesting to see if a building has an interesting background, as was the case in properties as diverse as the Miner & Alexander lumberyard and a Colman Street service station.
Since that first column, some spots I may have featured have been occupied while other vacancies have opened elsewhere. The first featured spot at 281 State Street is still empty, but is now flanked by a computer repair store and paint-your-own art studio. Looking back at the featured locations, here are the spots that have since been occupied.
Although it’s not quite filled yet, arguably the biggest news in places taken off the market came in June when Lawrence & Memorial Hospital purchased a former Pfizer office building at 194 Howard Street for $2.6 million. At its annual meeting this month, the hospital said it plans to invest another $6.9 million in upgrades to the building to put in offices and 60 exam rooms.
Another big change came in the purchase of the three former Campo’s Furniture buildings on the corner of Bank Street and Truman Street. The buildings had been empty since the store closed in 2008 after 72 years, but now they’re being repurposed for the same kind of business. Jason’s Furniture has moved in, although this does leave a new vacancy farther up Bank Street that we’ll get to eventually.
In terms of neighborhood revitalization, a stretch of Broad Street is finally at full occupancy after Statewide Bail Bonds first moved a few doors down and then moved up to Montville. Their first location is now home to the salon Jireh Braids, while the law offices of Erica Rodriguez and Ryan Ziockowski have moved into the second location.
The former Los Amigos Mini Mart at 133 Green Street has been replaced by JL Brasil Market. Another convenience store, Orient Express, moved into a former smoke shop’s location on Truman Street.
In downtown, the former Patsy’s site on Bank Street is now home to AOK Computer Center. Where a short-lived boutique set up shop on State Street, a new tattoo parlor known as Skin Deep Tattoo has moved in.
A stop at the former home of Wings N Pies on Colman Street also reveals some new life. The interior is under renovations, and signs in the window note that it’s been permitted as the site for a new Chinese restaurant.