The developer plans to raze the Pier 1 Imports store near the Danbury Shopping Center and replace it with a drive-through restaurant

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DANBURY – A vacant retail building last used by Pier 1 Imports on the edge of the Danbury Fair shopping center would be demolished and replaced with a smaller building to house a drive-through restaurant and other commercial spaces, according to plans examined by a municipal commission this week.

“My client has agreed to purchase the former site of Pier 1 Imports at the corner of Backus Avenue and Sugar Hollow Road,” Ward Mazzucco, an attorney representing the developer, said during a Wednesday hearing before the Commission of Danbury’s environmental impact. “The existing building is just under 10,000 square feet, and we’re proposing to eliminate that building and replace it with a building that’s… just over half the size. The new building would consist of a restaurant with a drive-thru and a medical or retail unit in the rest of the space.

Mazzucco is referring to plans for a 1.2-acre site on the eastern border of Danbury Shopping Center that has been vacant since 2020, after Pier 1 announced hundreds of store closures.

A representative for the developer would not say on Thursday which restaurant would come to Danbury, noting that the lease had not been signed.

Where developers often try to reduce as many square meters as possible on a given site, Pier 1 site plans call for reducing the building’s footprint and returning part of the parking lot to mother nature.

“The proposal is to remove part of the parking area currently in place to revegetate it with grass,” Mazzucco said. “Existing levels will be retained to minimize excavation.”

Although the site in question is in a heavily developed corridor on Danbury’s booming west side, environmental concerns are significant as Kissen Creek runs behind the property.

“In terms of impact on wetlands, it should be minimal,” Mazzucco told the environmental commission. “On the contrary, we have improved the impact on the wetlands by moving the road surface back a little and increasing the permeable surface.

The developer also considered redeveloping the existing building instead of razing it, to minimize disturbance to the site.

“It was later determined that the current condition of the building was not suitable for a modern restaurant with drive-thru and medical user, and ultimately a new building was proposed,” the developer wrote in its application for the building. city.

The public hearing before the environmental commission will continue on April 25. In addition to wetland approval, the developer must obtain permission from the city’s planning and zoning commissions.

The plans are the latest in a series of news on the development of vacant stand-alone buildings on the outskirts of Danbury Shopping Centre.

In March, city zoners approved plans by a Nissan-Infiniti dealership to take over an empty 78,000-square-foot building last used by Sports Authority and Bed, Bath and Beyond, just south on Sugar Hollow. Road.

rryser@newstimes.com 203-731-3342


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