Retail chain eyes Naugatuck


Tractor Supply Company plans store on New Haven Road

A Tractor Supply Company store will be built at the intersection of New Haven Road and Candee Road in Naugatuck if a plan is approved by land use officials. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
A Tractor Supply Company store will be built at the intersection of New Haven Road and Candee Road in Naugatuck if a plan is approved by land use officials. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — A Tennessee-based retail chain store has its sights set on coming to Naugatuck.

Tractor Supply Company, which bills itself as a “rural lifestyle retail store,” wants to build a new store on a 3.68 acre parcel of land at 1160 New Haven Road, the corner of New Haven Road and Candee Road.

The proposal, which received a positive referral from the Planning Commission early this month, will head to the Zoning Commission on Aug. 17 for a public hearing.

According to plans filed in the land use office, a 19,097-square-foot building would be built on the site. The plans also call for a roughly 15,000-square-foot outdoor fenced-in area that will contain items such as fence posts and chicken wire. The plan also calls for 82 parking spots.

The proposed entrance and exit for the store would be on Candee Road.

Tractor Supply Company operates over 1,500 retail stores in 49 states, according to the company’s website. If the store is built, it would be the 13th Tractor Supply Company in the state. Stores are located primarily in towns outlying major metropolitan markets and in rural communities, the website says.

Rob Hoskins, a spokesman for the Tractor Supply Company, said last week the company didn’t have any information it could release on a store in Naugatuck. He said the company is always looking for potential new store locations that are a good fit as far as the target market is concerned.

“Concerning a potential location in Naugatuck, this is especially true in that the area is attractive due to the part-time and hobby farmers, and horse owners in the area,” Hoskins said.

According to the company’s website, it offers a variety of merchandise, including equine, livestock, pet and small animal products; hardware, truck, towing and tool products; clothing and footwear; and maintenance products for agricultural and rural use.

The 3.68 acre lot where the Tractor Supply Company is proposed to be built is made up of two residential lots, which are currently zoned as part of the New Haven Road Design District. Prior to being in the New Haven Road Design District, the two properties were both zoned for business use, Town Planner and Zoning Enforcement Officer Sue Goggin said. The properties further up Candee Road are zoned for residential use.

The New Haven Road Design District was created in 2007 in order to promote mixed-use development in the area, Goggin said.

Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Ron Pugliese said the company’s plans bode well for New Haven Road.

“What I’m very, very happy about is the way New Haven Road seems to be shaping up as a destination for companies,” Pugliese said.

Pugliese said the company could have a positive impact on the former Peter Paul site at 889 New Haven Road, which is owned by the Hershey Corp. and has been vacant since 2007.

Pugliese said the Hershey property could eventually become an anchor for the road and the Tractor Supply Company could be a piece of that puzzle.

“This shows this area is a booming commercial area,” Pugliese said. “I am very happy that Tractor Supply is coming to New Haven Road.”

All eyes still on Peter Paul property

Naugatuck Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Ron Pugliese said he’s pleased with development on New Haven Road, Route 63. But he still hopes to see something constructed soon on the largest piece of vacant property on that road, the former Peter Paul Hershey property.

The 36-acre parcel at 889 New Haven Road is owned by the Hershey Corp. in Hershey, Pa. It has sat vacant since the company shuttered its Naugatuck operation, where the candy bars Mounds and Almond Joys were made exclusively for more than 85 years, in 2008. The building was torn down a couple years later to make the property more marketable for a commercial developer.

Pugliese believes there would be more interest if Hershey would come down on its asking price. The latest he has heard is that Hershey is asking for about $7 million for the property. He believes it would generate more interest if it was priced in the $4.5 million area.

“I continue to tell people, though, that we don’t own that property and only Hershey can determine what they want to do,” he said. “It would certainly be nice if something happened there, but we have no control over that. I’m sure something will be built there eventually, but at this point, I can’t say when. For now, though, it’s great to have more interest in development of other parts of New Haven Road.”

—Paul Singley, Republican-American