Residents in the Turkey Hill School side of town are thrilled with the news that Big Y Foods, Inc. has announced plans to open a World Class Market in the former Wal-Mart location in the Orange Derby Shopping Center at 656 New Haven Avenue in Derby.
The store will fill a huge void for shoppers who frequented the Adam’s Supermarket store located in the same plaza which closed in July 2016. Wal-Mart closed its doors just weeks later, the two businesses leaving a gaping abyss in the 177,000 square foot retail center. The shopping center had always included a grocery store as far back as the 1970s with ShopRite, Klarides and, most recently, Adam’s being among the supermarket chains that operated there. With the exception of Woodland Wine and Spirits, the entire right half of the plaza is vacant. The new Big Y will be approximately 60,000 square feet and will be the 71st store located throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The shopping center is being redeveloped and marketed by DLC Management Corporation of Elmsford, NY with an anticipated opening in 2019. As part of the project, DLC Management Corporation plans to overhaul the center with a multi-million dollar renovation which will include façade modernization, parking lot repaving/restriping, sidewalk repairs, streetscape, landscape enhancements and lighting improvements. According to Chris Ressa, DLC’s Senior Vice President of Leasing, the store represents an investment of over $5 million into the local community, providing opportunities for local contractors during the construction process and creating more than 150 full and part time positions.
Haystack Hill resident Eileen Mantell couldn’t be happier about the news. “I can’t tell you how inconvenient it feels to have to drive miles out of your way when you just need to run into a grocery store to pick something up like a gallon of milk or Half and Half, or a cooked chicken for dinner!” Mantell says she’s been asking the employees at the nearby CVS for months if they’d heard anything about what might go into the empty Wal-Mart space and was thrilled to finally hear the good news.
In a press release from the company, Big Y’s President and Chief Operating Officer Charles D’Amour said, “We are excited to announce this addition to our Connecticut community of stores. We look forward to bringing Big Y’s world class service, quality and selection closer to shoppers in Derby and surrounding communities.” According to D’Amour, the company is strongly committed to giving back to the communities surrounding its stores, donating food values at more than $4.5 million to local non-profit organizations, schools, churches and educational programs each year. Big Y also awards 300 academic scholarships worth $250,000 each year and has helped more than 2,000 local schools earn over $11.5 million in teaching materials and educational equipment. Its Education Express Program, has helped more than 2,000 local schools earn over $11.5 million in teaching materials and educational equipment.
As a Big Y World Class Market, the store will offer prepared meals, a broad selection of specialty and local foods, a full service butcher shop, seafood direct from New England piers, an extensive produce department and a full service pharmacy.
By Laura Fantarella – Orange Town News Correspondent