sketchersHAMDEN: The city’s Director of Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization, Dale Kroop, released a statement saying “despite the challenges in the retail and shopping center marketplace, Hamden has been getting positive news about its largest shopping centers.”

He added, “we are seeing continued interest in the Magic Mile and interest at Putnam Plaza in terms of alternative uses that will be good in the long run for the tax base and residents.”

The discount supermarket Aldi is set to open at the Hamden Mart on April 12th, the locally based Wine Merchant will relocate next door to Aldi during the summer.

The space left by the wine store as well as remaining space from Bon Ton are under vacant and “under discussion” for future leasing by Kimco Realty, the owner of the Hamden Mart. Bon Ton a mid-scale department store filed for Bankruptcy in January and has closed more than 40 locations.

Another shopping center Hamden Plaza is attracting a new Sketchers Outlet Store in the space downsized by Marshalls several years ago, the store is expected to open before the end of the first quarter of 2019. Sketchers has an outlet store at Clinton Crossing Outlet Mall as well.

Pokemoto Hawaiian Restaurant with a location on Audobon Street in New Haven opened in the Plaza in October in the former Froyo World location.

Hamden reports that its five shopping centers have an overall occupancy rate of of 92%. They break down as follows. Hamden Plaza (97%), Hamden Mart (95%), Marketplace (Staples, etc):97%, Brixmoor: 100% (Home Depot) and Putnam Plaza (former Acme Mall) at 78%.

“It’s becoming clearer that Hamden is returning as a regional hotspot for both major and local retailers. I am extremely pleased to welcome Aldi, Sketchers Outlet and Pokemoto to the Hamden Plaza and Hamden Mart. New retail opportunities like these are exciting and add variety for our residents, while strengthening our tax base. I know these businesses will find a welcome home here in our community.", commented Mayor Curt Balzano Leng.

In February the Porter and Chester Institute, which offers career programs in plumbing, electrical trades, auto tech and cosmetology, as well as several other trades. Announced it was closing its Branford Campus at 221 Main Street and relocating Putnam Place Plaza on Dixwell Avenue in Hamden.